NASHVILLE -- Gov. Phil Bredesen this year is continuing a tradition of using his own artwork to personalize his annual Christmas greeting card.
This year's card features a white moonflower, which blooms in the summer during late afternoon or evening and is said to have an exotic scent.
On the card, the governor noted that his wife, Andrea Conte, "plants moonflower vines every year on her kitchen garden fence. The large white flowers unfold on summer evenings at dusk and in the darkness softly reflect the moonlight of our Tennessee skies."
The card also states, "May the peace and joy of this Christmas season remain with you and your loved ones throughout the coming year."
Bredesen spokeswoman Lydia Lenker said the governor began the practice of creating original artwork for the Christmas card during his tenure as Nashville mayor.
"He starts thinking about the piece in the late fall, then works in his spare time," she said. "He usually completes it in early December, just in time for printing and sending."
Gov. Bredesen has mailed about 10,000 cards, Ms. Lenker said. No state tax dollars are involved, she noted.
Many politicians are sending out cards or similar greetings this time of year.
For example, U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., a Chattanooga congressman running for governor in 2010, released a video of himself and his wife, Kim, standing in front of a fireplace as a piano plays "Away in a Manger."
"While the Wamp family looks forward to 2010 with great anticipation, we're just slowing down right now to enjoy the special season of faith, family, good food," Rep. Wamp says in the video as his children, Weston and Coty, join the couple.
"There's nothing like a Tennessee Christmas," the congressman says. "So from the Wamp family, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year."