Since this is my first November blogging, I thought I'd share a few holiday projects from previous years, specifically - the Christmas gift CD.
A few years ago I burned and designed a music collection as a hostess gift for a friend's Christmas party. The cover was fashioned after a greeting card. I like its simple clean typography. It was so well received that I decided to duplicate it as my version of a handmade gift for family.
Where Christmas music is concerned I'm pretty picky, kind of a new-traditionalist, I'd say. I start out the season listening to upbeat, festive, more secular tunes and as the weeks pass, nearing Christmas, I shift into a more instrumental, peaceful listening mode. Selections on this CD reflect the former, with a variety of classic (but not trite) favorites, including: Bing & Bowie, Chuck Brown, Kay Starr, Ray Charles, Billie Holiday, and the Benny Goodman Orchestra.
That was the seed of a three-year tradition.
The next year the design was my own. A piece of vintage stock art in a halftone on the cover, and full-color on the CD itself, became the framework for other elements ...
... with some silly Garrison Kielor jokes inside.
A range of songs from Spider Saloff, Nancy Wilson, Jo Stafford, Carly Simon, and Harry Connick, Jr. and more are included here. They are, again, of the festive Christmas-party nature.
By the third year my family was anticipating the CDs. This time, I decidedly compiled a more spiritual version, reflective of how I was feeling at the time, focused on the true joy of the Christmas season.
I used paintings from one of my favorite artists, Paul Klee, which although I don't believe they were specifically intended to represent Christmas, from my interpretation they really fit. They just have the right feeling.
The music on this disk includes guitar soloist, Doug Smith (so good) Jewel, Bruce Cockburn, Amy Grant, Chris Isaak, and John Denver.
It's been a couple of years now since I did one of these, but if I can settle on song selections worth sharing this year, I may resume the project. I know CDs aren't as versatile or contemporary as MP3s, but at the holidays the festive packaging is like a 3D Christmas card. I didn't sell them (just gifted to family) so there wasn't a concern with copyright infringement, but that is something to consider, of course.
These are great little easy gifts to make (and super fun to receive) and I like that they appeal to the visual, tactile and auditory senses. Hmmm ... add a scent in there and then I've really got something.
Watch for some of the tracks in my holiday play list (right sidebar) starting the day after Thanksgiving. See ... a traditionalist.
Edited to add: To make these (especiallly in quantity) it does take quite a bit of time with the exacto. There are templates out there for jewel cases, but I just measured my own and cut from 8 x 11 photo paper. If there is any interest I can probably dig up a PDF template. The effort is all worth it to show up at Thanksgiving dinner with a pretty basket full of these to give to everyone. They'll want to listen all through December. The glossy CD labels give it a professional polish.