Before we packed away our Christmas tree and decorations yesterday, I wanted to make a drawing of our creche. It was lovely to sit and slowly follow the contours of this little nativity scene we’ve had for over twenty years. I bought it from a Piece Goods store we had in Winston-Salem, the next-door town where we lived at the time. I chuckled at all the blonde people in the nativity scene…really? Blonde wise men? Blonde shepherds? Blonde Mary and Joseph and Angel? Hmmm…. In a brief but rather fun conversation with my random fact-file husband, I learned that St. Francis began the whole idea of creches. They were traditionally made to resemble the people of that area of the world. Our creche is definitely a northern european inspired scene. Even baby Jesus has the fairest skin you could imagine. Ha! Not exactly true to reality.
Anyway, I relished drawing it. It’s amazing how much I did not notice about the scene prior to drawing it. I have unpacked and packed this thing for years. The kids have played with it so much (amazingly, none of the figurines are broken!), adding in all kinds of other characters such as army men, dinosaurs, and other interesting non-barn animals. There were even a few years that we did as the French do and waited until Christmas day to place the baby Jesus in the creche…a small way to recognize what the day was all about before diving into the presents! My drawing didn’t quite capture the facial expression on the baby Jesus figurine. The figurine has a very sweet happy expression, whereas my drawing appears as if he’s a bit worried or frightened by the whole scene in which he has landed. Ha! Perhaps that’s a bit more true to reality.
I’ve written the above in a light-hearted tone. But truth is: I’m quite heavy hearted about packing away Christmas this year. Some years I’m ready to toss the tree and everything out the door the day after Christmas. A few years, even the day before! But this year, I loved the festiveness of lights in all the rooms, the sparkly decorations, the little white tree in my studio sunroom. Coming downstairs this morning was definitely sad as I was not greeted by the cheeriness of turning on all the lights. My husband has promised me he is going to help me hang white lights all around the picture windows in my studio sunroom, something I’ve wanted to do for years. Perhaps it will be just the cheery I’m looking for to replace those lovely trees.
I’m still on holiday and I hope you are as well! I’ve hunkered down in a making mode and will hopefully continue to do so this week as the New Year rolls in! It is delicious to have a little time to work on knit and crochet projects I’ve been wanting to finish for quite some time. Of course there are friends to enjoy, kids to hang out with, and a New Year to toast! But I’m imagining that I’m off on a making holiday this week, pretending I’m away on some lovely week for just knitting, drawing, making whatever I’d like to. Once school starts back in session it will be Art Show preparation time! And that is always a huge undertaking. I shall not think about it ’til then!!
Perhaps you can have some making days too! Draw a decoration or two before it gets packed away this year. As I drew, I felt like I was etching the little nativity scene onto my heart, to carry with me the whole year through. I definitely want to be in holiday mode all year…even if I don’t have a twinkly tree or two to light up in the early morning darkness. Happy New Year to you all!!