Most of us have never been presented with a holiday season like this one in our lifetimes. At a moment when we especially long to come together with those we love, that’s far less feasible to do given safety, travel, and financial concerns. This year, there is an exceptionally large number of families with members who have passed on, moved away, and/or suffered steep income reductions — all against the backdrop of an unrelenting global pandemic and divisive political climate — casting a shadow of grief and loss over what would otherwise be a festive time.
Despite these crises, we can all come up with things to be grateful for and people who make life easier to bear, and we can let those people know how much they mean to us. Without the ability to participate in the kinds of celebrations and gift-giving that preceded 2020, we can use cards and letters to make our presence and gratitude felt in the lives of the people we care about. This may be the year to consider sending a Thanksgiving card if you haven’t before. The card could even be generally autumn-themed without referring directly to any particular holiday.
A distinctive producer of autumn-themed cards is Quilling Card, whose creations exemplify the art of paper quilling, in which individual strips of colored paper are rolled, shaped, and glued together to form a cohesive design. (The cardmaker’s website includes information about the history of quilling.) This card style lends itself especially well to fall motifs such as the “Squirrel,” “Autumn Tree,” “Autumn Leaves,” and “Floral Cornucopia” designs above…each of these Fair Trade cards is an art piece in its own right. Quilling Card even offers a unique product line of Braille greetings which, together with the rich 3-D texture of images across all its cards, makes them accessible to people with little to no eyesight. Quilling Card’s Braille selections include at least one option for virtually every occasion, serving as a great example of inclusive design in action.
If you usually celebrate Thanksgiving with someone you can’t join in person this year, can you send a card or letter to let them know you’ll be with them in spirit? As you write, try to capture the feeling of being together that you look forward to, and how you might honor them in your thoughts or in small acts over the coming weeks. Has someone come into your life more recently who has lifted your spirits during this tough time? Tell them about the difference they made for you.
Sharing these reflections offers a powerful gift in a deceptively small and inexpensive package for both the recipient and you as you find creative ways to sustain your connection.