Since I’ve painted actual bells for this prompt in the past, I figured it was time for some sleigh bells. I remember gleefully singing Jingle Bells as a kid, thinking just how fun it must actually be to go riding in a one-horse open sleigh. Sadly, I’ve never experienced it, but happily, my childlike imagination can picture it fully. Like most dreams of childhood, I’ve never given up on the hope of experiencing the actual thing one day, but still enjoy picturing the possibility. We’re back home once again after visiting family in Texas and picked up Phineas from his pet resort this morning. Though he’s normally a rather silent basenji dog, he has lots to tell us when we retrieve him. Once in the car, he spoke to us nonstop, no doubt telling us about his adventures while at camp and also, very likely, telling us off at the same time. Though perfectly excited to see us initially, he adopted a rather cool tone soon after to let us know he wasn’t amused by our absence. As much as he complains about having to go to camp, when one of the caretakers went to retrieve him, we could see on the monitor that he wasn’t quite ready to leave yet. He was sniffing a particularly interesting butt of a corgi mix and couldn’t be bothered in that moment. Now, though, he’s already in bed, happy to be home again. And though we had a fabulous time with family, we’re quite happy to be home again as well.

While I was quickly doodlewashing this little entry for today, I was singing Jingle Bells in my head. Though it’s a bizarrely repetitive song, my favorite unique line has always been “dashing through the snow.” That’s a beautiful and exciting image that I just love! In my childhood dreams, my horse was a race horse and would set out at blistering speeds. I could feel the cold sting of snow as I imagined my sleigh zooming over hill after hill. I’m quite sure that actual sleighs never moved as fast as the one in my head, so perhaps it’s just as well that I’ve never experienced one. Sometimes, the best bit of magic is the kind that takes place inside a dream. And, this time of year always feels like I’m living inside a snow globe. It’s a lovely mix of memories from the past mingling with beautiful memories created in each and every special moment. For me, this consists of mostly silly moments that we experience. We’ve already played catchup with our Lego Advent calendars as well as our bonus Playmobil calendar. The latter was purchased as a one for us, and a one for our little niece in Paris experience. Thankfully, she’s at an age where having your uncles participate with you still seems cool and not totally strange at all.

But, even as I get older each and every year, I feel like, in many ways, I’m only getting younger. I’m living life through the eyes of my inner child and having a blast in the process. Any moment that I’m ever feeling sad, uninspired, or down, I just ask that little kid I once was what we should do next. It sounds almost ridiculous when I mention it here, but it works every single time. He tells me exactly what to do next and no matter how ridiculous it seems, I follow. As we travel this path together, I’m amazed and delighted at every turn. He makes me feel invincible and like I can do anything in the world I set my mind to DO. You’re currently reading a blog that my grown up self could never have maintained properly. There’s literally no way I could still show up each and every day after all of this time if my adult brain were in charge. In truth, I get it, I’ve just rambled at you yesterday so why on earth should I show up once again? Well, my little inner kid says, “because it’s so much fun!” That’s never a reason an adult gives without a touch of irony. But, in my heart, it’s all I truly believe. And as I continue to live my inexplicable little life, I do so with impossible glee and jingle bells. As I jingle all the way!

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. (My “Shiny” Trio).. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 11 - Jingle Bells Watercolor Garland Sketchbook Detail - Doodlewash

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18 thoughts on “Jingle All The Way!

  1. I love your jingle bells! Ooh. Why does that sound vaguely obscene? English is such a strange language! I’ve never ridden in a one-horse open sleigh either. The closed I’ve been is a hay-ride. Since I turned out to be allergic to the hay, it was less than enjoyable. You version of a sleigh-ride sounds much more fun.

  2. I’ve seen one horse open sleighs. They are darlingly cute. These were Victorian era antiques in museums in Germany. They look like extremely large Christmas table decorations. The sort of sleigh centerpiece you would fill with pinecones and nuts or fruits to decorate a huge table. They’re about the size of a refrigerator only lying down on it’s side. They were elaborately carved with deer heads or rabbits or garlands or other symbols and beautifully painted. I was so delighted with them I took plenty of photos. Only these were in the olden days of real 35mm cameras and they are all on slides which have never been converted. So I guess I need to start getting out the old prints and slides and start to take photos of them with my camera to get them digitized.

