2021 Exum Family Christmas Card

Christmas Tree in Roaring Gap

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 

By Molly Exum

Feeling a little nostalgic like many of us do this time of year as I look back at Christmases past and remember the excitement of Christmas mornings with little ones, cherished traditions that live on and ones we’ve had to let go, loved ones we’ve lost and the many blessings of each Christmas Season. I’ve loved every minute of every stage of our children’s lives and remaking our 2008 Christmas Card was not just a reminder of all the precious memories behind us but also a joyful glimpse into the next stage of our lives with adult children—a reminder to live in the present with open hearts and open minds as we make new memories and new traditions. Bella and Sawyer were barely 6 & 4 years old the first time we bought a tree on a lot and drove it to the Blue Ridge Parkway where we then hiked it to the top of a mountain to make it look like we cut the tree down in the mountains all for a Christmas card photo. They are now 20 & 18 years old and a lot has changed. A few things remain the same though—they still go along with our crazy ideas, they still think we’re crazy and none of us would have it any other way.

May your Christmas Season be filled with joyful memories, old & new,
Molly, Steve, Bella & Sawyer Murphy & Cooper


Original photograph by Joey Seawell shot in December 2008 when Bella was 4 and Sawyer was 6 near Roaring Gap at Doughton Park off the Blue Ridge Parkway.


Molly Exum – Copy Writer, Tree Carrier
Steve Exum – Tree Carrier w/Axe
Sawyer Exum – Walker 
Bella Exum – Walker 
Murphy Exum – Runner 
Cooper Exum – Runner 
 Joey Seawell – Photographer
Rodney Hogan – Card Designer 
 Llorenҫ Fernández Güell – Assistant in Spirit

Murphy has been with us for nearly 13 years and always a super active dog. In late August he was diagnosed with nasal cancer and the tumor has taken it s toll. It’s Christmas Day and as we write this email he is still with us thankfully. Getting Murphy to our shooting location on a mountain top off the Blue Ridge Parkway required the little blue wagon on loan from our neighbor. (Thank you Lori Frank, and all our neighbors that offered their wagons when we were in need: Joel and Dana Martin, John Falker, Andrea Saurage and Mitch & Denise Jacob)


Many, many thanks to Joey Seawell for not only taking the original photo but for coming back for the redo 14 years later. Thank you for your continued support and friendship. We hope you enjoy the Exum Family Christmas card and keep a check on our website and blog in the coming year.