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© Joan Currie. My watercolor birds as gift tags.

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day.
Don’t clean it up too quickly.
Andy Rooney

When you are finally cleaning up the mess of ribbons and wrapping paper, be sure to save some of the gift tags. I treasure the ones I have collected since I was a child. My mother loved to use the front of beautiful note cards with images of winter such as those by Cornelius Kriegoff, A. J. Casson, and Roy McMurtry. She had beautiful penmanship and always wrote a sweet note to go along with the present. I especially love the gift tags given to me from my daughters – their early attempts at printing “Mommy” and their names are delightful!

Last year my gift tag theme was Christmas trees, but this year I decided to go with birds. I hope one of my children continues my tradition of not only saving the tags but of creating them as well.