Last Christmas, we visited some friends near Ft. Worth. Their home was tastefully decorated for the holidays. Christmas pillows and throws covered the couches. A Dickinson village sat on the bookcase to the left of the fireplace. And then, there was this ten foot tall conical monstrosity standing in a prominent place in front of the window. On closer inspection, I saw a few boughs of greenery and realized that it was their Wonderful, Magical Christmas Tree, covered from top to bottom with over twenty years of ornaments made by the family's now-grown children. Wow! This is a home where creativity is nurtured.
The Mama in this household encouraged and accompanied her shyest child to the try-out for American Idol in Dallas. No, we'll not be buying her records anytime soon but imagine the time she had there. She told me that just watching the other contestants was an exciting experience.
Her older sister is in college studying to become an interior designer. I have to wonder if she first saw the interplay of color using crayons on one of those ornaments. Did she first understand composition gluing construction paper to felt? Did she first appreciate texture while wrapping yarn around Popsicle sticks?
Now, I'm not going to step on my soapbox to get on my high horse to pontificate about art in schools. This is neither the time nor season.
But may I suggest, Gentle Reader, that if there is a kiddo on your Christmas shopping list, it's not too late to buy some crayons or a harmonica or maybe a box of Popsicle sticks. Just, please, try not to look too smug in a few years when the now-child is teaching art at a middle school or studying trombone at Julliard or just a well-rounded individual who doodles in the margin.
Merry Christmas, y'all!