By Bonny Van

The Catholic Commentator 

In early October, on a sunny day with temperatures in south Louisiana regularly hitting 90 degrees and higher, seventh-grade students in Jane Boudreaux’s art class were working on Christmas cards. The design behind each piece of art was aimed at one thing, the annual Christmas card contest of the Catholic Schools Office.  


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From left, Takia Wesley, Lauren Glaser and Anna Catherine Bradford use their imaginations to create festive artwork for the CSO Christmas card contest. Photos by Bonny Van | The Catholic Commentator


“If you need to add to the first one, you can add,” she said as students walked into class and gathered paper and markers to sit down to work. “Art is never completely done.” 

Boudreaux, a teacher at St. John Interparochial School in Plaquemine, said her eighth-grade students had finished their entries. But, her seventh-grade students were putting the final touches on their work, some of which took cues from the warm weather and holiday decor dotting lawns near the school.  

“Okay, ‘wow me,’ guys! I want to see something fantastic!” Boudreaux instructed the students. “Remember, think outside the box. We’re trying not to be so commercial. Remember the reason for the season but when you do the picture, zoom in, make it interesting. Don’t do this major drawing where they have to walk up and figure out what your drawing is. Keep it simple.”  

Anna Claire Campbell said she kept her picture simple with pillar candles, greenery and red berries with “Joy” written on one of the candles.  

“It’s just very simple and it captures how beautiful the Christmas season is,” she said.  

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Seth Thibodeaux looks on as Wyatt Taylor works on an entry for the Christmas card contest.  


Seventh-grader Anna Catherine Bradford drew a picture of Jesus as a baby in the manger with words from a popular Christmas song.  

“I said ‘Boy to the World’ instead of ‘Joy to the World’ to show that our Savior was just born.” said Anna Catherine Bradford.  

Lauren Glaser kept her drawing simple, with an angel, lights and “Merry Christmas,” while Clayshia Dunbar let her imagination take over. </span id=”11″>

“I didn’t want to draw nothing plain and simple, so I just drew everything in my head from Christmas,” said Dunbar.  

Students Takia Wesley, Chloe Markins and Eleyna Hanks also created artwork that reflected their memories of Christmas. 

“I drew a picture of a tree and presents around it and I kind of wanted to draw this, like, looking outside a window and I have Santa and the reindeer up here and some Christmas lights,” said Wesley.  

“My drawing is a bunch of Christmas ornaments on the branches showing different memories I have like unwrapping presents,” said Markins.  

“I drew a house with Santa on the roof with his reindeer and I put windows on it, and in the window is the Christmas tree with the presents and a fireplace with stockings,” said Hanks.  

Anna Claire Campbell, a seventh-grader at St. John Interparochial School in Plaquemine, makes the final touches on her artwork for the Catholic Schools Office Christmas card contest.  


Some students focused on Christmas goodies, like Carson Patin who drew a gingerbread house with candy drops on the road while Emily Burleigh depicted Santa holding a plate of cookies with hot chocolate on it.  

A couple of students were influenced by the current holiday season and incorporated that into their drawings.  

“I decided that since Christmas is near Halloween I was going to mix them, so I did a skeleton as Santa,” said Wyatt Taylor.  

“Mine is ‘It’s Starting to Look Like Christmas’ and one side is all spring with the sun out and the tree has all its leaves and butterflies flying around and on the second part, it’s Santa on the roof with the smoke coming out of the chimney and the tree lost all its leaves,” said Emma Perry.  

Boudreaux said she makes an effort to get her students involved in art contests as much as possible.  

“I try to do every opportunity when one comes around, depending on what we’re working on,” she said. “Sometimes we’re working on a project and we can’t get to it, but I do try to make it happen. I feel like some of the students probably wouldn’t do it on their own so this is art (class), so they should be doing it in art (class), especially the older grades for scholarships.”  

She also said the rewards for art contests are less important than the accomplishment.  

“It’s about recognition. Some of them get their pictures framed and put in businesses. Some of them may win a certificate to a restaurant or a ribbon. Collect those ribbons! That’s your self-satisfaction. You don’t have to have the almighty dollar,” she said. “This is to make sure that you do your best and what can happen if you do your best, because there is always something else coming around.”  

A presentation for the winner will be the first week of December.