Trips-montage Christmas card

This item appears on page 53 of the November 2013 issue.

I love to travel, making four or five trips a year. Each year for my Christmas cards, rather than listing the names of places I visited, I create a montage of photographs I took in these places. I then write a personal message on the back and identify the scenes.

Mr. Shart's Christmas cards

How can you explain the beauty of Rio, which I visited seven times? Or the fishermen’s homes in Burano, in the Venetian Lagoon, all painted in different colors? Or a modern building sitting next to a Merlion, the symbol of Singapore? A picture is worth a thousand words.

These cards are sure to be better than the usual “Betty made cheerleader; Hubert, Jr., hit a home run in little league, and we went to visit cousin Betty in Albany and planted 100 bulbs in her garden.”

I’m a dinosaur. I still use a 35mm camera and film, so I can’t tell about computer transfers, etc., but this is what I do. 

I create the montage on the back of an unwanted 4"x6" photo. When the pictures of a trip come back, I select a photo, cut out an interesting portion of it and glue it into the space I’ve blocked out for that trip. I also paste on a handwritten caption or cut one from a travel magazine.

By November, the mock-up is finished. I take this to one of the photo stores or drugstores that allow you to insert a family picture into a Christmas card and have multiple copies printed. I pick out the card greeting into which a reduced-size version of my montage will be inserted.

When I get back the finished product, it’s a 4"x8" card with the greeting and my montage. I usually need 50 of them, which are sold in 20s and 10s. On the back of each card, I then rewrite information about the pictures along with some special message to the recipient.

Each year, my friends say they look forward to the card so they can see the places I mention.


Tamarac, FL