Holiday PostCards

christmas

This year I wanted to make more personalized cards for everyone and save a bit of cash in postage.  The logical conclusion was designing my own postcards! At 33 cents each to mail out postcards are great for penny pinchers.

The first step was to design the postcard.

I wanted to incorporate a quote by American writer Adela Rogers St. Johns because it is Christmas-y and uses my last name – Joy.

Using Paint.NET  I layered snowflakes with an antique paper texture.  Used glitter text for the quote and tada finito!
It is important when designing to use the correct size in making the postcards.  Regular sized postcards cannot exceed 6 by 4.25 inches or else you will have to pay greater postage.

The reverse side included my return address and space to write out the recipient’s address.  The Post Office asks that you include the words POST CARD just in case no one at the office can figure that out. Continue reading

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Christmas for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

For twenty years The Little North Pole in Rockaway, NYC celebrated with Santa, presents, music, and the most spectacular Christmas lights display this side of the East River.  There’s a carousel, rotating figurines, and greater than life-size dancing animatronics all in one backyard.

Every year this party and the lasting December display raises money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and local hospitals.  Past years have been known to raise as much as $175,000.  In addition to the good work The Little North Pole does supporting research to cure and treat juvenile diabetes, it also unites the community in a time when Rockaway is still rebuilding after hurricane Sandy.

If you live in the Rockaways you know the extent to which this celebration has become essential to the community’s holiday traditions.  Please spare some time and check out the  Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Christmas Trees of DC

Washington DC is beautiful during the winter. There are wonderful decorations, diverse celebrations, and snow covered marble everywhere you look. New York can get dreary in the winter with grey snow and too many tourists but DC gains a magical quality.

Here is my celebration of our nation’s capitol with my favorite holiday trees of the city.

My favorite DC Christmas Tree is the Norway Friendship Tree

My favorite DC Christmas Tree is the Norway Friendship Tree.
A gigantic Tree is given to the United States every year from our northern pals in Norway as a thank you for our help in WWII and after. The tree comes decked out in Norwegian and American flags and is set up in Union Station.

The Norway Christmas Tree came complete this year with The Scream ornaments

The Norway Christmas Tree came complete this year with The Scream ornaments

Next up is the classic Capitol Christmas Tree.
Also known as The People’s Tree, it is decorated with handmade ornaments from the residents of a particular state. Mostly children take part in creating the 5,000 individual ornaments which adorn the tree but here and there you can see the touches of local artists and adults. In these pictures you can see the purple and pink ribbons covered with loved one’s names.

The National and State Christmas trees are celebrated with the National Christmas Tree Lighting.
I arrived a day too early but just in time to be blocked by the event set-up from enjoying the trees.  Each tree is uniquely decorated with  state specific ornaments. This year, the New York tree was decorated with our state bird, the Eastern Bluebird. I got to hear the bands preparing for the Tree Lighting Concert but was confused when they started up with Crazy Train – Ozzy wasn’t invited!

Obligatory photo of The White House. These kids were part of a school group admiring the president’s decorations from afar.

Kids gawking at the White House Christmas decorations

Kids gawking at the White House.

And finally, not a Christmas Tree but a very pretty and very old one that I’m going to call the Love Tree.

I love this tree. Right outside the Capitol Building

I love this tree. Right outside the Capitol Building.

It was one of those occasions when juvenile graffiti comes off as romantic.  And the thick trunk covered in carvings of infatuation and forever commitments was in various stages of healing.  I’m sure most of these relationships did not last as long as their public declarations did.  But maybe there’s still a couple out there who hacked their initials into the tree decades ago.

I dubbed it the Love Tree

I dubbed it the Love Tree.

Thus ends this short collection of Washington DC Christmas (and not too Christmas) Trees.  If you ever get a chance go and visit the capital when they’re calling for snow.