And a Gift

Now that Christmas has passed, let me tell you a story about my silver ampersand new year’s cards for my colleagues.

First, the Ampersand

Let’s start with a little bit of background. I have a really awesome letterpress printer in Denver who did my business cards many moons ago. (Everyone, say hello to Jason, aka Genghis Kern.) A while back, he posted a picture of an ampersand, and I just fell in love with it. Beautiful curves. So I came up with a theme for my new year’s cards using that as the main design element. Because what could be a more perfect celebration of collaboration than an ampersand?

I came up with the text to write inside, referencing how you & I collaborate on writing & editing, content & strategy. And the “and” reminded me of what I’ve heard of improv classes, how you make use of the “yes, and” strategy. I thought that was a good message for business. Yes, we’ve done well together, and I hope that our collaboration continues.

Jason printed these gorgeous cards using my leftover business card stock, a silver ampersand, and shimmering silver envelopes with my return address and logo pressed into the flap. Just look at how lovely they are!


And I started writing out the message inside the card. I have pretty decent handwriting, but it was only after I started that I realized the flaw in my plan: I draw ampersands that look like a preschooler learning how to hold a pencil.

Kids, don’t try this at home.

But I’ve muddled through and done my best to make it legible. Let’s hope that my clients — many of whom speak English as a second or third language — can understand the meaning of that scribble in the middle of the sentence. Maybe next year I’ll stick with something more traditional as my message.

Next, the Gift

Many of my clients are in regulated industries, and are therefore limited in their ability to accept gifts from vendors. So this year, in the spirit of giving, I’ve decided to make a donation to a healthcare-related charity to honor the wonderful people that I’ve been working with, many of whom are in healthcare and healthcare IT-related industries.


Let’s hope that 2017 is a year where the services of organizations like Doctors Without Borders are less necessary. It doesn’t look like that will be the case, but I’d like to cling to my dream.

What have you done for your clients and colleagues this holiday season?

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