At Christmas, most of my friends and family understand that I don't like having too much stuff. Flags and cacti are usually a safe bet. But every once in awhile someone will buy me one of those odd "designer-like" objects like an over-designed corkscrew. A few years ago, my friend Jan Fleming gave me one of my favorite gifts ever, the Deer Crest card catalogue.
I keep it out all year long because I love the cover so much. The inside has multiple pages with individual cards that can be ordered in bulk. I imagine this is what someone did in 1960; go to Montgomery Ward, sit with a salesperson, and go through the catalogue, "Oh yes, that card with the evil Satan Santa will be lovely this year. I'll order 200 please."
I would never be able to choose one. There are too many wonderful cards. The script on the interior of the cards is incredible. Each card has a special technique, such as lots of real gold stars pasted down to make a Christmas Tree, plastic jewels, or acetate overlays. I don't understand some of them. I mistook the ones with baby angels as dead babies. Santa Claus seems a little scary in some, especially the terrifying demon Jack in the Box.
It's incredible how denominational it is. There are no Hanukkah cards. There is nothing neutral such as a Happy New Year card or snowy scene that simply reads "Happy Holidays". The catalogue is clear, "It's Christmas, bitches!"