A Whistle that Touches My Heart: Kelly Burkart

December 14, 2017

Name: Kelly Burkart

Home: Apple Valley, MN

Job: Web writer and consultant

Kelly’s Whistle: Handmade Christmas Cards

How I Know Kelly: In 1994, I worked for U.S. Representative Rod Grams (R-MN). Kelly was an intern in our Washington, DC office.

Whistle in Action: Come into the Ullman kitchen in the month of December, and you’ll see lots of Christmas and holiday cards attached to festive ribbons hanging in front of the windows overlooking our backyard. They are a reminder of the importance of the season and the love of family and friends. I appreciate them all, but amidst all the representations of the Madonna, snowflakes, baby Jesus, and freshly-scrubbed smiling kids, you’ll find a card that particularly warms my heart. For as long as I can remember, Kelly Burkart has sent us a handmade Christmas card. It’s the only one constructed piece-by-piece, using stamps, hand-cut paper, and glue-on embellishments. It’s the card I most look forward to each year. Our mutual exchange of Christmas cards with enclosed holiday family letters has been our only means of communication for nearly twenty years, until I called her recently. It was nice to hear her sweet Minnesota lilt after all those years. She told me, “I’ve always loved crafts, and making cards has been a great hobby because there’s a tangible result that makes other people happy.” Every year she makes about 100 Christmas cards, and we are happy beneficiaries of her handmade gift.

(Find this and other stories in my new book Find Your Whistle: Simple Gifts Touch Hearts & Change Lives.)