One of my favorite holiday traditions is illustrating a family Christmas card. Over the years it has often included skiing and snowboarding off cliffs and roof tops. Some represented traditional themes like baking cookies together as a family and others illustrated what my family had been up to in the past year; a brag letter without the GPA!
This year I found myself drawn (no pun intended) to a card I created two years ago. I knew it would be time-consuming and a huge challenge, but hey, that’s just how I roll.
As I began my first prototype – and there were many – I realized how much this year’s card resembled the basics of writing a story.
Both of them start with inspiration. Amazing pop-up books created by Robert Sabuda greased my rusty cogs and sent them spinning.
They both require an interesting cast of characters
with a plot to pull the them together.
Detail helps convey the theme.
Tension must be created in order for the story to unfold.
Christmas cards arrive each year,
From those I love both far and near.
As I open each one I am anxious to see
The holiday message sent out to read,
And yet as I looked at my blank sheet of paper
With the panic of Christmases past,
It always seems that a deadline is looming
Before I can draw one at last.
So I am trying a brand new technique this year
One I learned from writing my book.
It’s better to fly by the seat of my pants
Than to overthink, plan, and rework
So see what you think and I hope you’ll enjoy
The result of impulsive imagination.
Remember it’s true it’s the thought that counts
As you observe my salutation!
Suspense should build up to ....
A CLIMAX THAT POPS!
It is an added bonus when the moral of the story leaves you smiling.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Danny, Susie, Kelly and Courtney
Writing a story and hand-made Christmas cards both require a lot of time and can present unique challenges. After two weeks of drawing, cutting, and pasting, the cards were dropped into the mailbox. Just like pressing “publish,” I smiled and hoped everyone would enjoy what I created.
Do you look forward to receiving holiday greeting cards?
Do you send them?