I’ve been thinking about those two words. Merry Christmas. Cheerful festivity. Jesus Christ’s Birthday. Meeting of family and friends. A celebration. There’s also the gift-giving part, which these days seems way more important to us than the birth of Christ.
Turns out the birthday of Christ was near the winter solstice, which was actually celebrated as a pagan tradition with gift giving in a holiday called Yule. As time went on, the two events, Christ’s birthday and the Winter Solstice tradition of gift giving got hitched together.
Of course, with a gift, there is a gift giver and a gift receiver. I frankly think, as do many, that gift giving in many cases has become somewhat of a thoughtless, I gotta go find a gift for my friend of family member, and often the receiver doesn’t really need anything in the first place. This can become a set up for disaster. The giver finds gift-giving an exhausting task, and the receiver doesn’t really want anything. So the gift-giving is not fostering much in the way of good spirit and gratitude. Giving should make you feel great, especially if you do not expect anything in return. And receiving a gift should make you feel loved and cared about.
As an artist though, I’m thankful for so much. But isn’t it great when Thanksgiving comes along, to have what feels like the Super Bowl of thankfulness and gratitude? Being filled with gratitude helps bring perspective and you should see a path to giving to those who truly appreciate both your kindness and your gift. Especially to those in need of your generosity. As a gift receiver, it also helps you understand that all gifts do not come at Christmas or your birthday, or wrapped in fancy paper with a bow. Possibly the best gift is just understanding your good fortune and things that have come your way that have been unbelievably fulfilling.
Let me just say, creativity is one of those gifts and it is without question the gift that keeps on giving. Being able to draw, paint, write, make music and on and on. Well, that’s both a gift worth unwrapping and it is also a gift worth sharing. It is not something that you have to wonder what you’ll do with it. You don’t have to wonder where you’ll store it and God only knows you would never think of retiring it. The great thing is that you can re-gift creativity. Creativity can be a gift to you and passed along at the same time. How amazing is that!
So, Merry Christmas! I Ho, Ho, hope you live an artful life!
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