For our prompt of “Cookies” today, we have some cookies for Santa. I had actually hoped I could sweet talk Philippe into baking some Christmas cookies this year, but my charm must have been on the fritz. It didn’t happen. But, that’s likely for the best as they’ll be plenty of sweets in our stockings tomorrow. So this is a completely imagined scene and my gift to Santa this year. As a kid, I would leave cookies and milk out for him and include a little note of some kind. I’m not sure my mother kept these, though she tends to keep many things I’ve almost forgotten. Of course, Santa usually took the note himself so that’s one mystery solved. Though, it would be interesting to see what Little Charlie had to say back then. That little kid also loved to write and tell stories as well, so it’s not unlikely that he might have left one for Santa. I really can’t remember back that far in time. Or, perhaps, after a month of fevered anticipation and the end of the final countdown, there wasn’t much more to say. After all of the dreaming and staring into the impossibly sparkly lights of the tree, this was the one last little moment before that wondrous morning. A quiet time, filled with nothing but hope and love. Perhaps, that little note had the only thing that ever comes to mind in this final moment. And scrawled inside was simply one word: “Thanks.”

As I type this, Philippe is upstairs finally wrapping presents in preparation for our historic evening together. After grumbling about doing so, he suddenly starting humming Christmas carols and then burst up the stairs like a reindeer taking flight. Though we’re both like big kids this time of year, I tend to be like that much of the time. He’s a bit more grown up than I am, but only out of practicality. He’s back downstairs now with a few gifts in hand. And that smile on his face. It’s the same lovely smile I see each day, to be sure, but I swear it’s bigger and more beautiful than ever in this moment. I asked him if he’s putting out all of the gifts and he looked at me slyly and said, “just a few.” I asked him if he wanted me to hide upstairs later as he placed the final gifts. I thought the playful sarcasm was coming through, but he looked at me with all seriousness and said, “do you want to?” This threw me off guard and I had to stop and think about it. I actually did want that. I wanted every piece of magic that I could ever remember. Not simply a bit of nostalgia that’s years gone by now. That magic isn’t gone. That feeling of wonder never really left.

And soon, we’ll be starting our annual celebration, with just the three of us. Though our dog Phineas will normally head to bed before we join him. It’s always a bit different and yet filled with all of the wonderful routines we’ve created over the years. We’ll start with the gravlax and some champagne as the candles burn their message of hope into our hearts. And we’ll simply toast to life in general as all of the wishes have already come true. The gift exchange will begin, with each of us carefully picking out which gift should be revealed next. Then the foie gras and rolls will be served, followed by the guinea fowl, celery root mashed potatoes, and some green vegetable for festive color. And lastly, the cherished white cake with raspberries in the shape of a yule log. Though I don’t yet know what gifts are awaiting me inside those little boxes, I’m most excited for the things that I do know. This tradition of ours. It’s the gift we made together and the one we get to unwrap only once a year. Even though we know what’s inside, it’s always like revealing it for the very first time. And of all the days of the year, that’s why there’s nothing I love more than the night before Christmas.

Want To Sketch Stuff With Me? Check Out My Activity Book!

About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Staedtler Pigment Liners 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!
Santa Cookies Milk Night Before Christmas Watercolor Painting Sketchbook Detail

Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

34 thoughts on “The Night Before Christmas

  1. I am not sure I can leave reply…All the ones I have tried to leave on other sites just disappear…I notified the techs, but it’s Christmas Eve and will probably be the 26th before I get any help. All that aside, I’m going ahead as if this were going to post.
    Then I will copy it, and save it until such time as my posts show and I’ll repost.

    The article, as always, is deserving of all accolades, and the painting is just beautiful too.
    I’ll trade you a ginger cookie for the Christmas tree… I’m munching already and sipping
    ginger tea…

    Have a beautiful evening…make it last beyond calendar or clock!

  2. Oh yum! I could go for some cookies and milk like this. As a child, my hubby used to lay traps to catch Santa. They sound pretty effective, so probably the reason they never worked was because his parents always helped him set them up. We’re going to spend the evening watching the new season of ‘Lost in Space’. I’m so happy it was released today, because we only signed up for a trial month, and won’t have Netflix after the 28th. It’s the only show I was really eager to watch.

  3. Yay to Christmas cookies! I always left out cookies for Santa when I was small, and they were always gone in the morning. My kids left out cookies and a note for Santa and carrots for Rudolph. Santa, on behalf of himself and Rudolph, would leave crumbs and a big “thank you” written on the kids’ note. Fun!

  4. Great painting Charlie. I’m reading this on Christmas morning. Our Christmas day is very quiet now our daughters are grown up and have children of their own. We are having out big day on Saturday when we have the whole family, 12 of us, for lunch. Happy Christmas to the three of you.

  5. Bonjour, je vous écrit de France, autant j’aime vos aquarelles, autant vos textes m’attirent beaucoup et me font du bien, me font réfléchir aussi – cet enfant en vous est chez moi aussi – je suis une “dame” il n’y a pas comme chez vous, de déposer des friandises pour le Père Noël – bien que vos coutumes américaines, arrivent tout doucement chez nous aussi, il y a une mode de lui laisser, une petite bouteille de cola pour lui donner des forces – nous les cadeaux seront ce 25.12 de cet après midi jusqu’au soir – il y a deux garçons de 6 et 9 ans – ils croient au Père Noël – disent-ils … comme ils sont énervés à ouvrir trop vite, nous avons décidé de faire des pauses – mangeons l’entrée et ils ouvrent quelques cadeaux, puis mangeons la dinde – et ils ouvrent de nouveau – donc en plusieurs fois, car les autres années, ils ouvraient si vite, si énervés, que c’était la pagaille – et ils n’appréciaient pas et nous non plus – je vous souhaite à vous et à vôtre mari, de belles découvertes de vos cadeaux, tenez nous au courant de ce que vous avez reçu – Cordialement – Cathy

Leave Me A Comment!