This marks the start of a brand new month and another Doodlewash adventure. This one is all about the popular icons seen this time of year. I realize not everyone on the planet celebrates Christmas, but for me, it’s a glittering month of lights and love. Sure, okay, my inner child pretty much loses it this time of year and I’m so excited for the moments with family and fun traditions ahead. Philippe and I each have our own chocolate advent calendar (one German, one Swiss) as well as a Lego advent calendar (Danish) each year, so we’ll be starting those this evening. We usually pair them with rather adult chocolate in the form of tiny boozy bottles (also Danish), but Costco failed us this evening as they were totally out of them. I’m quite certain, because I nearly climbed those tall shelves on the side in order to check properly. I was more than a bit sad that they’ll be missing the start of this year’s countdown. Not for the booze, of course, but for that extra bit of ritual. These little once-a-year rituals are what I love most about this time of year. It’s filled with unique and wonderful things that will only return one achingly long year from now. So, I’m ready to enjoy them to the fullest!
I’ll be completely honest, my favorite bits are mostly the food traditions. I’m rather sure that I’ve already started drooling in my dreams. We just placed our order for our guinea fowl and liver for Philippe’s legendary foie gras. The latter is something nearly none of our friends enjoy, but thankfully, our friend Aesha is a fan so she’ll be joining us over the holidays to partake. As a kid, my Christmas food was just a repeat of Thanksgiving with the introduction of ham. Though a festive cake and some cookies might have made an appearance, it was primarily the same pies all over again. It just wasn’t very memorable. So, I’ve simply adopted all of Philippe’s traditions instead, saving only my beloved blueberry muffins on Christmas Day morning. Those were the one food tradition that felt unique to the season as my mother always made them for me while I was tearing into my gifts. And no matter what cool thing I got that year, those muffins were my favorite gift of all. I still remember the smell of them baking and how easy it was to leave my wonderful presents in that moment and simply enjoy a delicious bite.
So many of my cherished memories are these simple moments. The ones that didn’t require a holiday at all, but it simply made for a rather good excuse to do some special little thing. We had a neighbor who would always bake us cookies at the holidays and though I had those same cookies before at our school functions, they somehow tasted better when they were presented as a gift. Popcorn that you could literally buy all year long suddenly came in a circular tub with festive artwork and it was then the best popcorn in the world. My mom usually has a tub of it when we visit and I devour it like it’s rare gourmet. This is the season that best reminds us of those simple things in life. It’s the season that connects us with our heritage and our imagined past. And it’s a time of giving and giving back to those who have a special place in our lives. That, to me, makes it the most wonderful time of year! These are days that can move so slowly and then suddenly seem to pass too quickly. Before I know it, January has arrived and this year is simply another memory. Yet, I’m as enthralled as ever to begin the journey and, I’m not ashamed to say that I’m squealing with delight and wonder as the countdown begins!
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, and Cobalt Blue. 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!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!