Years ago I would draw a sort of 'slice of life' comic of my growing family, photocopy it onto cards, decorate them, insert a copy of our annual Christmas letter, and send them off. Several of our friends and family members looked forward to the cards and they became a tradition for a few years.
|The first family comic I ever drew, back in 1995. |
It's so old, the paper is yellowed. My husband had just
recovered from a bout of viral meningitis. Crikey!
|We were in the middle of packing up to move to Strathcona Park Lodge, |
and I was gearing up for a new adventure and lots of changes to come.
Last weekend, we spent a whole day rearranging some furniture in our house. In my quest for a china cabinet to hold our recently inherited china I had daily walked by a cabinet in our own downstairs family room, ignoring it as a possible contender due to a prevailing idea that it would be too small. One day, looking at the cabinet, my husband said, "how about this?" and I found myself uttering a "we could try it" sort of response. The cabinet had once been home to our dishes but since moving to this house with ample room in the many kitchen cupboards, and for the fact that the glass had broken in the cabinet door, the thing had been demoted to a catch-all for my stuff - cards and letters I couldn't bear to throw away, birthday candles, old experiential learning books my husband no longer needed for his present career, old files of my writing, etc. I cleaned out the cabinet, we brought it upstairs, and it now holds Nana's china and Granny's crystal glasses very nicely indeed - and looks like it has been in our dining room forever. We'll get the door glass cut sometime soon. (We also need a piece cut for the garage door window which, for a long time now, has had a hockey ball shaped hole in it. It's on the to-do list.)
|This cabinet has been with us as long as I've|
been making Christmas cards
In the cleaning out of the cabinet I came across a file of old annual Christmas letters I had written, and another filled with the original drawings for the many years of cards I had made. I was, frankly, surprised to see that my drawings were not that bad. Not great by any means, but not bad either. I can't remember the last time I sat down to draw something besides a map for directions or a doodled flower while I'm talking on the phone.Today, I sat for a few minutes looking through the file, reading the old letters from when our children were little, and looking through my interpretations of our evolving life as a family over the years. I must say I enjoyed strolling down memory lane, and I was suddenly very glad I had decided to make cards again this year.
|The original drawing for the front of my 1999 Christmas card 'Anyday, 1999'|
|The original drawing for the inside of my 1999 Christmas card:|
'Holiday (Ahhh!) 1999/2000'
|Family scene from inside Cabin 21 at the Lodge. December, 1999|
|The last family comic I drew for Christmas 2000|
The next Christmas we had a little fourth in the picture.
One day, perhaps, I will pick up a pencil and draw another family comic. If not, I will still have this collection of cards which serves as something of a point-of-view family archive of those early, formative years that played a large part in making us what we are today.
If you click on the photos, it will enlarge them.