Burns Family Christmas Card 2020

Merry Christmas! And Happy New Year!

As has become our custom, we sent out our very special Christmas card once again this year. Our philosophy is to send out something unique, something that you won’t get from anyone else. And we also want to make you smile a little, too. That’s our goal. See some of our past cards here.

When Laura and I were talking about what to do for our Christmas card, we wanted to do something different from past years, and perhaps something tied to this (hopefully) unique year of 2020. Laura said, “What if we were in a school room, learning lessons from this year?” And with that, we were off and running!

Behind the Scenes

To create our school room, we just happened to have an old school desk in our attic that someone had given us for whatever reason. The problem was that we just had one desk, and there are three of us. But if you have seen the behind-the-scenes posts from some of our other cards, you know that we have overcome that obstacle before. We could take individual photos and then put them all together in the end.

For reference, here is the photo of Jaylin:

Jaylin for the Christmas Card

It might not look like much, but it was a start. We set up the white background to make it easier to cut out everything but Jaylin and the desk, and that worked well. In the original photos, we were all looking at the same book, but that would be changed later on, too. And yes, Jaylin was purposefully not looking at the camera. That is his “cool” pose.

Putting It Together

Once we had our photos, we needed a schoolroom. I was having trouble envisioning what Laura had in mind from her description. So she made a sketch showing what she wanted:

The first sketch

That was perfect for what I was needing. And with that, I was off and running. Or drawing, actually.

I made a few modifications to make everything fit, and I had to leave out the “Learning is a gift” rug at the lower right, although that was a great idea. Here is the final background:

The finished Christmas card background

I liked the detail of the teacher’s desk. Mr. Kringle left his hat sitting there while he stepped out of the room, apparently. And the reindeer drawing taped to the front of his desk was taken from Laura’s original sketch of the reindeer that always appears on the back of our cards. More on him later.

Details, details

The Final Version

And with that, we had all that we needed to put it all together. So here is the finished card for you to see:

The Burns family Christmas Card for 2020

As you can see, we are all working hard to study our books at school. All of us together, even though we were not actually together. And each studying our own book. What are they?

Laura’s book says, “Hold Your Horses, Not Your Stress”. As you can imagine, this has been a stressful school year for a school teacher, and she has been dreaming of spending more time with the horses to help take away some of that school stress.

Jaylin’s book is “Dressed for College Success”. He is wearing some of his favorite clothes and shoes, and he is looking forward to the college days of no school uniforms. Those days will be here soon.

And my book says, “Relax: I’m Working From Home”. But I don’t really wear shorts much at all, even while working from home. Flip flops, yes. Shorts, not really.

So that is our card for the year. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed making it.

But Wait, There’s More!

As I mentioned above, for the past several years, we have had a reindeer on the back of our card along with our holiday message. We kept that going this year, too.

Our idea was to have the reindeer sitting in the same desk as us, studying his own book. However, when we were taking the photos of us in the desk, I forgot to take one of the empty desk. Oops. So a few weeks later, I got the desk back out of the attic to take a blank photo.

Also, in previous years I had reused the same reindeer drawing as a base and changed whatever was necessary for that year’s situation. But this year I used all I have learned in doing the Steve’s Sketchbook posts and started from scratch with the reindeer. I wanted him to look as close to the original as possible, and you probably won’t notice a difference at all. But he is in fact all-new for this year.

Here is the back of our card:

A look at the back

Just in case you couldn’t figure out what we were doing, the message on the back of the card ties it all together. We learned a lot of lessons in 2020, and we can put them to good use to make 2021 an even better year, no matter what happens. And we can find the joy in all of that, too.

And the reindeer’s book says, “Reindeer Games For Beginners”. I thought that was funny!

I hope you do find great joy in the new year, even in the difficult times! And I hope you enjoyed our Christmas card for this year, too!

Oh, and if you would like to be added to our Christmas card mailing list for the next year, just fill out this handy form! Thanks!

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About Burnsland
Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.