Frank-Joseph is an illustrator and designer living in Manhattan. Find his fabulous hand-printed dinosaur Christmas cards in his Etsy shop.
Here are his notes on a handmade holiday:
A popsicle stick snowflake, smeared with white tempera paint and splattered with glitter was the first ornament I presented to my mother during preschool. As early as I can remember, our family’s Christmas tree has always been an eclectic hodgepodge of memories and handmade bling.
Like a magpie, I was attracted to shiny objects. Tin foil stars, and silver jingle bells with red ribbon joined the collection of holiday zhush. Another year, I gifted styrofoam ball ornaments, that had been decorated with metalic fabric slivers and bedazzled with sequins, held together by straight pins.
As my dexterity progressed, so did the complexity of my ornaments.
Bakable clay candy canes, painted white and red soon latched to boughs. Ornate ceramic gingerbread men, painted and glazed from an autumn art class quickly followed.
Every holiday season, I look forward to helping my mother dig past the boxes in the attic labeled “FJ’s College Stuff” and bringing down the box labeled “Christmas Decorations.” The day spent dressing the crooked tree, always cut from the forest behind our house, is filled with laughter, spiked eggnog, and family memories.
While I won’t be able to share her Christmas tree forever, I am looking forward to the day when a pudgy hand hands me his own glittered snowflake.