Cutting Up at Christmas

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.

Christmas 11 024

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 characters 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…


It is an added bonus when the moral of the story leaves you smiling.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

With Love,

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.


After I posted this morning, there was a glitch that sent my post back to last night’s blogs. Later in the afternoon, I discovered all my Christmas cards were returned for more postage. How ironic that they both had delivery problems! – The similarities continue… (Thank you to the three Happiness Engineers who helped me on the forum yesterday!)

Do you look forward to receiving holiday greeting cards?

Do you send them?

63 thoughts on “Cutting Up at Christmas

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  1. That’s super ironic that both had delivery problems. Wow, your cards are amazing. Best I’ve ever seen. You are quite an artiste, Susie. I’m in awe! Yes, I love receiving Christmas cards and reading what’s written in them and I especially love the photos if any are included! Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family!


  2. Your Christmas card is beautiful! I love to create a story to go along with the pictures (husband-photographer) that we have gathered for our Christmas card. But this year I wasn’t so creative and we just did a plain ole Christmas photo card and I’m already feeling bummed. You gave me inspiration to get back at it for next year!


  3. I am so glad! Sometimes a year off is good. I didn’t do any entertaining and it surprisingly doesn’t bother me a bit! Hahaha! I will have family and friends for Christmas Eve so that will be fun.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!


  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog ( and liking my post. I checked out your website and was impressed by your creativity and talent, especially with these meaningful Christmas cards you make every year. Those who receive them must feel really lucky to receive this precious gift of love from you. All the best wishes and blessings of the holiday season to you and your family!


  5. Those look really neat, My wife and I send out new years cards but we just take a picture and have a nice looking cards made over the internet. Your cards seem to have so much caring put into them, very cool.


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