It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and there's a unique way for Blue Jackets fans to get into the spirit of the holiday season.
Back by popular demand, holiday cards painted by Blue Jackets players as well as Stinger are for sale. With proceeds benefitting the Lady Jackets' charitable initiatives as well as the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation, the limited edition cards are currently back on sale for a limited time online and still available during games at the CBJ Foundation gameday kiosk in Nationwide Arena.
And lest you think the Jackets phoned in their efforts with the paintbrushes in hand, you'll be surprised.
"We want to put out something that is nice, obviously," Seth Jones said. "Once we get our mind on something, we want to make sure it looks good. That's just who we are. We are probably a little bit competitive as to who has the best one, but it's nice to get in the Christmas spirit a little bit."
PHOTO GALLERIES: Player Card Set 1 | Player Card Set 2
When the team gathered in late October to do the actual painting, it was clear the job was being taken seriously by most. Of particular note was the scene of a Christmas tree painstakingly painted by Joonas Korpisalo as well as the cartoon moose by Boone Jenner, each of which was painted with the kind of care you'd see out of a professional artist.
But from top to bottom, it was clear the Blue Jackets had fun with the art project, with some spending close to an hour on their paintings.
"I think last year we were a bit shell-shocked when they told us we have to do this," Scott Harrington said. "I think the guys have really improved this year. It's a lot harder than it looks. There's a couple that you'd see in stores on a card.
"I know a lot of money was raised last year, so I'm hoping a little more might be raised this year since the painting is a little nicer."
Each 12-card set is available for $25, and the original paintings by the players will be available via auction mid-December with further details to be announced.
Felicia Weeren, the girlfriend of Alexander Wennberg who helped put together the card painting event through the Lady Jackets, said that some fans brought the holiday cards with them to autograph signings over the past year, showing the excitement fans have for this unique opportunity.
"Last year was such a success," she said. "We sold so many cards, and the fans were really excited about it. It's nice to see that the fans embraced it. That's why we wanted to do it again. Now we expanded it, so it's really amazing. More of the guys are putting time into it. We hope the fans are as excited this year."
For more holiday initiatives featuring the Blue Jackets, click here.