December 30, 2009

Belated Christmas Card Talk

We are probably not in the mood anymore to talk about Christmas card scoring, but I wanted to show you this card I got from one of my friends:


I think it's the best Mary/baby card I have EVER SEEN. I find it so TOUCHING, and it seems so REAL. It makes me think of Mary as an ACTUAL PERSON who had an ACTUAL BABY and SNIFFED HIS NECK FOLDS.

I think I accidentally gave the impression on my Christmas card scoring posts that I was opposed to RELIGIOUS cards, but HEAVENS NO. It's PREACHY cards that get huge deductions, and preachy letters, and an overuse of the word "blessings," but RELIGIOUSNESS? No. Many people celebrate one of the holidays PRIMARILY AS a religious holiday, so receiving religious cards seems absolutely appropriate. (Preachy, though, there's no excuse.)

I have a lot of fun card-shopping with my mom each year. She's Christian, so she's always on the lookout for good religious cards of the Christian variety, and she's much pickier than I am about it. Very occasionally, I'll weed out one she likes (this year there was one I thought was too pointed in its wish that the recipient have an "open heart"), but generally it's more likely that she's rejecting the ones I find as being too preachy or lofty or trite or theologically shaky. It's a fun quest. There is laughing, and there is reading aloud.

ANYWAY, we've seen and rejected MANY a Mary-and-child card. This year we rejected one on which the poor baby Jesus was buck naked and chilly-looking, with nary a swaddling cloth in sight. Others make the scene look as if it took place within the shining golden gates instead of in a small grubby barn. Others show what my friend calls a "Mary with attitude," where she appears to be SO OVER this whole thing.

This one looks as if it were pre-electrical lighting, and the baby is snuggled up in sufficient swaddling clothes. It's great. It's by Christian Inspirations, and I was going to link to their site (file under "Links You Did Not Expect to See on Swistle's Blog), but their url leads to one of those "placeholder" sites that tries to sell you things it guesses are related to the site you were trying to find, when the site you were trying to find no longer exists. So, sorry, you're stuck with Attitude Mary or Nakers Jesus.

18 comments:

Alias Mother said...

And thank heavens she looks the right age. I hate that Mary always looks like she's in her mid-20s. Wasn't she around 14 or so? (Theologically shaky, indeed. That's what I am.)

This girl looks like a teenager.

parkingathome said...

I forgot to tell you! My sister's christmas letter this year actually said "Blest." BLEST. SPELL CHECK!!! It also alluded to the birth of their child as the beginning of the end of their relationship. It's a piece of work, I want to type it out word for word on my blog but I'm worried someone from my family would find it. It was a doozy though.

jiveturkey said...

LOL - well, now I'm going to have to start a new blog written by Attitude Mary.

"OMG, y'all. WTF with this barn? No wireless? I'M SO SURE."

Nicole said...

I thought about you when I received a Christmas letter to end all Christmas letters (although it wasn't about blessings). It said no less than twelve times that the sender's children were "brilliant", "amazing artists", "super smart", and the like. I mean, of course we all think those things of our children (sometimes) but I think it's a touch obnoxious in a letter.

Mimi said...

Awww... that is a good one. What a sweet baby and mama.

The worst christmas letter I got this year was a very long description of this person's kids stomping in mud puddles on a rainy day. Like, a REALLY long description. I only made it to the end out of sheer disbelief that anyone would write that and send it to people.

Lindsay said...

Beautiful picture.

Nowheymama said...

I LOVE this picture.

Montgomery County said...

Mary also does not look like a white-bread middle-american Mary, so I'd give her extra points for that.

Lucy said...

Wow...I totally agree! There really aren't many Mary/Jesus pictures that look authentic, and this one really does! Very cool.

Mairzy said...

I love the fact that Mary isn't especially pretty, and Jesus is asleep in that passed-out newborn way, where they don't care if you kiss them, tickle their feet, or put sunglasses on them for laughs.

Emily said...

I appreciate that Mary isn't *blonde*!!! I am so sick of Christmas cards and Nativity scenes where Mary and Jesus were clearly flown in from Sweden for the occasion.

Margie said...

Good call! Best Mary and Jesus card I've seen too. My mom has a beautiful nativity with Mary holding a sleeping Jesus in her arms and reclining on Joseph's lap and it also gets touching realness points tho sounds cheesy typed out. Trust me on this one.

Also, Christmas card pet peeve (which I know many don't share): cards with absolutely no personal message. I'm not asking for more than a sentence even. Is that unreasonable?

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I thought of you every time I opened a card this year. I got a few where the word "blessed" was used at the start of every paragraph and I realized sometimes people use that word to make it sound like they aren't bragging. Um, hello, I can still tell. :)

I am emailing you one of my most favorite pieces of art I saw this year and it happens to be of Mary and baby Jesus. Just, yanno, because it kind of sort of relates.

Safire said...

I love this picture of Mary and Jesus and even Joseph. http://www.reparteegallery.com/pm-12075-159-the-nativity.aspx

or this one: http://www.reparteegallery.com/pm-10346-159-light-of-the-world.aspx

I got a card this year written by the husband who gushed over his kids AND his wife. Sticky sappy yuck.

Miz S said...

It's nice that you and your mom can shop for religious cards together and not get all prickly with each other.

Joanne said...

Ooh I like this one, for all the reasons you mentioned. I have a Mary and Jesus card that I love, it's this one: http://legaljustice4john.com/assets/paintingMotherChild-2.jpg
Why it's used in legal justice for kids ad, I'm not sure but there is a lot of crap on my scanner so it's easier. Even though the infant Jesus does not really look like an infant, they both look sort of tired and I love how He is holding her shirt. And they look alike!

Erin said...

This is like the time I went to a Christmas Music Extravaganza and there was an altar call at the end. I ran into Maya Angelou as we were both making a swift move toward the exit, no joke.

Sarah said...

Oh, Swistle, I'm going to have to email you this Christmas letter my mom received from a family of ten the other day. I'm afraid it's too mean to post on my own website, but I MUST share it with a fellow Snarky Christmas Letter Reader, or I will die. I laughed SO HARD Jim accused me of meanness, but whatevs. You read it and be the judge!
Um, and email me in the next few days to remind me if I get all New Year's Tipsy tonight and forget to send it (I have to steal it from mom's house first before I can send it to you!) Trust me, it's worth nagging for!