In the Shop

A Gentle Christmas

Is it just me or does everything seem loud and shout-y lately. (I don’t think shout-y is even a word, but it’s the best word I’ve got to describe it!) Yes, 2020 has been a doozy and the clanging of voices just rings in my ears and brings an unsettledness to my heart. I’ve been working through these thoughts as I set out to create new art for Holiday 2020. Like many, I long for the comforts, joy, and groundedness Christmastime brings, especially during uncertainty, but it doesn’t feel the same. I just couldn’t bring myself to create for the holidays as I’ve done in the past. I struggled because of this.

The word “gentle” kept whispering through my mind and I realized that gentleness is what I’m craving for this season. I want a salve for my soul… soft, raw, real, deep. I’m trading glitz for a soft sparkle, full calendars for ordinary evenings at home, the allure of bustling shopping malls for the quietness of nature in winter, hustle & bustle for slow. And if I think about it, we’re all in a position where things are getting stripped down this holiday season in one way or another. For many, seeing beloved traditions come to a halt or families separated due to different circumstances is just hard to swallow on top of an already trying year. Maybe we could all use a little gentleness with ourselves and others.

I started the year with the phrase “humble & deep” as my mantra. You can read more about that here, but if you’re unfamiliar, this is something Mister Rogers said. Here’s the backstory:

“A high school student wrote to ask, “What was the greatest event in American history?” I can’t say. However, I suspect that like so many “great” events, it was something very simple and very quiet with little or no fanfare (such as someone forgiving someone else for a deep hurt that eventually changed the course of history). The really important “great” things are never center stage of life’s dramas; they’re always “in the wings”. That’s why it’s so essential for us to be mindful of the humble and the deep rather than the flashy and the superficial.”

I feel like my year has come full circle with this collection and my attempt to depart from the flashy and superficial to the humble and deep. It’s involved a lot of questioning of what I possibly *should* be doing to create, launch, market, and release a collection and what instead I have to do to be true to the deepest parts of me and where I am in my life right now. So, really, I’m practicing this notion of gentleness with myself too.

With all of that said, I present to you “A Gentle Christmas”.

Each piece of art was soothing and joyful to draw and my hope is that they bring you a soothing, joyful feeling as well. I think that sometimes joy is boisterous and exuberant! But other times, joy is quiet and gentle; a deep joy that wells from within despite outside circumstances. I love Rick Warren’s definition: “Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.” I wish you both kinds of joy this holiday season and beyond in 2021.

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