Another favorite part of this season is the appearance of sweets that I rarely get to indulge in. In particular, hot chocolate and cookies, my pick for today’s prompt. A mug of hot chocolate is such a wonderful thing on a blustery and cold winter day. No matter how old I get, and I seemed to be doing that each year, I still think of coming home from sledding in the snow each time I have a sip. And as for cookies, I love how festive they become this time of year. That said, you’ll still find me loving those Danish butter cookies in the tin more than just about any other kind. Simple and plain, to be sure, but they’ve always been a tradition in my family. We don’t like the ones sprinkled with sugar on top as evidenced by those being the very last ones to ever be consumed each year. Opening the tin only to find the sugar covered cookies left was always a disappointment, so it was prudent to attack the tin early to get the best ones.
When Philippe and I were at my mom’s earlier this month, she had the traditional tin of butter cookies out and it was the first bite of Christmas we had during our stay. Pro tip, if you close the tin in between cookies, the count restarts back to just one. At least that’s what my sister once told me and I believed her simply because it’s a wonderful thing to believe. The same is true of Santa, of course. I figure the first day I don’t find myself wanting to believe reindeer can fly is the first day I’m actually getting old. The fun part about this season, for me, is seeing it with all the wonder one would find through the eyes of a child. Letting my mind and heart travel back to a time without cynical adult thinking and only youthful exuberance. A sense of sheer anticipation and joy that’s always shining inside, burning bright like lights on the tree.
Though this time of year, I really let myself become a kid again, I guess it’s something I strive for all the time. When I’m painting, I know in my heart that my observational skills will be far better if I wear the eyes of child seeing things for the very first time. I don’t assume to know everything there is to know about what I’m painting, and look carefully at things as though on my very first field trip to an unknown place. No matter how many times I paint the same subject, the child inside sees things that I might take for granted. New and wonderful bits of intrigue that I missed on my last painting and and so I’m thrilled to add them to the next one. I guess, in a way, every single time I sit down before dinner to quickly make a little doodlewash and write a story, it feels like the perfect treat. Every bit as memorable and wonderful as sitting down to have some hot chocolate and cookies.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Yellow Ochre, Benzimida Orange, Cobalt Blue, and Payne’s Gray. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.