The Year Without Christmas Cards

Christmas Eve has always been a rather nostalgic time for me. Okay, maybe always is an exaggeration. Or perhaps even a lie. In actuality, most years I’m stressing out over last minute card-addressing or gift-wrapping or stocking-stuffing or house-cleaning or any other number of -ing things.

Yet this December 24th — due to a combination of good medication and intentional choices — I have time to soak up some of that nostalgia. One of the choices I made this year was to not design our family’s holiday card. While that might not seem like a big deal to most folks, it’s a bit of a milestone for me.

Beginning in 1999 — mine and Papa’s third Christmas together — I began creating our Christmas cards. For many years it was a way to promote my design business or as a thank you to clients. In recent years, they’ve featured whimsical variations on the conventional family holiday photo card. There were even a couple of years where my anxiety was particularly intense that I resorted to said convention. Even then, I eschewed prefab templates, personalizing the design if only slightly.

This year I started my annual process as usual: brainstorming, sketching, gathering color palettes and references. I got as far as an initial layout. I even made sure we got our Christmas tree up right after Thanksgiving, as our card was to include a shot of us sitting by the tree.

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