About the Photo
This Halloween, we dressed up as characters from Narnia, specifically from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. (Ironically, the title does not include an “Oxford Comma.”) Carrie was Mrs. Beaver, Fia was Susan, Cai was Peter, Xander was Edmund (complete with heavy eyebrows), Ezra got to be Jada, Mae got to be Lucy (complete with Aslan), and I was Mister Tumnus – sometimes with a bodysuit, sometimes without one.
As we trick or treated with our kids, I was SWEATING – even without a shirt on – and I remembered my Halloweens as a kid where my mom had to make sure my costume could be adjusted to fit over a snowsuit.
As I was deciding what we’d do for our Christmas card, I realized that I was sitting outside in November and sweating for no good reason, and thought of “my” character’s statement that – under the rule of Jadis, the White Witch – it was “always winter, but never Christmas.” In Orlando it is never really winter, but we get to celebrate Christmas nonetheless.
About the Design
The front of the card was intended to reference to the 1994 Harper Collins versions of the Chronicles of Narnia, with the Bernhard Modern typeface and the horizontal rule and “golden frame” elements.
The back uses Pauline Baynes’ classic illustration of the lampstand.
“It seems, then,” said Tirian, smiling himself, “that the stable seen from within and the stable seen from without are two different places.”The Last Battle
“Yes,” said the Lord Digory. “It’s inside is bigger than its outside.”
“Yes,” said Queen Lucy. “In our world too, a stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world.”
The quote is from the last book of the Chronicles of Narnia, where the last king of Narnia is forced into a stable to escape the attacks of their invading enemies. This stable is supposed to be housing the presence of the invading enemies’ terrible diety, but they find Aslan there instead – apparently welcoming them to Aslan’s Country (often a picture of heaven) instead of a small stable filled with death.
(I’ve often wondered if Dr. Who’s TARDIS is influenced by the line about it being “bigger than its outside” here.)
Throughout the Chronicles of Narnia, Aslan is a kind of figure of Jesus Christ in a land of sentient animals; and there are a few places where Lewis makes his narrative connection crystal clear – here is one of them. It felt fitting – in this era of strife, depression, despair, and fear in the world around us – to be reminded of the Person and place of hope where it might always be a kind of Christmas but never winter. (Unless you like that kind of thing. ????)
Merry Christmas from all of us!
Merry Christmas to all the Whelpley’s in Florida. I was just thinking about you this morning. Wonder what you are all doing? I love your Christmas card. The kids are all getting so big. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and many blessings in 2023. Hugs & Love.
It is definitely a one of a kind Chrsitamas card!! As you know, if you come up our way it seems like it is always Winter but only actually only Christmas one day! Blessings on all your Narnia gang—Pastor Rick