As I have mentioned in a post from a Christmas now long passed, there are two very separate usages and spellings for the word "present." When one looks at Presence vs. Presents, one can clearly see that their only shared similarity lies in the fact that they are homonyms. However, beyond the polar difference in the two words can be found legitimate grounds to view them as synonyms... sameness.
If one can get their head beyond the commercial and artificial gifting practice and consider the possibility that one's simple presence can be viewed as a gift... then a very new approach to celebrating Christmas emerges. Wrapped within this "presence" is the same good feeling of giving... but minus the anxiety... wear and tear and the exponentially growing costs of Christmas gifting. To that... add the warmth one feels in their soul to be looked upon by their loved ones... as the most cherished gift of all! Put your Christmas Elf... and your own simple gifts in the hands of your loved ones this Christmas. You will be overwhelmed to discover how cherished "You" and your presence really are to your love ones.
Christmas Card "Gifting"
As a young child... long before I had learned to print or write, I can vividly remember sitting and watching my Dad carry out his yearly Christmas card ritual... night after night in early December, methodically and almost mechanically at the kitchen table. I remember too, having him offer me a bit of time to "practise" my own early hieroglyphics. Though we had little extra money to buy gifts for other than the immediate family members, we made gifts for friends and sent cards to other friends whom we cherished in lieu of gifts. From that early scenario derives my current annual practice of sending out cards as gifts/tokens of caring to friends near and far.
Over the years, I too have adopted my Dad's ritual and have in my own fasahion..."Sheman-ized" each card in a variety of ways which not only satisfies my creative urges... but as well, personalizes the "gift" in a small way beyond the generic flavour of the card itself. In the past, I would offer cards bearing a chosen ink sketch printed in black line on coloured paper... usually blue. I would colour these with strategically placed dashes of red and silver colour to add punch and a Christmassy feel. I then housed these in envelopes on which I hand drew images/cartoons and coloured these in coloured pencil colours. When I view collections of these on the walls of my friends years later... or when I receive a call that thanks me for sending this year's card... I know that my wee gift matters! That means so very much to me- it is a highlight of my Christmas celebration!
Here are some images to share with you from this year's efforts. I have completed the process... and they are safely in the postman's pouch and on their way!
"Santa"... busy checkin' off his list. The only time in my life when his desk looks this organized!... HO! HO!
Annual Newsletter and samples of finished stuffed envelopes
This year's card to Andrew and Melissa... hopefully... will arrive before wee "Mac"... (Malcolm Justin Michael) ... expected in late February. Never know though... with Canada Post and their "Snail Mail/ Pony-less Express"!!!
"Country Living" gift shop and art studio in Lansdowne owners and Friends, Isolde and and Dr Barry van Jaarsveld will open this one. They are fantastic ballroom dancers to watch... and they can boogie too! Great folks with generous spirits and hearts!
PS Two very wooly and whimsical molded life-sized resin sheep are the greeters at their shop entrance. So COOOL! Ya can't BAA-lieve it till ya see it!
This card will join the decades of Christmases past framed and dominating an entire kitchen wall and their bathroom. Each card is a treasured and cartooned memory related to the times that we have shared together since Grade Five at the Prince of Wales School in Brockville... circa 1955. This year the image pokes fun at the fact that the Philips have absolutely no more wall space in any room in their entire home. This fact is mainly due to the presence/presents of my large collection they have either purchased or have been gifted with over our long friendship period! Friends are ... Forever... no matter the bumps in the road!... Right Badgers????
This is my card going out to The Rockport Cruise Line staffers Kathleen, Carol and Joyce, who worked with me to generate a new line of cards which has successfully added to the revenues of both of our businesses. Here's to 2014... and new horizons people! Thank you for believing in... and supporting my vision and work!
I hope that this post causes some of you to look at your own Christmas traditions... not to abandon them... but rather to perhaps infuse some new ideas that might satisfy that annual "push n' pull' we all feel when life and Christmas shopping "duties" seem to get in the way and take us out of the creative mode. This is one way of many that I employ... and enjoy to remain creatively pushing forward and feeling in charge of my own journey.
I will devote my next post to sharing "a trip down memory lane" to share my Card images... or "ghosts"... of Christmasses past with you... and as well to send along an "e" Christmas card to share with each of you who have continuously visited and supported this blog! Stay tuned!...
"I... am deeply blessed to add you to my list of Friends... no matter that I have yet to physically meet any one of you! Thank you for your Friendhsip and support!
Good Painting to ALL!!!... and Merry Christmas!