My family had a long-standing tradition of designing and printing our own Christmas cards. Each year, starting shortly after they married in the early 50s, my parents would create a unique Christmas card that they mailed out to all of our family and friends. Often, these cards were anticipated, as in:
“What will Cliff and Shirley come up with this year?”
I have come across long-time family friends that have told me that they or their parents kept the cards, due to the creative and uniqueness of each one. Of course, having parents that were both artists (my dad was a graphic artist and illustrator, and my mom was a fine artist, painting and doing crafts) made the whole process easy. Often the concept would be hashed out around my dad’s birthday in early November, and by early December, sketches were done and “approved” by my mom, from which my dad would hand draw, and often hand-letter, the art.
The cards were printed locally, usually on colored card stock, folded, and mailed. Sometimes, my brothers and I were part of the creative process, even contributing to the artwork. And often, even after the card was printed, my mom and dad would add something a little extra to the card to make it even more unique.
Of course, with all the technology we have these days, it’s easy to make unique and individual Christmas cards, and there is a whole industry that allows you to pick templates and customize them as you wish. But every once in a while, I do see a card that was carefully and creatively done, and it takes me back to the nearly 50-year tradition started by my parents.
Wishing you a Happy and Creative Holiday Time!
by John Prothero