It seems that so much of Christmas is about preparation - shopping and cooking, wrapping and embellishing. Energy expended with wonderful intentions but little left over for the real meaning of the season - connections. So, I was more than a little happy to enjoy visits with close friends, meals with family and my favorite Christmas Eve church service (lessons and carols, along with a homily on gifts - what they represent and reveal about the giver's idea(s) about who we are... mention was made of a Scooby-Doo Chia pet and slippers with light-up toes before she moved on to the way those who know us best often give us what we need, even if we don't know it at the time).
I think of the many gifts I've received throughout the year and am happy to blog hop, leave notes and find similar sentiments; I am blessed to be in the company of talented mixed media artists, writers and other creative spirits who appreciate and focus on the truly amazing gift of a creative moment. The time and space to translate the myriad emotions and issues we face in life into wondrous works. I didn't have as much time to work in the Altered Attic as I'd have liked this holiday season, though I did my series of 4x4 canvases. And, now that I'm able upload photos again (thanks to my bud Karin for uploading the one below), I realize how pitiful they look when photographed with a flash. Scanning is definitely the way to go, except when objects are too dimensional, so this will just have to do. Ah well, the sentiment is there. Sing loudly.
One of my favorite activities this season is the Christmas breakfast we serve to those not fortunate enough to have family, friends (or a home) for their own holiday meal. Having had very little sleep, which was probably a good thing, my husband, kids and I headed to Maxwell Street Presbyterian at 8:45 on Christmas morning to help hand out long underwear and socks, plates of food and a little holiday cheer. A group of four or five from another church had stopped by to sing carols accompanied by guitar; I didn't realize it at first, they just weren't singing with the kind of gusto that I reserve for my favorites - church hymns, classic rock or Silent Night. I didn't hesitate when they handed out a few song sheets and in no time we had significant volume, which seemed well-enough received. Fortunately, my kids were otherwise occupied so they weren't even embarrassed. Joy to the World.