Creativity At Christmas
Creativity At Christmas – One thing I love about Christmas, is that it is a time when many people dip into their creativity. There are numerous ways that we can be creative at Christmas. Here are a few of them:
- Making our own Christmas cards
- Preparing delightful dishes for Christmas dinner
- Making our presents for others
- Taking time to wrap gifts thoughtfully
- Gingerbread houses
We have all become so embroiled in the commercialization of Christmas that it is difficult to retain sight of the fact that Christmas is about giving and receiving. I should add to that the all-important word MINDFULLY, giving and receiving. How often do we leave everything to the last-minute and rush about trying to find something appropriate to give this person and that, not having a clue what they would really like? And that is something else again – why don’t we know what they would really like. Have we asked them? Our lives are so busy, so rushed – when do we have time to mindfully stop and really consider what we are doing? Gifting creativity at Christmas seems to have gone out of fashion and become steamrollered into quantity versus quality amidst the frantic pace of our 21st-century lifestyles.
Sometimes I think we lose sight of what’s important. This year I took a night off work so I could take my granddaughter to a gingerbread house making night. This was great fun for both of us and we spent time together, working and playing together, with her bossing me around as she loves to do. However, she also came to the realisation that in order to complete the task we had to co-operate. (So important learning was also given within this experience.)
I have not attended one of these events before, and it was great to see a whole room full of people, many of whom didn’t know each other, collaborating and having fun together. It was a night of belonging to a tribe, the tribe of gingerbread house makers. And importantly it was a night of creativity at Christmas. There was no competition involved, just everybody creating the most delightful houses that they could.
The less is more principle springs to mind. When you think about the joy we have on receiving a handmade present from one of our children compared to a cheap mass-produced item, there is no comparison really. One year a friend gave me an exquisitely hand embroidered bag that she had made and I was so moved by this gift. There were hours of work in it and the fact that she had made this for me was actually quite overwhelming. This bag must be 30 years old now and I still remember the beautiful feeling I had on opening it. My friend gave me something far more than just a bag the day she gave me this gift. She gave me a gift that has kept on giving to me for 30 years and it was a gift that said to me – I see you, I know your heart, I love you and value our friendship.
This friend has given me many beautiful treasures over the years, I still have them all, and my heart is filled with joy and gratitude every time I look at them.
When someone takes the time to create something for you, it is a measure of their care and love. It is not about how good the gift is, how ‘perfectly made’, or it will ruin my decor or will I look geeky if I wear this chunky bracelet – these judgments are all about us not the giver of the gift.
However, I think we should take note that many of these things are falling by the wayside now, for example, a lot of people now send their Christmas cards by email. Many of my students were remarking just today that they hardly ever get Christmas cards anymore and they were quite delighted to receive mine. Not that I actually made them mind you, well they weren’t hand done, but they were digital images that I created and then had printed on cards, so there was still an element of my own creativity there. The funny thing was, that they opened them together and didn’t work out right away that I had created the images on the cards until one of them turned one over and saw my logo on the back. Then everyone went back and had a second look at their cards which were all different, and you could see the delight on their faces at something that wasn’t just bought from the store. You can see how gifting creativity at Christmas, rewards both the giver and the receiver.
I think there is also another really important point here, which is illustrated by the example I just gave. If we think for a moment about how the students received those cards, at first really only giving them a cursory glance until someone else discovered that they might have more meaning. It was only then that they went back and actually had a really good look at the cards. So we have here a lesson in receiving as well. If you think about how children open their Christmas presents, they rip through them going on to the next thing and the next, and until they’re all gone. And the more presents they receive the less appreciation there actually is for each gift. I wonder what Christmas would be like, if we only gave handmade gifts, which also means that we would probably get far less of them. But how much more might we appreciate them and how much longer might those gifts keep on giving to us if they were specially made just for us.
This, of course, means that we need to be a lot more organised, we would have to begin creating these gifts at the beginning of the year not rushing out to buy them three days before Christmas. We would have to put a lot more thought into what we actually want to give them, and what we think they might like. Then of course, we might have to give up some of our precious time in order to create it. However, the gift in that for us is that we get to use our own creativity, and experience the joy that there is within that activity, that fills the soul like nothing else.