For the past ten years we have had our Christmas cards "created"; it's been a joint effort with my niece, Tracey, who is an artist, and my husband, who is her collaborator. Previously I had been purchasing cards from The National Wildlife Federation which produces exquisite cards.
When Tracey began making our cards she used eagles and cardinals as themes because Gerald loves eagles and Mother loved cardinals.
Five years ago, I was inspired by our niece Carrie, who obviously takes great care in choosing her Christmas cards. (I always say, "Carrie sends the prettiest cards!") That year her card had, "From our home to your home" and it depicted a beautiful Federal-style house with a winter scene. I asked Gerald, "Why don't you take a real picture of our house and we could use it on cards?" Snow had just fallen and the trees were covered with snow and it was indeed picturesque. Gerald took the picture.
The middle picture above is that card. Since then we've used Gerald's pictures of our marble fireplace, bubble lights, and a watercolor of the house which was a gift of a friend who grew up in our house. Last year Tracey created a lovely collage of past Christmas cards (in the first picture above), which was a suggestion of another friend. The third picture above is an eagle soaring over my brother's barn.
Several years ago I decided, for the next card, to have a picture taken of the sleigh on our porch and have it filled with pretend presents. I wrapped an assortment of packages in different sizes with blue and silver paper, and coordinating bows. I filled the boxes with newspapers and magazines for ballast.
I thought that I had them arranged quite expertly for photographic effect, just waiting for Gerald to take pictures. However, silly me, before Gerald had the opportunity to take pictures, a thief came onto our porch and stole the packages!
We didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Did the thief actually think I had put actual presents in those boxes? I hope that the thief enjoyed the papers and magazines! I do hate it that I lost the bows, because several of the bows were lovely, and had been hand-made by Tracey. Several people asked if I had reported the theft to the police. What would I say? That someone stole a bunch of weeks-old magazines and newspapers which would have been normally recycled?
In my after-Christmas shopping at Meijer's, I bought a perfect 4-roll package of blue and silver paper. Yes, I decided to try again! Perhaps the cats can guard the packages. On Stormy, on Puff, on Einstein, on Louise, on Sasha, on Professor, and little Taupey! (Oh, I'm confusing the cats from A Visit From Saint Nicholas!)
This is Gerald's picture:
This is Tracey's creation for that card: