We've had heavy rain here for the past couple of days. Those clouds don't make for the best photos in the house, so it occurred to me to tell this story.
There’s been a lot of speculation around here as to whether Santa is real. The whole matter of St. Nicolas Day (which. by the way, was not my idea to introduce; that notion came home from school.) seems to be confusing the issue.
Last year Santa left a thank you note for the cookies and Helen thought the handwriting resembled Papa’s. This may have started the query. There’s been whispering among the girls. Conspiring. The other night as they planned to leave their shoes for St. Nicholas, I overheard a bit of conversation along the lines of this: “if we don’t tell Papa about the slippers, then that will prove … “, and they trailed off into the next room.
Their comprehension of fiction vs. non-fiction still seems unclear. After watching the movie Santa Claus is Coming to Town, for example, they wondered if that story is true, then why is he called Santa Claus and not St. Nicholas.
This is where I got into an explanation of cultural differences and pronunciations between Europeans and Americans. How Santa Claus is a derivation of the name St. Nicholas, and how the story portrayed in the animated movie is a made up fable, while the real St. Nicholas was, in fact, a Cardinal priest who generously gave to those in need.
“Then how can Little House on the Prairie be true?” Helen’s retorts in her own stern way. Before I can explain, Joan cuts in with: “Well, if St. Nicholas is dead, and in heaven, how can we see him here? And how can he bring us toys?” she drills, determined to keep on subject.
“Well,” I ask “Does anyone really see St. Nicholas? Have we seen Santa Claus?” Silent pause. “… and, do we always have to see something to believe it?” I respond. “Do we see love, or do we just feel it?” The answer in this case is both, I believe. “Are there other things that we know to be true without seeing them?” Long pause. “Yes.” replied Joan, thoughtfully.
I felt that was a significant talk. For it’s when we believe without seeing that we experience the spirit of Christmas and the heart of our faith.
Here, I've used more vintage santas printed on canvas, back to back with eyelets on either side and looped with hemp twine through the tiny polka dot transparency. The screened background on the right page, under the text, is a digital holiday postage strip enlarged to fit the entire page.
I've been using a few more digital elements in this project. I love the immediacy -- that you simply download them and are ready to go. Also they're more economical; the cost can be attributed over many, many uses. I don't have a lot of embellishments so this works well for me and appeals to my frugal nature.
Today I'm volunteering in my daughter's classroom to assist with their gingerbread house project. I guess it goes without saying what an irresistible photo opp that can be. Yesterday's page is still in progress.