Ever since 1975, I have made our own Christmas Cards. This year you can be in on some of the creative process. Each year, we try to focus on the significance of the birth of Christ, and for the past 32 years or so we have also included a reference to our current location (on the back–usually a picture of our house or apartment, but for a few years it was a picture of a VW mini bus). For the past 25 years or so we have also included a reference to Naskapi, too. So with some of these traditions to follow, we are provided with a kind of template.
Still, one needs an idea. While considering several ideas, we were being visited by Chickadees at our window bird feeder. What’s could be cuter than little birds? It wouldn’t be the first time we had a bird on our cards, and I was already thinking of a connection to a Scripture verse and the birth of the Saviour. But then something cuter still did show up: Besides the dozen or so Chickadees and other birds frequenting our feeder, we started to be visited by a sweet little Chickadee with only one leg. She was a little more timid than the other cheeky birds; she would wait on the wire much longer than the others until she was sure to have a safe landing on the feeder, and then she would come, get her sunflower seed, and fly off.
She was also special to us in that we could tell her apart from the others. She had to lean over to one side to keep her balance, but that did not stop her from coming for the meal provided. So several times a day “Peg” (Norma Jean named her) would visit, linger on the wire, come down to get her single seed and then fly off. We have seen her come every day now for weeks since we started taking notice. Once I got a good picture of her, I got to work on a pencil portrait (Norma Jean replenishes the sunflower seeds each day).
We do indeed put candles in the window–we like to do that at Christmas time, so I added a candle to the sketch, and then “Merry Christmas” in the “Christmas Card” font (inspired by “It’s a Wonderful Life”), and so the front of the card was done.
I already had considered the connection to the Saviour born on Christmas day: In the Sermon on the Mount He talked about how our heavenly Father cares for birds, and encourages us not to worry about what we need–because He cares for us too. So I quoted Matthew 6:26 in Naskapi and in English, formatted them in the top of the card, and summed up the Christmas message in the bottom of the card. Jesus saves us from many things: and the birds are a reminder that knowing Him we need not worry about things, either.
Like I mentioned earlier, it is our tradition to put a picture of our home on the back of the card, along with our contact information. Since I already sketched the cottage we are renting in Aldergrove BC (featured in an earlier blog post here), I simply re-used that picture and added the address and our e-mails for the card back.
We had the cards printed at a “Staples” outlet, I did the folding, stuffing and labeling, and then had them in the mail to the USA and overseas on Monday, 9 December 2013 (down in nearby Lynden, WA) and mailed out to our Canadian friends on Tuesday from the post office at the Co-op in Aldergrove, BC.
We will be staying here at our little rented cottage for the holidays this year. Nicodemus will be staying with us until the next semester starts for him and Norma Jean at Trinity Western University in Langley, later in January. We (and “Peg” the one-legged Chickadee) hope that you and yours have a very merry (and worry-free) Christmas!
Love, Bill and Norma Jean