Last year I did a post about my favorite Christmas cards of 2010. Actually, two posts, including this one, from the Eve of Nativity, 2010.
As I looked through the hundred or more cards we've received this year, I was not surprised to discover that some of this year's favorites are from the same folks.... artists and creative young families. And a couple of newcomers made the cut this year. Please understand that I LOVE CHRISTMAS CARDS OF ALL TYPES. I love to send them and receive them. But the artist and writer in me can't help but notice when a card is especially creative or unusual.
So here they are, my favorite Christmas Cards from 2011. (In no particular order.)
This first one, from the McCollums, who lived in Memphis for several years before returning to middle Tennessee, features art work by their ten-year-old daughter, Christine. Christine's mother, Anne Marie, took one of my icon workshops a few years ago, and is a creative woman on many fronts. (She sews, bakes amazing wedding cakes, scrapbooks, paints, and home schools four children.) I see that Christine is also a budding iconographer/artist!
Sarah and Joel Finley's card was also among the favorites last year. Again, no surprise here, as Sarah is also an artist/iconographer, school teacher, and musician, along with her husband Joel and others in the Nashville band, Lulu Mae. The photo doesn't do justice to the card, which is multi-layered and features a wonderful quote from St. Ephraim the Syrian, also a poet. Interestingly enough, the Finleys also live in the Nashville area. Lots of creative juices flowing over there!
And another repeat favorite, from our friends and neighbors, Bob Layman and Barry Cantrell. Bob and Barry work with iron to create wonderful pieces of art, and they also do terrific house renovations (like ours). This card is beautifully layered with interesting pieces of shiny paper and the star is also 3-D. The photo doesn't really show how wonderful it is, but I loved the composition. Bob and Barry will also be helping us transition to our rental house in Harbor in a few weeks by painting several rooms for us before we move in. Their creativity and their friendship are blessings to me.
Maybe our most unusual card, and definitely the one that traveled the farthest to reach us, is this lovely image sent by Dr. Yoshihiro Kokubo, Chief, Department of Preventive Cardiology at the National Cebrebral and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, Japan. A few weeks ago my husband traveled to Kyoto to speak at a medical conference, and Dr. Kokubo was one of his hosts. I think it's interesting that the card company put the text in English. The beauty of the card is a reflection of the beauty of the people my husband met while he was there.
My final two favorites are photo cards. We sent a photo card this year, and I noticed that about 90% of the cards we received are photo cards. And while I love sending and receiving pictures, I decided that next year I'm going to try to send a more traditional card... or create something original. I must say, however, that these two photo cards are also very creative. This first one is from our niece and nephew in Atlanta, with their three little girls.
The Dr. Seuss theme is precious, isn't it? The oldest, Cate, is about 5 now, and younger sisters, Allie and Brynn, were premature twins who had to stay in the hospital for a few months when they were born, three years ago. We were all so thankful for their growth and health, and seeing them at age 3 is such a joy!
I'll close with another photo card, also from a precious couple who had premature twins recently. Damon Boiles III, our Godson and his precious wife, Weezie, live in Birmingham. I love the front of the card... which gains meaning as you turn it over....
and see V-Boiles Day! Damon IV and Charlie were born on October 17th, and they are still in the NICU in Birmingham, but since this photo they've been able to sleep in real cribs and breathe without the big breathing devices, and their folks have even been able to begin to feed them with bottles. Victory for the Boileses, indeed!
Thanks to everyone who took the time to send us a Christmas card this year. They are all "winners" and each one brought us great joy. I always leave them out until Epiphany (January 6) so I can sit and look through them again, taking time to read the Christmas letters slowly after the busy days of Christmas are over. I hope you enjoyed my little gallery!