Add to the list of COVID-19-related disruptions

Special greetings won’t only be delivered by the post office this year.  Bigger-than- life holiday cards could be on your block.

After a hiatus, the Holiday Yard Card program sponsored by the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District returned this year at the suggestion of a resident. More than three dozen people took advantage of the program.

Kathleen Prado of Homewood works on a yard card. (Provided photo)

To make a yard card, participants first selected a holiday greeting card. They brought the card from home to the H-F Ice Arena where staff helped them decorate. Using a projector that enlarged the card, they traced the picture or message on to a 4-by-4 foot board. The board had a coat of primer and stakes to keep the card secure in the ground. Or, participants took the option to have a park district staff member trace the card. With the tracing done, they took the board home and painted in the picture. 

A few families chose to have a parks staffer create a card for them.

“We haven’t had any duplicates,” said Stephanie Simpson, parks superintendent of recreation who is overseeing the program. “Some picked funny cards. One used all words that formed a holiday tree.”

Simpson said in years past, yard card decorators had to set time aside in their schedules to come to a location to paint the cards. Giving participants the ability to take it home and decorate at their leisure seemed to appeal to people.

One resident made two cards — one seasonal and one with a message of love. Seeing that, Simpson had a thought: families could flip the cards over after the holidays and paint special messages for Valentine’s Day on the reverse side.

Park district staff will create a map with addresses of yard cards to put a spotlight the art work and help residents locate the holiday decorations. 

Homeowners who intend to display their yard cards created in previous sessions this holiday season are asked to call the park district office at 708-957-0300 to be included on the map.

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