It’s difficult to write a blog post 4 days before Christmas without being tempted to note something profound. And by profound, I mean totally inane. But I must say, I’ve found a balance this year. All is truly calm. Quiet. Bright.
The secret? Two things.
1. I finished all shopping by the first week of December. This is my new Christmas tradition. Forever. Such a difference! This year, I didn’t find myself surrounded by shopping bags, manically wrapping and pissed off, hours before Christmas day. I didn’t find myself hating the two things I love most – giving gifts and wrapping them. Gifts are such a strange thing to be stressed and upset over, I’ve realized.
2. This year I made some gifts. And while this may not be an annual tradition, the process was oh-so-sweet and meditative.
It started in November. I slicked some bowls with vaseline before laying down mod-podge soaked strips (of junk mail, of waste), one on top of the other.
It took a while to dry. I giddily checked and poked at them daily, like a scientist. After ~ 5 days of drying, I covered them in layers of gesso paint. I sanded them (also like a scientist). And then they were ready to paint!
Acrylic. A new endeavor. At Blick, a friend helped me pick out 5 colors (is all I could afford, honestly).
I picked out my favorite birds from an old field guide of “Birds of North America,” for reference, and proceeded to dab, dab, dab:
I added Christmas words. I added a layer of waxy finish. And then I filled them with mini Christmas-like gifts. A pinecone. Tiramisu cookies. I kept going. It was like that scene in Love Actually, when Rowan Atkinson says, “But you said you wanted it gift wrapped, sir.”
The whole thing was ready for giving by the second week of December. When it was finished, I was almost sad. Throughout the process, I was constantly thinking of the people I was making the gifts for, and how much I loved them. There it was, that elusive Christmas spirit, tucked inside said sentiment! And it continues to magically preserve itself.
Merry Christmas, family and friends! I mean it, Te Amo.