It’s way to early for this stuff, but I’m getting started on pieces for two holiday bazaars in the first week of December. (Um, yes I know that I’m late on that part. I just meant that I like to keep xmas stuff until later. I’m not a fan of Christmas creeping up earlier and earlier.)

This was my first stopping point. I really like the sketchy look, but wasn’t satisfied with some of it. Of course, I started fiddling with it and then did it some more. Until eventually I got to this:

This is oil pastel which I blended with some kind of turpenoid or something*. (My friend gave me a little of hers since she paints in oils and has the requisite paraphernalia and I paint in acrylic and therefore do not. I can’t remember what it’s called, of course. At any rate, it is great for blending the oil pastels.)

That’s my funny little Santa

*Update: it’s this stuff here.

Our Christmas Traditions

I have always been disappointed by how quickly Christmas ends. After a month of build up, Christmas morning comes and goes in the blink of an eye. As a child I always felt a feeling of “what? That was it? We’re done already?” and was a little let down by that. I’m not trying to discount the family time and the food and all the other wonderful things that go along with the holiday. But, a lot of that happens at other holidays. What really sets Christmas apart from Thanksgiving or Easter is Santa and the gifts. In some ways, it’s harder now that I’m grown and primarily in charge of making Christmas happen. Since now I have the pleasure of staying up until all hours of the night wrapping presents (procrastinator, remember!), I get that bleary-eyed-went-out-partying-and-still-had-to-get-to-work-early fuzzy headed feeling. There are times in the day when all I want for Christmas is a nap.

My friend’s family celebrated Christmas in a way that I was not familiar with, other than the song. They celebrated for twelve days. I always thought that was so cool. Two weeks of presents? What’s not to love? I always said that when I had kids I would celebrate the twelve days of Christmas. [I have to come clean here: I usually had two Christmases because my parents weren’t together. So, my Christmas lasted longer than most of my friends’.]

Flash forward to now, when I do have a child. I have, for the most part, followed my childhood decree. When I started out to do this, I first talked to my friend’s mom to get her take on it. I found out there were a couple of reasons they celebrated that way that I didn’t know about. For one thing, if you don’t have to buy all your presents before the 24th, you can take advantage of the after Christmas sales. For another, you don’t have to be quite so ready for the holiday- you get to draw it out and play catch-up as you go.

So, here we are on day two of twelve. We’ve had lots of firsts this year. Since Little Man is older this year he is now a smarty-pants with lots of questions and opinions. This year we got to talk about how we get Santa to bring us a stocking everyday. In case you were wondering, we send a letter to Santa letting him know that our family wants to celebrate in a different way than the usual. He’s very accommodating that way. That is also why he doesn’t bring Mommy and Daddy a stocking every day. We got to bicker a little about how many cookies we are going to make Santa eat. No, we will not be leaving him the same number of cookies as the number of the day of Christmas it is. Santa doesn’t need a dozen cookies on the 12th day. He already gets to eat billions of cookies.

We are still holding out hope that Santa will be able to find some sort of replacement for the snow globe that was broken just two days before Christmas. Luckily, he still has time to get a new one made. Apparently, snow globes were in high demand this year.

Mommy asked for a songbook of Christmas Carols to renew a tradition from her childhood. That has already led to some nice memories and fun children’s renditions of songs which hopefully will get captured on video in some way. 

So far, this Christmas has not been any more stressful than Christmas is going to be. It has had some nice new traditions. It has had renewal of old traditions. It has had joy and laughter and love. One cannot ask for much more than that.