When it’s cold outside, mice tend to prefer being inside as well. Inside your home, that is, whether you like it or not. I guess this is why so many holiday images include a mouse. Well, that, and they’re just incredibly cute as uninvited pests go. Perhaps one of the most famous lines about a mouse this time of year comes to us at the very beginning of the classic poem:
‘Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung
by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas
soon would be there;
Clement Clarke Moore
By using the words “not even,” Moore implies that these little rodents were already well-known for making an appearance during the winter months. I’m rather fond of seeing a Christmas mouse pop up in various illustrations over the holidays. Interestingly though, mice actually despise candy canes. Peppermint oil is often recommended as a deterrent to stop them from making a home in your house. But in stories, anything is possible. And that’s why we love them.
When I was a kid I used to write stories, but I don’t remember ever writing one about a mouse, much less a holiday mouse. Perhaps this little guy should have his own story. He could be Michael, the only little mouse who loves candy canes. No, that’s just daft. Maybe my younger self could have thought of something a bit better. My older self simply wants to finish this glass of wine. Tonight, I’m just happy no mice have actually made an appearance in my home. The real version sort of freaks me out! But in illustrated form, everything gets just a bit cuter. Creatures that would normally make you run and jump on a chair suddenly make you want to stop and cuddle them. This is one of the reasons why I’ve always loved illustration and storytelling.
And I’m thrilled to be heading into this season of classic stories. Well, I’m also a fan of candy canes, so just like Michael, I’m planning on having a few of those before the season is over. Yes, sure, there are also lots of presents for many of us who celebrate during this time, but I’m mostly just in love with the traditions. Those little icons, images, and treats that only come once a year. It makes this such a uniquely special time of year. No matter what you may celebrate, I hope this season is a particularly special one for you. Enjoy every little moment that it brings as you love all of the things that make you smile. Even if there’s something you enjoy this time of year that nobody else seems to, don’t let that stop you! Just enjoy your season whatever way you like. And be just a bit like Michael, the Holiday Mouse.
About the Doodlewash
Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Sennelier Red, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Deep. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.