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Friday, December 26, 2008

Reflections on the Best Christmas Ever

A few snippets and munchies from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day...

I didn't bake nearly as much as I normally do, and you know what--it was okay. As stressed as I was for not getting 'everything' done, what WAS done was more than enough. Isn't it crazy how we put these high expectations on ourselves during the holidays and in reality, how much of it all does it matter? Will the earth shatter if the M&M cookies never make it to our cookie tray? I hope because if so, my world is about to 'crumble'!
Now-mind you, we did have some great food both days if I do say so myself. It's been a tradition for as long as I can remember to have an appetizer party at my house on Christmas Eve. Everyone's welcome but since I have no family nearby, normally the company is only a handful.
That's always bittersweet for me. I remember the days of busting at the seams house full of people during our Christmas gatherings back in NY.
The house was a bit fuller this year than in other years as we had some unexpected but most welcome guests stop in.

Too much to list as far as what we had, but two of my favorites, Veggie Pizza (thank you Jeanne for the recipe!!)) and chicken wings with my secret sauce.

Was this the art table??? For those of you who visit often, know that this is not the normal state of affairs for Normally this table looks like a cyclone hit it, leaving artwork and supplies everywhere under the sun in it's path. I have it repositioned (I'm talking I waited until just an hour or so before I put the food out to distribute my art throughout the and its place we put out a buffet of munchies.

My two darling lil (big) men, Josh and Zack. Josh is 8 and Zack is 14. Yikes. Is Zack the same boy who crawled up and knocked down the tree when he was just a wee one?? LOL And Josh--he has gone to bed early just about every night this week so Christmas would come sooner.

Josh and his Dad enjoying some wings like 'mens' do. Yes we have a dysfunctional family--my exs come over for the holidays so the kids don't have to shuffle around. AND we all get along. AND we actually buy gifts for eachother. Maybe it's because we all live soooooo far from our family, everyone is up north while we are down here, maybe it's just a choice we made for how we live, whatever it is, it works. Even if it doesn't make sense to others, stripping away the negative and focussing on the positive has allowed us all to create a 'family' of sorts.

**note...must buy bigger couch, the boys are getting too big for the one we*
Zack tuckered out the night before Christmas. I'm sure he's going to holler holler at me when he sees this. After the guests had left, Santa and Mrs. Claus wrapped presents until 2am. I will NEVER do that again. I normally do not wait until the last minute to wrap gifts but somehow time escaped me this year.

Everything everyone could want--even on a scaled down version (even magazines and small books in a shirt box can decieve but delight the eye ;)

My boy with a 'tude. He loved his new shirt and hat (signs of the kidlets getting older when they actually like getting clothes here and there), and sported the look most of the day.

Josh was up at 5 am just waiting patiently sitting at the tree for us to get up. If it were me at his age--ask my Mom...I would have slit open a few presents and pasted them back I was horrible. The anticipation was wayyyy tooooo much for me. I had to know. In fact, Josh hid my Mom's Christmas box from me this year so I wouldn't 'accidently' open one of my Did you catch that?? My 8 year old hid Grandma's gift from Yes, my son is the caretaker of the house. He keeps Mom in line :)
Christmas Eve started off rocky due to a work situation that I had to handle--one of the stresses of being a manager. I can't tell you how much I needed to just escape into cooking and entertaining after a stressful day. But all in all, I was able to let it go for a few hours and truly enjoy the day with the kids, family and friends.

As mentioned before, normally we don't have a lot of company on the holidays but this year we had some visitors stop in that were guests of my guests and it was truly a good experience to meet new people and welcome them into my home.

After the festivities and dinner on Christmas Eve, I had the opportunity to show some of my new pieces to the family that joined us (2 of the guests are US citizens who live in Lebanon right now but were home visiting her son that lives in town). I JUST finished these pieces this week, a continuation of the Winter In NY series I've been doing, but these are in Blue. The top picture is called Discover, the second piece is called, Roots in Blue.
After playing 'Show and Tell' with my new friends, showing them my new pieces, my article, some prints I have, and some older work...they gifted me with the honor of purchasing these pieces shown.

The young man who joined us really loved these darker pieces and after hearing my story and getting to know the 'artist' a bit, and really feeling a connection to what I was saying--his Mom decided to purchase these pieces from me so he, at 21, can start his very own original art collection for his new apartment. say that I was moved at the opportunity to turn a young person onto the 'art' scene and to be the first in what will hopefully a life long appreciation of the arts, is beyond words. Connecting with someone as I complete my creative process is what it is all about.