    I used to own a sleighbell too. A real one. Well, more on permanent loan until my Dad called it in.

    There were a set of six that my Grandfather owned. We live on the West coast and the rest of the family lived on the east. My Grandmother died and my Dad came back with among other trinkets this antique brass sleigh bell. He said the rest of the family had picked everything over so there was very little left for us. His sister had five of these bells and wanted it but he said no, that she would always think of him when she looked at her five bells. She had had them silver plated, which I felt was an abomination. This was a real brass bell. I used to polish it often and occasionally wear it on a chain through junior and senior high school. Then at some point when I was in college my Dad was going back east and he asked for it. Seems he was going to mend fences and give it to his sister as a peace offering. (Much good that did as when his Dad died history repeated itself and when my other Aunt died it came back in spades. But they’re not getting the desk! It’s in *my* house.)

    I still remember what my sleigh bell looked like and it was not a giant jingle bell. Round, ball like bell, yes. But the holes were a bit different and there was a ridge around it and the loop on the top where it attached to the leather harness was different than a jingle bell.

    Yes, I really do need to start going through all of those albums and trays. I’ll bet there is a wealth of subject matter to paint.

  3. I had a horse named Chester when I was young. My dad traded a cow for him. He was lame in one leg when we got him and after a while he wasn’t getting better. My father said that he was going to have to put him down because we couldn’t let him suffer any more. I cried and cried until dad finally gave in and said he would wait one more day. Then I went to the barn and cried on the horse. The next day he started to get better and I was thrilled. All my tears had cured him! When he was 100% we began to ride him and discovered two things: first, he was a naughty horse and would run under low branches to knock his rider off, and two, I’m kinda afraid of horses. I like to look at them and pet them and feed them apples and carrots, but I don’t like to be on them when they are moving. 😁 Eventually Chester was traded away for a goat and some muscovy ducks. I missed him in theory, but in reality, I was happy that I didn’t have to ride him any more.

    1. I adore that story!! 😃💕 hehe… Chester sounds like quite a character. Totally worth miraculously saving with your tears! That’s so sweet! But yeah, horses can be frightening when they have that much will built into such a giant frame!

  4. Second and third verses (which hardly anyone knows or sings)

    A day or two ago I thought I’d take a ride
    And soon Miss Fannie Bright was seated by my side.
    The horse was lean and lank, misfortune seemed his lot.
    We got into a drifted bank and we? We got upsot.

    Now the ground is white go it while you’re young,
    Take the girls tonight and sing this sleighing song;
    Just get a bobtailed nag, two forty for his speed.
    Then hitch him to an open sleigh and crack! You’ll take the lead.

  5. I also dreamed of dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh! I did go on a sleigh ride once, in one of the mountain towns east of L.A. Unfortunately, the horse walked at a slow pace, so I never got to “dash”.

  6. Such wonderful memories and imaginings!!! I love your childlike fascination and descriptions! I, too, would love to ride in a one horse open sleigh. I did love riding in a sled pulled by husky dogs in Alaska, but that’s the closest I’ve come.

  7. Yep, I’m right there with you. Never been in a sleigh, a sled flying down the hill is the closest for me. My inner child lives very close…..daily. 😛 That is why I enjoy reading your ramblings, so fun, honest and real. Something a lot of people could use.

  8. Loved your doodlewash of jingle bells! 💕I was definitely curious to know about your dog..How he managed it in your absence…There are two superstar dogs in this doodlewash family…One is William and other is Phineas…

  9. Charlie says, “Sometimes, the best bit of magic is the kind that takes place inside a dream”

    That is a beautiful truism. It makes me feel warm and cozy, and sets the sugarplums to dancing in my head.

    Two picks today for

    Charlie says, “as I continue to live my inexplicable little life, I do so with impossible glee and jingle bells

    What a beautiful way to travel through each day!

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