What is it about the arts that bring so much joy to so many people during the holidays?  The music on the radio, concerts, ballets, decorating a tree, creating a wreath,dancing, cooking, singing, telling stories…  these are all natural ways to celebrate the season and they are all embedded in the arts.

It’s the creation of atmosphere, the expression of joy and the celebration of culture.  Many people say, “Christmas is a feeling,” and what better way to express our feelings than through the arts!  Alters are decorated extra special, snowflakes are cut by the hundreds by little scissors and the music, oh the music.  What would this season be without it?  Even if you can’t stand it as a whole, there is usually that one song that just hits the spot.  For me, it’s O Holy Night and the instrumental version of Sleigh Ride: two completely different feelings that come alive during the season. (To hear these and other great holiday songs, scroll to the end of this post.)

And one of the most relaxing things I do to prepare my house is to make a simple wreath from the extra branches from our Christmas tree.  There is something about doing that and forming the bow and ribbon just so, that makes be smile.  it’s a small project I look forward to each year.

These are the things we have been sharing with our students.  So many teachers play holiday music in their classrooms, do a seasonally themed assignment or let their students create something in red, white, green and blue.  Sharing in this joy with students seems unavoidable!

As the last days before Christmas scurry by, I must remember that all these crazy things we do both in and out of school, are because we are expressing our joy and I need to pause and enjoy them: so when I bake, I will do it with love; when I listen to an old memory of a loved one, I will do it with interest; when my students want to sing Jingle Bells to me with their choreographed dance, I will watch with a smile.  🙂

Enjoy your last day with your students (if you still have one) and the last hours before Christmas.

And don’t forget to enjoy the joy in all the crafty, artsy things you do!