Last year, I finally jumped on the band wagon and I actually created some festive holiday cards. Now that we are just under two months away from the holiday season, I wanted to talk about my series “A String of Lights”. 

Holiday Cards
Holiday Cards – A Sting of Lights

Why A string of Lights?

Actually sitting down and coming up with the idea for these holiday cards was incredibly difficult. I wanted to avoid heavy religious undertones, but remain festive. It’s harder than you think. Don’t get the wrong idea though, I had a lot of fun throughout the process.

I tried a number of different themes and concepts. Birds building snowmen, small animals with presents, or wrapped in tinsel, snow, baked goods, you name it, I likely tried it.

It was all very light hearted and portrayed the seasonal merriment I was aiming for, yet I didn’t fall in love with any of the ideas. 

Eventually the project was shuffled to the back of my mind. Inspiration is ever changing. It wasn’t until I was leafing through my sketchbook and came across a simple sketch of a birdhouse, with a bird putting up Christmas lights. I had used it a few years ago to say happy holidays on my social media.

I remember that was my lightbulb moment. 

Birdhouse Sketch
Here’s some of the original sketches for the series.
Why there’s a random strawberry… I do not know.

Christmas lights were actually a pagan practice. They would adorn their windows, and trees with candles. Representing the stars. If you want to read more I found this interesting

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise but I am not christian. When It comes to the holidays I find it hard to avoid the heavy christian influences in holiday products. Christmas isn’t the only celebration of the season.

I’m more spiritual than anything, and to be authentic with myself, and what I would send to my loved ones I made this set of cards with that in mind. It was important for me to create something festive that didn’t necessarily push the christian agenda.

Send a Holiday Card This Year

With the continuation of the covid pandemic, perhaps it’s making me feel even more sentimental than normal, but I think it’s even more important to take the time to send a loved one a card this year. 

Some of us might not get the chance to go home for the holidays this year. With more lockdown precautions looming around the corner its tough to say. Either way, I will be sending my cards, and small gifts to my extended family and friends. 

A handwritten note, on a unique card, during a time when seeing one another could jeopardize the wellbeing of others. It feels special.

I know my family has been talking about cancelling what we would consider a normal Xmas celebration. Gathering all of us in one place definitely violates the government mandated safety protocols. Theres far more than 15 of us. I know a lot of my friends and their families are considering the same thing. 

So if you’re like me and unsure if you’ll be able to see your family and friends this year. Send them a card. Make it a bit more personal than social media. 

I have a secret shoebox hidden in my studio full of old cards, and letters I received over the years. Sometimes I like to open it and look through the memories. 

We still have a few weeks until the holidays. Stay safe. Wear your mask, wash your hands, and I hope you get to see your loved ones soon.

Stay Creative,

Justin Erickson


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