During the holidays, there is so much to see: the lights, trees, and everyone dressed in their sparkly best. Then if it snows, it’s a whole new beautiful world. Artists have long tried to convey the Christmas spirit. From early renaissance paintings of the Nativity scene to contemporary artists, they are inspired by the season.

One of my favorite parts of the Holiday season is all the cards. As a child, I was couldn’t get enough of them. I loved looking at all the beautiful art on each card. Every year in my family, we tape all the Christmas cards we receive on and around the coat closet door. That way, we and everyone else that visits can see them every day. It always feels like our very own art exhibit. Many artists make a living creating art for Christmas cards. A few famous artists have even done them.

“Christmas Card” by Salvador Dali

Back in 1960, Salado Dali made a series of 19 Christmas cards. They were surrealist and veered away from traditional cards, and had a more American and Central European influence. Though very different from what people were used to, they were still recognizable as Christmas cards. I personally love the butterfly atop the tree.

“Fairy and Christmas Ornaments” by Andy Warhol

Before Andy Warhol was famous for his Soup cans, he made blotted line cards in the 1950s.

“Christmas Eve” by Matisse

Christmas Eve by Matisse was originally planned for a stained glass window that was never made. Matisse said of his art, “I would like to accomplish that people who are tired, strained, broken may find rest and pArteace in my paintings.” Looking at this painting, I feel he accomplished that for Christmas time or anytime.

So watch for the cards that come to your door this year. You just might see the next famous artist. Find a place to display them and have your own art exhibit. Better yet, find inspiration from the artists I’ve shared (or the cards you receive) and make some cards and art of your own!