Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Campaign for 'Real' Christmas cards!

It's that time of year again when everyone's rushing around trying to find good Christmas cards, (and Bible artists are kicking themselves for not producing any! Which l do every year!)

I'm not sure what it's like in the US, but in the UK it gets harder every year to find really nice Christmas cards that contain the 'real meaning' of Christmas. If the major card producers and outlets are turning their backs on the real meaning of Christmas, (which they seem to be), then maybe it's time to buy our cards elsewhere! I don't know about you but I'd rather pay more for a card with meaning! As we approach a time of recession, think about how giving your business to the smaller Christian card manufacturers and retailers could really help them through a tough time. As the high street shops are not selling the cards we want anyway, it makes a lot of sense!

So where can we find good Christmas cards? One of the best selections will be found at your local Christian bookshop, but there are some very good online stores too. I always like to give a plug at this time of year to the range of cards produced by the Nazareth Village Project. (The photo above was taken there!) Click here to see their latest range.

If there are any other manufacturers of 'Real Christmas cards' out there with an online store, please send me a link to display on this post. Also if you're a card manufacturer and would like to use some of our Bible art on your Christmas cards or Advent calendars next year, contact Jem Hudson.

To find out more about the photo above, click here.

If you agree with this post then send it to a friend! Let's start the Campaign for 'Real Christmas cards'. Let me know where you buy yours.

P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers!


deboraw said...

I love the Christmas holiday. Mine starts with the week of our American Thanksgiving, and if I had my way, it would end in the middle of January. The cook (and the maid) gets tired early so, it's nice it comes in smaller increments. I--as apparently others--always think of making my own Christmas cards, if for no one else for me to send out. One distressing thing I've noticed of late is that many of our cards are 'made in China'! How crass--how hypocritical--how...well, you can fill in your own blank.

In a way many of our small towns seem to be benefiting from the 'recession' here. As many people find driving one to two hours to a 'big' city to go shopping time consuming and expensive, small shops are being opened back up in small towns (towns that once were dying business wise). One of the slogans around our 'neck-o-the-woods' is -buy local-.

I'm for the little guy--that's a good idea, Graham. We need to encourage folks toward not just the 'real meaning' of the holiday, but the real meaning of 'the life'. People have forgotten the 'baby in the manger', therefore there is no link at all between the baby and the Savior on the cross. No Alpha and Omega at all you see.

We did have a wonderful Thanksgiving...thank you for the wish. And you have a nice holiday season as well. Deboraw

Bible artist said...

Thanks Deboraw.
I agree, people need reminding what Christmas is all about. A friend of mine overheard a conversation between two ladies who were choosing Christmas cards a few years ago. One had picked up a card with a Nativity scene on and was complaining to her friend, she said
"I don't believe it! They put religion into everything nowadays!"

It's good to hear that the smaller shops are opening up again in the US.

Paul Green said...

The USA is as bad as anyone else Graham in demoting Christmas to just another holiday. When we step into our local Wal-Mart we are greeted with a large banner saying "Happy Holidays." This is a term that is now very popular because it incorporates other holidays under an umbrella term.

In fact I'd go far to say 'Happy Holidays" is becoming the official greeting for the Christmas shopping period that starts the day after Thanksgiving on "Black Friday."
But there are some excellent traditions in Virginia. The "Angel Tree" is a Christmas tree in shopping malls or restaurants where you take an "angel" and return it to the tree with wrapped gifts you've contributed for needy children. All gift tags are anonymous so nobody can be in it for stroking their ego.

Paul Green said...

Hanukkah is also celebrated in December. This is one of the prime reasons American advertisers, stores and the media prefer the term "Happy Holdays" to "Happy Christmas." We live in a multicultural society. I think this is the direction society is headed. I very much doubt there will ever be a return to the exclusive Christmas of our youth.
And as the orthodox Jews don't recognize Jesus as the Messiah there will never be a recognition of his birth as a celebration. Hence the appeasing "Happy Holidays" as a general term for the "holiday season." It doesn't offend Jews or agnostics or atheists or Muslims. Welcome to the 21st century.

Paul Green said...

I must add this. The stores merely see us as consumers. We live in a Capitalist society that depends for its survival on consumers spending money to buy goods. Therefore to appeal exclusively to any one group immediately reduces their sales potential.
If a store only stocked religious Christmas cards a percentage of consumers wouldn't purchase any cards at all.
Small stores can remain exclusive because they cater to their niche market. But overheads are a major problem.
Internet trading cuts out the overheads and is perhaps the future for exclusive markets. But nobody will become wealthy. It will always be a labor of love rather than great profit.

deboraw said...

