I’m probably getting old or older, but I am definitely having recently some nostalgia for these times which won’t ever return.
I believe, I am not taking too well the huge overload of commercials screaming at me from everywhere. Wherever I look, it’s just buy this and get this for free and hurry up because these discounts won’t last. Endlessly. It might be also because we never had a large family, and when I was young we were not that much about gifts.
My most memories are about preparations to celebrate Christmas or the New Year. This brings back some fantastic smells of pies and pastries in the oven, the fresh scent of fir-tree and aroma of candles. And real lights of real candles, so warm and so alive. We used to sing a lot, as well. These are sounds of old songs, partially forgotten, but I can still sing them in quite a few languages: my first foreign language was Russian, the next was German, I picked it up early and was able to use fluently by the time I was 12, the third was English quite a few years later. I am a native Latvian, and we have millions of folk songs, so many that every Latvian can call one his or her own. So, yes, we were following the very ancient Latvian traditions which are actually more ancient than English or German traditions since Latvian along with Lithuanian belong to the most ancient still alive languages and can be traced back to the ages of Sanskrit.
I can also remember how we were walking through the deep snow to the nearby forest to get the most beautiful tree. I was told I was only 4 years old. That’s amazing, but I can recall the walk, the snow and the forest. That’s how I’m painting my fir trees, they look exactly as those ones which I saw 52 years ago.
However, my intention was to share the idea about how kids and teens should rather create and make their gifts than try to buy something for money which they probably haven’t even earned yet. We were a lot about creativity, and that was all we were doing when not reading or working: sewing, drawing, painting, making toys, household items, and jewelry, things for our house and for our living space. There were so many ways to bring beauty into our home, and nobody was really worried about expenses because these self-made things did not cost anything or just a little in materials.
I maintained this ability to create everything from practically nothing all my life. I find it exciting, way more exciting than going to the store and buying stuff made in China. I find some of the decorations they sell absolutely tasteless. How much of attraction can actually plastic things have? Fake trees are still somehow OK, even artificial berries and fir and pine cones, but if you ask me, I’d say nothing compares to self-made decorations. However, I love glass balls and ornaments. We used to have some from 1912 and 1938. I asked my mom how that was possible to keep these ornaments not broken through all wars and troubles, and she said they were so small and so lovely, and they were associated with so many memories that everybody was taking an extremely good care about them.
So, finalizing the previously said, I was asking quite a few people:
This holiday season, instead of buying your gift, you could paint one, couldn’t you?
It takes only 3 hours which is such a tiny moment compared to the huge amount of positive energy residing in such a gift. It stays with one for ever.
The other day we were painting some birds.
This is one more of small paintings I did for demonstration, it’s 12 x 16 in
I virtually wrapped up one painting, and let’s see, maybe somebody will think they are good gifts and drop in the gallery, too.