Christmas Card by Frederick Hammersley; Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Christmas Card by Frederick Hammersley; Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Need some ideas for your Christmas Cards this year? May I suggest checking out the Archives of American Art’s current exhibits on Holiday Cards by Artists–Don’t worry, you don’t need to go to New York or Washington, D.C. to see the magic! You can view highlights from the exhibits at both the Archives of American Art’s website and at the Smithsonian Magazine’s website.

JimHensonI have very recently become obsessed with Christmas cards created by Artists for their personal cheer-sending needs (my two ephemeral obsessions previous were bookplates and dance cards). It began this summer while I was reading Jim Henson’s Designs and Doodles: a Muppet Sketchbook by Alison Inches and the book included several images of Henson’s homemade and company Christmas cards featuring the likes of Kermit, the Fraggles and Big Bird. Later in the summer I practically squealed in delight while watching Julia and Paul Child create their notorious holiday cards in the movie Julie and Julia. These artist-made cards fascinate me for multiple reasons: 1. We get to see how artists focus their creativity into specific parameters and who will disregard those boundaries (think Project Runway) 2. We can compare how an artist creates for the market and posterity vs. private and immediate and 3. I just love Christmas cards!

MerryChristmasFromBut Artists with a capital A are not the only people who make creative Christmas cards! Check out this great book titled Merry Christmas From…150 Christmas cards you wish you’d received by Karen Robert. This book features real families’ portrait Christmas cards–most of which are silly and adorable. My favorite is a photo of three little babies in gingerbread costumes that have been photoshopped onto a cookie sheet and spatula. Season’s Greetings!

Working on Christmas cards and can’t remember Aunt Minnie’s address? Try the Reference USA database!

Go to the library’s homepage at www.davenportlibrary.com. On the left hand side of the screen you will find a list of options. Choose “Do Research Online”, then click on Reference USA (the fourth database listed). Then choose the “Residential” search.

Reference USA’s residential information is compiled from more than 3,900 White Page telephone directories. Each listing appears in the database exactly as it appears in the phone book. You can search by name, city and state.

With any luck using Reference USA will help relieve some of your holiday stress!