The first sign of Christmas holidays began a few weeks ago. The temperature dipped, sweaters and jackets worn, and colorful light displays hung. Directly across the walkway, my neighbors had finished decorating their courtyard with strings of lights swirled around two of their palm trees. Blinking lights hugged the framework of windows and doorways. The holidays had arrived.
Last year, I spent most of the holidays at my brother’s house enjoying turkey, gravy, stuffing, a fresh apple pie, and decorations.He’s received several city awards acknowledging the beauty, design and layout of his Christmas-themed lighted yard. My favorite was the electronic mailbox that opened by itself revealing a letter addressed to baby Jesus. It was regarded as the best display by most of the neighbors and their kids.
This year, I made the decision to spend the holidays at home, put up some decorations, and, when possible, avoid public travel. I chose to go minimalist this year with decorations. I wanted to create a small display in my kitchen area that celebrated family and friends. My creative engine started to engage. Handmade decorations? Green and red floral cutouts? Glittered paper balls? Gold papered garland?
As I looked through the bins of decorative papers, paints, stencils, and wrapping accessories, I noticed a red, shoe-sized box in the guest bedroom closet. It was a box that had followed me through the various apartments, rented houses and rented rooms over the past ten years. I was surprised that it had made the trip and all the wanderings with such little wear and tear!
With the box open and sitting on the guest bed, I pulled out the items one by one. The cardboard container was full of old Christmas cards and letters sent to me by family, friends, students, and colleagues. The senders wished me well. Some of the cards described in short fashion the joy, the work, or the interests that we had shared between us.
Each card was a reminder of a special and unique relationship. My first-cousin sent his best wishes the Christmas before he passed. Colleagues sent family updates after we graduated from our doctorate program. Family sent photos and annual news letters. My daughter celebrated moving into our new place. And, my son sent a picture of an alpaca from a farm they had visited just before the holidays. There were many more cards filled with holiday cheer from friends and church members I’d come to know. My smile grew broader with each found treasure. I decided to string the cards like garland across my patio sliding door. Without a doubt, the holidays had arrived!
Yesterday morning, sitting at my kitchen table with a cup of coffee in hand, I watched as the garland of cards sparkled in the morning light. And, I did not hesitate in my answer to: What did I learn this week? I learned that love holds up throughout the years; the cards acted as a reminder.
And, in response to the lesson I learned this week, I wanted to create a special greeting to honor all of the well wishes sent to me. I am also very grateful to all who sent their greetings of joy over the years and kept me in their prayers. God bless you greatly. Thank you for sharing your love with me.
Additionally, I wanted to try my hand at a mixed media project. The pencil drawing at the top of this post is a thumbnail of the concept. Below is the completed mixed media journal entry with text. The title of the piece is: Found Treasure. The theme is celebrating Christ and love.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good year! Mb