Confession: Unlike Sally Brown, with her constant fear, I have a secret wish that one year Christmas will come, and I won't know about it! I have been known to struggle just a wee bit, more than once, with our culture's hyperbolic holiday frenzy and consumerism.
Tradition: For more years than not, one way I have embraced Christmas is to craft an annual ornament to give to friends and family. The gifts to myself are, first, that I make these ornaments by hand and, second, that I do so in the calm of January or February, often on a day when life has come to a delicious halt because of snow.
Inspiration: Last year I received a simple wooden ornament from a student.
Ironically, plain and flat as it is, it evoked one of my earliest Christmas memories of a shiny colorful painted glass sphere with my name written in glitter.
I decided I'd paint paper ornaments for 2016, and I created a prototype in my sketchbook.
Action: In January I started blocking out 24 drawings on watercolor paper. A bit at a time, I painted fronts and backs. Soon, I cut them all out.
Precipitation: In January we had a snow day. No exercising at the gym! No students! No going anywhere! In complete contentment I drew the black ink lines on my ornaments and used my sparkle pens to mimic glitter.
Supplies: I took great pleasure in using cording that was donated to me about 15 years ago. I had just exactly the colors I wanted! Very satisfying.
Finale: In February, on another snow day, this time up in Maine, I 'wrapped' the ornaments in clear plastic. Ta da—project completed!
Gratitude: Good thing Christmas didn't come without my knowing about it this year!