When you think of things that are "pure Michigan" there are several things that might spring to mind. Thinks like cereal, Vernors, lots of snow, and many others.

Keeping that in mind, a kid, who recently moved to Michigan from L.A. with his family, may have just created a holiday card that perfectly captures "Michigan".

Or...did he?

Take a look at the card below created by a young man named Elliott:

Via Adam Emperor Southard
Via Adam Emperor Southard
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Let's go over what we do see in the picture:

  • Faygo
  • A can of Vernors
  • A dishtowel with the state of Michigan that reads, "Home."
  • Hudsonville Ice Cream. Specifically, the Mackinac Island Fudge flavor.
  • Detroit Bold Coffee
  • A vase with what looks like cherries
  • And, of course, what looks like snowy outdoor conditions
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That looks pretty good, right? But, as it usually goes, Michiganders pointed out a few things missing. With over 200 comments, here are a few of the highlights:

U/nerdorama88 wrote: Better Made potato chips, swap the orange pop for rock and rye, Superman ice cream, Detroit style pizza, Pasty, Paczki, and a Coney dog should do. Go Green!

U/DifficultSelf147 said: Saunders bumpy cake or chocolate sauce for ice cream. I’m a Downey’s guy myself. Large hani deluxe with chili cheese fries on the side. (This would be such a weird sentence for anyone outside of Michigan to read.)

U/Dog1andDog2andMe commented: I would your son holding up his hand wearing a mitten (as a map of the Lower Peninsula) and pointing to wear you live on said mitten!

And u/Dunebug threw in: Some joke about the lions being bad. Classic Michigan.

As mentioned above, there are well over 200 comments all giving their two cents about what may make the picture more "Michigan". You can see them all here.


I was able to get in touch with the Reddit user who posted the photo and learned that he is actually a Michigander who grew up in Wyoming (just outside of Grand Rapids). Adam Emperor Southard, as he introduced himself to me, spent the last 20 years in L.A. working as a professional headshot photographer.

The family decided to relocate to Michigan when Adam's wife snagged a position as a veterinary nurse in the emergency animal hospital at Michigan State. If you take a closer look at the above Michigan Holiday Card you'll spot Beatrice, their rescue dog, on the couch in the background.

Now, Adam is restarting his photography business in Michigan. See his work here. As far as the holiday card capturing all the things that represent Michigan, I have two words to express my personal opinion: Nailed it! 

Thank you so much to Adam for taking the time to talk with me and high five to Elliott for this holiday card that is absolutely Pure Michigan.

It's hard to believe the holidays are already here. If you find yourself needing some help getting into the holiday spirit, check this out: all of the entries for Light Up Kalamazoo 2021. Christmas lights are perfect for spreading holiday cheer, right?

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