He told me that he used to love to draw but at some point in his child hood, teacher reprimanded him for drawing stick figures and since that day--he hadn't had the desire to do anything with art. But yesterday, there was a new light in his eye and I hope it continues to glow and he revisits that desire to create once again.
It is healing. Creating is liberating. It is a way to connect with others without saying a word.
I am blessed to have been a part of a very touching moment yesterday in more than one way--so many ways, not just with the sale of my pieces, but with the clarity of what is important in this world.
..and good food ;)
This piece has a new home as well.....this was one of my
gifts to my dear Mother. She said she felt a connection
to my Winter In NY pieces so with keeping the tradition of
a partially hand made Christmas gift that I have been doing for the
last few years, I created this especially for my Mom.
When everything else is gone in the world, there are some things
that you can't have taken away and one of those things is your
roots and sense of belonging.
To never forget your history, and never forget those that you love the
most is a great gift. One that I hope to continue to embed in my
every day.

I hope whatever it is that you celebrate during this time of year, you can reflect back
on the moment and catalog it as the Best 'Christmas' ((insert holiday)) Ever. Because the gift of another day is the best ever, if that's what you choose to make it.

Enjoy the gift of today.


Kathy said...

What a wonderful reflection of your holiday. I love to read your words (like a well written song) and see your pictures. I think it is great that your X-hubby is a part of your holidays, not many can pull that off. Your boys looks happy and that is a grand reflection on you. I am so happy you shared with us, your loyal readers. And congrats on the sales too.
Hugs and love~

PCarriker said...

Wonderful post Lucy, glad you had a wonderful holiday. Your boys look so sweet-don't tell them I said that:-)


Jodi, what a great post of your holiday fun !! It's all about family isn't it ??? Thanks for sharing :)

Congrats on the sales too :)

glimmering prize said...

jodi- so glad you had such a lovely day! Your family is a wonderful gift- thanks for sharing your photos- reminds me of my day- with 2 boys 14 and 7-
wishing you a year of wonders and prosperity to come in 2009!

manamoon said...

Found you through Altered Attic's blog and so delighted I did. Your family is lovely and your work is fabulous. Will definitely be back for more. Wishing you a wonderful holiday and a very happy new year!
All the best ~ Sharon

Patti said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful day and all the preparations... my 11 & 13 year old didn't sleep Christmas Eve (unusual!) and there was a lot of excitement in the air here too.
Even though it wasn't the houseful like you grew up with it seems like you had a lot of special moments. There's no 'ex' in dysfunctional, I think it's great... like chosen family - those we're closest to no matter whether we're related.
I'm so glad about your art - and bought pieces too! Connecting that way is amazing, one of the surprise miracles of the season.
Now onto to the New Year - I look forward to seeing what you come up with in 2009!

Alisa Nordholt-Dean said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas! Congrats on the sales!

I had a wonderful day and was completely surprised when hubby gifted me with your "Burgess Street" piece! Thanks so much for working with him to make it a surprise for me. I abolutely adore the piece!


shabby*girl said...

Hello, Lucy and Happy Holidays!!!! Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas! Yes, I do love life! Thanks for dropping by my blog, Missy

Loudlife said...

Jodi - What a beautiful and inspiring post! I got a little teary eyed reading it and it made me appreciate my world a little bit more than I have been the last couple of days. Thank you.


P.S. Congratulations on your sale and I'm betting that young man will be inspired to step out of his non-art-making ways soon.

What a beautiful world it is, isn't it?

Regina said...

Thanks for the window into your holiday. We had a very quiet (and most enjoyable) time with just the 2 of us since we elected to not travel because of health & weather.
It's really exciting that you got to share your passion for art with new people & ignite a new flame in the process. So CooL!

janealt said...

Wow, Jodi, I know I'm a huge sap, but I just got all choked up reading about how your artwork brought about all those feelings and connected you to your guest in such an intimate and unexpected way. Who new that would happen when you were making it? Cool.

Persimmons Gal said...

Jodi what a beautiful post! Merry Christmas and the happiest of new years to you my dear friend.

Tess said...

Jodi, I absolutely loved reading this post. Your family is so awesome and I think it's great that you get along with your ex and include him in your boys lives in such a wonderful way. I had a wonderful gift of a surprise from you today. My coffee artwork arrived safe and sound. I woke with a headcold and felt so down untill the mailman arrived. I love it! I'm so glad you had such a wonderful and propserous holiday. Here's to more in 2009!
Teresa aka Tess

e.beck.artist said...

sounds like your christmas was perfect!