That is quite right, stores do see us as consumers, Graham (and Paul). However are some of our choices not perhaps part of the problem? As Graham has encouraged if we choose to find a different alternative--ie smaller shops that carry cards that we like, or shop over the internet--those choices carry weight. When our children were at home they were required to handmake at least one present for others. We were a family of 8-9 people, and poor as the proverbial 'church mice', but the kids would pool their money in 20,000 different ways in order to purchase, make, or whatever they needed to do so everyone (Grandparents--who could have bought and sold us ten times over--included) would have a gift from them. We taught them that the holidays were about GIVING, not about getting...and therein lies today's problem. Perhaps we need to start examining more of our choices, cards included. (rather sad) smile. Deboraw

Paul Green said...

I totally agree Deboraw. It is about personal choice. We can choose not to go to Wal-Mart and shop where we find the cards we want. But many people are creatures of habit and just plain lazy. LOL
But the internet is opening up choice. If you look hard enough you will find what you want.
And Christmas is about giving as you say. There is too much greed in our society at present. I was happy with a couple of presents as a kid. Now youngsters have dozens of gifts and aren't any happier for it.
Just look at Wal-Mart Black Friday shoppers to see how greed can turn to tragedy. They trample a man to death and continue shopping. We need to take a step back and see just how crazy and self seeking society has become.

deboraw said...

Greed, there seems to be too much of that! That's awful about the person being trampled! Why do they call it 'black Friday'? My husband says he believes it's from a 'retail' standpoint. It sounds gruesome to me, why not 'brilliant sparkling' Friday, or 'golden touch' Friday? Lol Deboraw

Paul Green said...

It is named after the highly respected Laurence H. Black Deboraw. He collapsed and died in the store where he worked and his fellow workers at Osberger's Department Store turned out for work the day after Thanksgiving dressed in black. Other stores did the same because of the respect they had for the man.
His surname became part of the day after Thanksgiving because of this event many years ago.
Osberger's were later taken over by Macy's.

deboraw said...

Thank you very much Paul G. It still sounds somewhat 'gruesome', but not nearly so now. Although, still 'sparkling, brilliant, and golden touch' still has a ring to least to me. lol--Deboraw

Bible artist said...

You mentioned hand made Christmas cards Deboraw.
I received a lovely hand drawn one from Bible artist Anne Vallotton last week. I was planning to make a few myself but I need to get a move on!

deboraw said...

A fox is trotting across the road, where he notices a frog stuck in a deep rut. The frog is obviously struggling to hop out of this very deep rut, but is not able to. A short time later the fox lsys down for a short break, and the same frog comes hopping along. "Oh," the fox says to Mr. Frog, "I see you made it out of the rut." To which Mr. Frog replies--"I had to." "Why's that?" Mr. Fox questions. "Car came along," replies Frog as he hops off.
I'm afraid I'm much like Mr. Frog...wait till the alternative comes along before I 'get it done'. Very embarrassed face, (but it's true). Smile--Deboraw

Paul Green said...

Funny story to illustrate the point Deboraw. :)) It's so easy to become complacent and give up trying new approaches.

deboraw said...

Paul G, --Right up front, I do not believe in evolution, but I have told folks I really should believe it. Because as I have also often said, "Give me enough time, and I can accomplish about anything". Lol. Deboraw

Amy C. Moreno said...

What a wonderful site you highlighted there. You're so right about wanting to kick ourselves. I guess what I need to do is start a few this spring before much time goes by. Thanks for the post. It was thought provoking for me. I need to create some images that are truly fitting for Christmas and get them out there...even if it's just to mail to my own friends and loved ones.

Bible artist said...

Hi Amy
I think it's always easier to draw Christmas related pictures at Christmas! Just like it's easier to draw Easter related pictures at Easter! So don't leave it until Spring or you might not get around to it!
Start drawing while your thoughts are full of Christmas! ;0)

Bible artist said...

Well christmas is over for another year. I've just taken down all the cards, (we get around 200 cards every year as my wife does a lot of writing), and I've been going through them all again before they get recycled. I have been amazed that the vast majority of cards that we have received this year have had a religious theme!

This has had nothing to do with the fact that I had published this post either as only a handful of people that I know read the blog. It's great to know that despite the fact that good christmas cards are now so hard to find, that so many people have made a special effort this year to find them. Well done!

Sandy brewer sent me a lovely christmas card illustrated by Margaret Tarrant, produced by the 'Medici Society'. Top marks to them. As I mentioned on the 'New year' post we now have a Christian card publisher who is interested in producing a range of christmas cards for 2009 God willing. So then you can order all your cards from us! ;0)

Charlotte Welcher said...

To perceive Christmas through its wrappings becomes more difficult with every year.
Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2010

I love your work! Great job!