(Also in YouTube Video form https://youtu.be/DkvSwmp6AUk )
I promised myself several years ago that I would try to create a Santa drawing each year as long as I remained able. I haven’t met that challenge every year since then, but I was determined to give it another try for 2020.
I’ve done my best this last month to complete Santa for 2020, with the goal of sharing it with family and friends by Christmas Day. But in truth, I’ve been busy working with families on four continents to help them provide their own unique and thoughtful family portraits for Christmas gifts, and the last one was just delivered in the UK Christmas Eve Day!!
I wanted this Year’s Santa is a little different than any of my previous (but 2020 has been pretty unique and challenging too) …. a weathered face still chilled and red from the cold night … eyes that reflected the northern lights and ice … strong, workingman’s hands, callused and aged over the centuries, holding a cross to make sure we remember why we celebrate this Holiday … and all emerging from the dark as Santa himself would should we encounter him on his rounds …
But this is 2020 …. With COVID, the seemingly continually negative press, acrimonious relationships of our elected “Leaders”, the loss of precious lives, jobs, restrictions on movement and access to friends and loved ones, social unrest and talk of the long dark winter ahead, I struggled with what my theme would be for 2020.
I initially focused on “Joy” …. Thinking we could all definitely benefit from a little joy in our lives. But at first, “Joy” didn’t seem appropriate for 2020.
I quickly shifted to “Hope” – hope for a vaccine, effective treatments, social harmony, a better future …
Then I thought “Faith” – Faith in God … Faith in the basic goodness, tenacity, creativity and capability of people that so often goes unreported or somehow seems to get lost in much of our news and social media.
But as I worked on my Santa, I realized that if you have Faith in your God, and truly believe in the fundamental goodness and capabilities of the people that surround us, then you can take comfort knowing that working together we will pass through this difficult phase and time of life and emerge into a brighter and more wonderful future. There is joy in that knowledge.
But even more important, there is real Joy to be had today, tomorrow and every day after that if we allow ourselves to experience it. Our children will grow, graduate from Kindergarten or College, people will fall in love, babies will be born, puppies will still get excited every time they see us, the sun will shine, birds will sing, flowers will blossom, neighbors will support and enjoy each other, families will share and care and love and support.
So, my Santa for 2020 is “JOY”. And I have decided, even though I know I will spend another week at least completing this work, to go ahead and share my Work in Process for Christmas 2020.
Merry Christmas and God Bless