Deb Tawna’s creative well may be running dry

For over a decade, I’ve been designing my own holiday cards.

It started with a silly Photoshop job that made it look like my husband and I were hanging miniature versions of the family pets on the Christmas tree.

Then there was the year I Photoshopped a rather bizarre mistletoe love-fest with the dogs French kissing and a cat humping my husband’s leg.

There were innocent ones with the pets devouring gingerbread versions of the humans or pulling us in a sleigh over the mountains, and the not-so-innocent ones like the card that showed me flipping off Santa upon hearing the results of the naughty/nice decision.

Some of the most recent cards have included the following (and yes, I’m disguising my husband’s face and name to protect the somewhat innocent):

So now that you see what my holiday cards are like, let me give you a piece of advice: don’t ever do this.

The problem when you start doing something silly and creative like this is that you’re never allowed to stop. I once told a few people I was considering buying a box of generic cards at the store, and you would have thought from their reactions I’d suggested urinating on the nativity scene at church.

Part of me still enjoys the creative challenge, and the fact that so many friends and loved ones seem to enjoy the cards. In case you hadn’t noticed, I kind of like making people laugh.

But part of me—the creative part—has been feeling a bit depleted.

Our mailbox is already filling up with holiday cards from others, so I’m beginning to fret. Do I continue this tradition I’ve established and come up with another Photoshopped card, or do I let it slide this year? And if I do continue, does anyone have any creative ideas to lend me?

Hurry and tell me what you think. Christmas is coming and the pets are getting restless.

20 Replies to “Deb Tawna’s creative well may be running dry”

  1. I got a little upset that you were going to post this year’s card and ruin the surprise. So basically no, you can’t stop.

    But this is why I don’t do anything so people have no expectations. FYI you should expect the same card for the 3rd year in a row from the box of cards I bought that first year but never sent to anyone but you.

  2. I’d only do it if you really want to. I have a friend who hand draws and paints 50 Christmas cards every year. For five years now, I’ve gotten one of them. They are truly beautiful, but I know they take a tremendous amount of time to complete. If she wanted to quit, as much as I adore the cards, I would understand.

    My motto has always been if it doesn’t add to the season, I don’t do it. That’s why I give only a few gifts and spend most of my time playing Christmas songs on piano. My kids love that, too. They get to request a few songs for me to play the last half hour before bedtime, while they read in bed. Blissful stuff, that.

    If it feeds your soul, go for it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t.

    1. Shakespeare, excellent points, thank you! Part of me still loves doing them, but part of me is just tapped out, you know?


  3. I say if you have the time, go for it, but if you’re doing it for everyone else and it’s no longer fun, what’s the point? And if you stop, you can take a hiatus, then have a “comeback” next year if you feel up to it and everyone will rejoice that the custom cards have continued.

    Ok… third option (did I give two before?) is that you draw stick figures, photoshop the families heads on and VOILA! Done. Likely an hour to do the job instead of the several hours to do the other work and the masses are somewhat happy.

    Basically, my advice, if I’m giving any at all here, is go with your gut and heart. Do the things you love and if you can’t get something done because you’re heart isn’t in it, then the gripers will gripe and the people who really love you will forgive you and move on. The holiday IS about giving, but if you give so much of yourself that you begin to hate it, then you’re not being fair to yourself. And your loved ones, friends and family alike, are not being fair either. PLAY FAIR PPL!

    Interesting comments tho..

    1. The Grinch’s assistant, I kinda like your stick figure idea! Still requires shooting the photos and doing a bit of Photoshop work, but maybe not as much. Thanks!


  4. If you can’t think of anything – consider joining rubber chicken cards. They have hysterical animated ecards. I think (not sure though) that some of their cards are printable. You might want to make sure before you join.

    Love all the previous cards!

  5. I used to make CDs (when there were such things) every year for Christmas. And bookmarks. And after a few years I realized it was TOO MUCH WORK.

    Fewer people than I expected complained. I don’t know whether that makes me sad or relieved.

  6. Those are great. Does your husband use Botox – his skin is so smooth, not a line on his face! 🙂 And is he Pythagoras or Ozzie or Matt the Cat? I’ve had Christmas card years and dry spells. It’s nearly impossible to get my 3 girls to look at the camera together – let alone smile – so digitial photog has been a huge help. Not sure if this year will bring a card…. Maybe just a holiday eggblog?

    1. Kim, Pythagoras is the name I use for my husband on my blog. He has a career that’s not quite on the same wavelength as a romance author with a fondness for risque humor, so I try to shield him from me as much as possible 🙂


  7. When you think about it, lots of things probably urinated on the original nativity scene. Donkeys, camels, the Baby Jesus…there’s worse sins out there. Like, apparently, switching to store-bought cards. And here I was feeling cranky about just hand-writing a note on each of mine.

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