A Miraculous Christmas?

Ah Christmas... such an "interesting" time of year.  Even now as I write about it, I really don't know quite how to feel.  I know I should be happy and cheerful but I'm not, mostly because yet again another Christmas year approaches and I didn't get it right.  This year has been especially difficult to get it right, not just for me but for so many people.  How can we get it right when incomes are cut, jobs are lost and so much fear of the future.  Yet we all want that Martha Stewart perfect Christmas.  I confess I want it, I will always want it because it's pretty and perfect and well, not like me.  

In this grand Christmas effort there always comes a point where I have to look at from the beginning.  Mary - a virgin, not your skanky kind of girl, found herself miraculously pregnant and pretty much all hell broke loose for her and her fiancee Joseph.  Not an ideal beginning for a new marriage.  But both Mary and Joseph encountered an angel of God and believed his word and promises.  They believed what might have sounded to me insane.  Then just about when this miraculous baby is due, the government places harsh demands on them and they must travel to be counted.  And while traveling she goes into labor and has to have her baby, the child of God, in a barn.  Just imagine, you see a cow, a donkey, cow poopy, and then a newborn baby, why yes, that IS the son of God.  Then some freaked out shepherds show up kneeling if not groveling at the feet of this newborn with their lambs making enough noise to wake the baby, the baby that is the Son of God.  Good grief!  This birth, the one that brought us all this overwhelming, over consuming, over stimulating Christmas was far from perfect, ideal and easy. 

So how do I, an average Joe, think I'm going to created anything perfect or ideal?  And every Christmas I get the Martha Stewart smack down.  Even today as I sat in my seat for 8 hours of jury duty, with a throbbing toothache - because of a filling I had replaced the day prior, I wondered how was I going to do it all and with what money.  I simply looked at the list and just realized I couldn't and I crossed off some things.  I guess that would be the "cow poopy" part of my story.  Then I when I got home I noticed the Christmas wreath that was hanging on my front door was gone, stolen -- the one my friend made, the only one I had.  Yes, definately Christmas isn't going to be perfect this year.  But GOOD NEWS people, whether you believe what I do or not, Christmas will still be. There is much to be anticipated, do I really believe that to be true?  Can there possibly be joy in the chaos, in the Christmas  that doesn't go as planned?  I have to believe!
My wish for you is that you believe in spite of the disappointments, thwarted plans and "cow poopy" that surrounds you.  Believe in a miraculous birth!

Putting away Christmas

The last decoration went into its box today. Christmas flew by and now I just want to sleep for a week on a beach somewhere and plot out a great adventure for the coming year.

The last decade was a rough one and I'm glad to see it come to an end. For the first time in many years I felt content, warm, thankful as I watched the ball drop in the Big Apple. This year of course I want great and grand changes, but I would much rather have peace with myself. This is truly a very delicate balance. The rest of this week is thinking about all the things I love and just how I'm going to get to do it all. More to come...

Christmas is Upon Us

What a whirlwind it's been around here. The last two weeks I've been in intense training for my new pharmaceutical rep job and it really has worn me out in both body and mind. My mind is so full of medical terminology and Christmas responsibilities that I left the oven on all night after making my annual Christmas Sugar Cookies. This is not a complaint because getting this job truly is a gift. However, I do miss painting - I've not done much sense I started my job. But I know in time life will level out, and I will be able to incorporate the art and all the other fun crafts back into my life. And then, that will be a whole new discussion. Living a creative life, an artist's life while still working full time in a very non-artist field.
But I did manage to finish some things up. First and foremost the cupcake mittens and hat I made for my niece turned out fabulously. Now I just have to get her to keep them on. She loves chewing on the cherry. I just love making these little knits for her. I have a very small window of opportunity where she will willing wear the things I make.
I'm headed out the door - over the hills and through the woods - to my parent's home to celebrate Christmas.
I wish you all a fabulous, restful and happy Christmas!!! God bless.

Angel Band

Christmas holds so many different emotions. For the kids its full of excitement at every corner and just plain old fun. My memory of childhood Christmas' seems almost magical. Some point - probably around college Christmas became stressful - really stressful. I remember my freshman year of college - my first time living away from my family I got sick during finals. The barfing kind of sick where I was up all night over a toilet bowl or beside it even when there was nothing left inside of me, I kept on trying. It felt like my body was trying to rid me of my stomach itself. I'm sure that anything that wasn't fastened inside my body would have come out. (Yes a little too graphic for a nice watercolor blog I know) and my floor RA took me to the emergency room but found nothing - just stress.... hmmm what do I do with that? How do I fix that? So through the years, Christmas time probably has been the most stressful time of year for me and many others. I have no answers to solving this dilemma. I guess the painting does help. But I find I'm too busy to paint, to think, to be. I become Amy "Super Doer".
This Christmas I'm missing my grandpa. It's been nearly three years since he passed but I notice his absence more than I did right when he died. I painted this angel on the hymn we sang at his funeral "Angel Band". For so many Christmas is a blue and dark time. I hope that somewhere in the darkness you find a shimmering star. Just look... you will find it.