When people ask me which of our holiday cards is my favorite, I usually say that this is the one. I’m not sure if it’s nostalgia for our newborn son’s first Christmas or if it’s the fact that I was finally able to invent the rotating mechanism that drives the “electric” train as the card is opened – but I do like this one. I attempted this idea and shelved it at least twice before. I was really underwhelmed at how traditional methods I was trying could only move the train around in an arc at best. I needed it to travel 360° or as close as was possible. You don’t really buy in to the levitation illusion in a magic show until the magician passes that ring completely around the floating assistant to prove that she is not being suspended by wires or by some other predictable support and that’s what was on my mind. So I scrapped the concept for a few years but as soon as we had our little boy, I vowed to finally come up with a way to make cool toy train in paper that traveled around him in a circle near a Christmas tree. That just seemed like too fun an opportunity to miss. I spent a lot of time sourcing materials, experimenting with techniques, and ultimately making custom parts but I finally got it working very smoothly and reliably. Luckily for me, we only make about 100 of these so I didn’t have to make too many supplies. The line inside the card that says “waiting is overrated” has a double meaning too. It continues the narrative from the cover image (where my son and I find & open a gift ahead of time) but it also expresses how my wife and I were married for many years before finally having a child. In any case, I’m glad I waited to get it right.


Animated Toy Train Christmas Card
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