Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Lighthouse Christmas Card

Every year since about 1973, I've combed the stores for lighthouse themed Christmas cards. I love them, and they say "me" like no other holiday greeting. I was living in Maine in 1973 and had fallen hopelessly in love with lighthouses--their look, their histories, their stories. Maine has many pretty lighthouses to make a girl smitten with them! My favorite was Seguin Island Light, off the mouth of the Kennebec River. Jonathan took me out to the beach facing the lighthouse for picnics and walks and beachcombing. It was mesmerizing, with a hypnotic beam.

Sometimes, I found lighthouse Christmas cards in the Navy Exchange or Coast Guard Exchange, since USN and USCG members love them. Some years, I took pictures of lighthouses and mounted them on card paper, and then drew sprigs of holly, bells and ribbons, or Christmas trees to make them merry. Red Barn Studio in Rhode Island made some pretty ones in the 1980s; I bought them in the gift shop of Mystic Seaport Museum where I worked.

Everyone loves my lighthouse Christmas cards. One of of my sisters-in-law has a Christmas card contest every year, posting all of the cards she receives on her refrigerator along with an envelope for votes. I've won that contest a few times with my beautiful lighthouse cards! Nancy says the family never wonders who sends the lighthouse card every Christmas. They know it's me!

Today, lighthouse-themed Christmas cards are easy to find because lighthouses have become so popular. But back in the 1970s and 1980s, I had to do some serious searching to find them. After about 1990, I began receiving lighthouse Christmas cards from friends and fans, and today I have quite a large collection of them.This year, I decided to scan some of those pretty cards and post them on my author Facebook page day-by-day as a sort of fun Christmas countdown. (You'll find a link to my Facebook page on the right-hand menu.) I'm also posting images of real lighthouses dressed in lights and holiday trims for Christmas. Each year, more and more lighthouses are being dressed up in lights. The public loves this tradition.

Lighthouses are perfect Christmas symbols, infused as they are with the imagery of light and salvation that fits the season. In honor of the warmth and light this holiday, here's a selection of cards and dressed up lighthouses to enjoy--

Mukilteo Lighthouse, Washington, not far from my home.

One of two cards I sent this year.
A card from several years ago. Both this one, and the one above it, were offered by the National Geographic Society gift store.

A screwpile lighthouse decked out for the holidays, courtesy of artist Carol Dyer.

Bob Trapani, Ex. Dir. of the American Lighthouse Foundation, has this pretty lighthouse at Owls Head, Maine to admire out his office window! He and his wife AnnMarie do the decorating.

I have a number of tropical lighthouse Christmas cards. This one shows Florida's Jupiter Inlet wearing a wreath. No artist's name is listed. If anyone knows who did the watercolor, let me know.

A snowy scene of the little sentinel at Edgartown, Massachusetts captures it ready for the holidays. This is a photo from Dreamstime, which supplies me with photos for my articles and books.

This card is a beauty! The lacy white window cover opens up to reveal the scene at West Quoddy Head Lighthouse in Maine.
Here's Nauset Beach Light on Cape Cod. It was moved back from the sea a few years ago and is now a jewel in the Cape Cod National Seashore.

Cathy and Jan Emrick took this shot of the old, decommissioned Halfmoon Reef Lighthouse at Port Lavaca, Texas. I think it's now a museum.

My friend, photographer Tom Gill, snapped this pretty evening at Michigan City Lighthouse in Indiana. Tom is known for his winter photos of lighthouses.

 This has the look of a British Columbia lighthouses, maybe Race Rocks.

A Wysocki painting titled (I think), "A Present for the Lighthouse Keeper."

This is kind of modern and upbeat--one of several cards I'm sending this year.

Just plain pretty!

Enjoy the holiday season. Send me scans of your favorite lighthouse Christmas cards to

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