Archive for #giveafigcards

Peace & Joy for the Holidays

gaf-peacejoy16-smWe are very excited to present our new Give A Fig™ card for 2016—Peace & Joy for the holidays! It was so much fun to research this concept, sketch out our approach, and create the final artwork.

I started with the idea of a partridge in a pear tree but it’s always important to me to explore a fresh approach—one that’s unexpected and incorporates other ideas and symbols. There are many things going on in this little frosty scene than appears at first glance!

Many of you know the English Christmas carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” The song was published in 1780 but it’s thought to be a much older song of French origin. Some believe each cumulative gift represents aspects of Christianity and more specifically the Catholic faith. See Snopes:

Regardless of any secret meanings behind the lyrics, I’ve always loved the song and the imagery of a partridge in a pear tree. By the way, this is what a real partridge looks like! I also included four calling birds—the wee purple songbirds represent “joy.”

There are other meaningful symbols from pre-Christian celebrations at the Winter Solstice incorporated here. Many of these traditions were adopted by Christians in their celebrations of Christmas.

Deer and rabbits are shy animals. They’re widely hunted and need to hide to avoid becoming prey. In my artwork, they represent “peace.” It’s a quite, snowy day in an orchard, a pear has fallen from the tree and the birds are singing. A lovely stag with a jeweled collar sniffs the fallen fruit while a large, white hare admires the scene.

The hare wears a collar of holly sprigs. Along with the holly, I drew ivy growing on the tree, fir trees in the background, and small white berries to represent mistletoe. All of these plants had special meanings in ancient times, especially to the Druids of Celtic tribes. During the dark and barren days of winter, holly was prized for its green leaves and bright berries, signifying the green of growth and fertility and the red (or blood) of the renewal of springtime. The Romans used it in their winter celebrations known as the Saturnalia.

Ivy has the ability to bind all things together. It can wander freely, linking tree to tree and providing shelter. The image of fir trees, prevalent this time of year, has many meanings. In some countries, it was believed that evergreens kept evil out of the home—evil spirits and illnesses. For this reason, evergreen boughs were often cut down and hung over doorways and inside the home. The green branches represented everlasting life.

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant associated with healing. It was greatly venerated by the ancient Celts and Germans and used as a ceremonial plant by early Europeans. The Greeks and earlier peoples thought that it had mystical powers and down through the centuries it became associated with many folklore customs. From the earliest times mistletoe was one of the most magical, mysterious, and sacred plants of European folklore. It was considered to bestow life and fertility; a protection against poison; and an aphrodisiac.

Our Give A Fig™ holiday card for 2016 features a richly meaningful scene with birds and animals in the snow and a central pear tree. During this festive time of year, we wish everyone “Peace & Joy.” Please enjoy your time with family and friends, spend time outdoors in the beauty and tranquility of nature, and don’t forget to put out food for the birds and wildlife, and hug your beloved pet friends.

New Give A Fig Partners!

To Give A Fig™ means to care and we have many new partners who love our cards and Give A Fig™ too! See this link for a complete list of partners:

gaf-mushroom-smmushroom-capaKennett Square, Pennsylvania, is known as the mushroom capital of the world. A great store in town called “The Mushroom Cap,” has a variety of gifts, toys, and collectibles. Of course they also have a wide selection of fresh mushrooms including white, crimini, shiitake, oyster, portabello and more.  You can even see a video about how mushrooms are grown and harvested. They are thrilled to offer one of our newest Give A Fig™ card designs, “Thanks a bunch” featuring mushrooms, of course!

ellaa In Guilford, Connecticut, there’s a very special boutique named “Ella Where She Shops.” If you need a personal stylist or the perfect option for what to where around town or to a fancy event, this is the place to go. From cashmere to leather, silver to jeans, you can find essentials that fit any mood and style. And now this unique shop features Give A Fig™ cards! If you’re shopping for a gift or something for yourself, you can pick up our cards there for any occasion.

We love “Le Beau Gardens” in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. le-beaua You’ll find outstanding trees, shrubs, perennials, and flowers for planting, gardening, and gift-giving. They know there is something about flowers and plants that make them the most cherished gifts. But whether it is simply a spontaneous gesture of your appreciation or a special occasion like a birthday or holiday, the Gift & Holiday Shoppe also features lovely fine gifts to choose from including jewelry and now Give A Fig™ cards!

gaf-snowcard Celebrate the Season and visit these fine stores for your gifts and Give A Fig™ cards. I think you’ll love all these shops as much as we do. Check them out and let us know how much you like them too.