The 12 Days of Christmas (Kelly’s Version): Part 2 of 2

Coincidentally, 30 is the average temperature (in Fahrenheit) of the Adélie penguin’s habitat along the Antarctic coast. And conveniently for my purposes, they’re (indirectly) named after a woman named Adèle!
This would make an apt gift tag if, say, you’re giving someone a scarf to replace the one they left at their ex-boyfriend’s sister’s house and their ex-boyfriend never gave it back.

I mentioned in Part 1 that, for a wide variety of reasons, the House of Brouse’s 2020 holiday cards were sent out … late.

“Late” in this context meaning–


Or, you know, August.

So when it came time to consider creating and sending holiday cards for 2021…

I could not imagine doing it.

I just could not.

Traditionally, when I send out holiday cards to friends and family, I enclose a tag related to the card design. They’re intended to be used as ‘to/from’ tags for last-minute gifts, or to be pinned to a bulletin board for some visual cheer.

But over the years, a few people have told me they hang their tags on their Christmas trees.

So, I thought, in lieu of sending cards, I’d make a couple of small drawings that people could print out on heavy paper and use however they saw fit. (Two new music releases seemed ideal for adaptation to winter holidays.) I even got them done in plenty of time!

Then: December.

Whenever I have a day in which things go wrong — an order gets messed up, maybe, or a common product I need is not available despite trips to many stores, minor things which collectively put a major damper on the day — I have a standard assessment: “Well, this has been a stupid day.”

December has been a stupid month.

In the past few weeks, we’ve had car trouble, leading to lack of transportation on critical days; unexpected trips to urgent care, overnight trips to the overwhelmed emergency room (not COVID-19 or cardiac related, we’re fine). There were also genuinely minor yet profoundly stupid things which nonetheless took up ridiculous amounts of time: for example, dropping a bottle of prescription medication; the lid popped off and pills rolled everywhere and had to be rounded up, which took forever. Simultaneously, ArchieCat somehow managed to get an enormous blob of peanut butter on himself, which had to be washed off.

All of this happening in the space of two-and-a-half weeks just before Christmas left us exhausted, which I realize sounds like insufferable whining.

So … this blog post is late, and it’s probably past the time when people can use these drawings for ‘to/from’ tags, or put them on the tree.

But it occurs to me belatedly that the albums I parodied each tell stories of overcoming obstacles — heartbreak and divorce, losing your creative voice, yet reclaiming it.

And it also occurs to me that Christmas lasts for twelve days.

So here’s my gift to you. Print out these illustrations and use them as you like; the only thing I ask is that you don’t alter the images, and that you don’t cut off my signature/copyright notice.

Happy Christmas — all twelve days of it. May all your troubles be miles away. Reclaim your voice. Don’t forget your scarf when you leave your boyfriend’s sister’s house. Adopt an Adélie penguin.

And for heaven’s sake, keep your pets out of the peanut butter.

If you enjoy my work, please consider donating via Ko-fi. Gifts in any amount help me continue to make comics and illustrations!

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