In 2019 I posted this for my art students and recently when I read it again, the message resonated with me as much as it did back then.
I’ve had a really hard time getting into the Holiday spirit this year. I haven’t been able to put my finger on one specific thing that has caused this change for me but I will say that the past few months have been a bit stressful due to unexpected twists and turns within my family. And because I’m not one to air my personal affairs on social media, most wouldn’t know about the roller coaster of emotions that I’ve experienced lately. So I kept thinking to myself that was probably the reason for my lack of “spirit” this season. My husband thinks it’s because of the very sparse, and yes ugly, Christmas tree that he bought us last year that probably ruined all Christmases going forward. Our tree this year was a little better, but it sat unadorned in the hallway until just a few days ago. I was frantically painting alcohol ink ornaments for weeks, mailing them to customers and dropping them off at a local shop with a cheerful face … but not one single ornament was on my own tree.
Then I received a little note in the mail from a customer who bought one single ornament from me. She explained that her father passed away this year and it had always been a tradition that he gave her a special Christmas ornament each year. The ornament that she purchased from me was going to be called “My First Christmas Without Daddy” ornament. I was so touched and overwhelmed with emotion that my simple little ornament would have such a place of honor in the memory of her father and the memory of the tradition that they had shared.
So my daughter came over last Monday and she helped me finally decorate the tree. And yesterday, we hosted our large family Christmas celebration. I looked around the room and I was filled with gratitude seeing all the love in the faces that surrounded me … my beautiful mother, my loving husband, my sweet son, my incredible daughter who’s carrying my first grandchild, my brothers, sister-in-laws, nieces, nephews … and my Daddy. And I thought about that special ornament, its meaning, and the love and pain associated with it.
I have been reminded this season to never underestimate the power of art, to never take for granted the skills that I’ve developed through lots and lots of practice, and to always remember what a huge impact a small thing can make. I know you all probably already know this, but your art is special. It has the power to move people. And when it moves someone, it can change your perspective in the blink of an eye.
Wishing you the happiness that this season brings and a beautiful year to come. Love to you all.