Tonight we put up our Christmas tree. And I got to thinking about the spirit of Christmas – at least one of them. I think spirit should be plural.
I know the BIG Spirit of Christmas, the one that fills my heart with joy at each Christmas Carol and at each quiet moment spent with my Maker, thinking about Him during this awe inspiring season.
Then there is the generic spirit of Christmas. This is the festive mood, the general infectious feeling of generosity and joy that perpetrates every soul, those Christian or of Christian heritage – and often those of completely other religions.
Then there are the MANY spirits of Christmas that unfold seamlessly into my heart as we unpack the boxes of tree ornaments. Christmas tree decorating in our house is like a party for our personal saints. Their spirits fill the room with love and history of cherished days gone. There is my husband’s grandma’s frail old glass house and her kitschy plastic nativity, and my Grandma’s glass hanging beads, my other Grandmas frail glass bobble, the silver Santa Claus my dad bought me, the sweet rustic treasures crafted by my children’s hands and the endless quantity of Christmas ornaments from my mom and my husband’s mom – both unique personifications of Christmas itself. Then there are ornaments from happier times from people of relationships lost. These are all good too. Even these speak to happy times of giving and good will. Our Christmas tree, with its star of Bethlehem at the top and the stars of the universe dancing upon it, not only speaks of that oh so holy night, it speaks of our personal communion of saints – all those we love and have loved, through a rich and complex family history.
So, when it is all done, I sit here tonight with my next of kin – all of them. And together, we celebrate the season, once again.
Image © Kathy Marlene Bailey
First Published on Dec. 1, 2014 at: www.KathyMarleneBailey.com
Guest Author Bio
Kathy Marlene Bailey
Kathy Marlene Bailey is a professional visual artist who also loves to write. She lives in Burlington, Ontario. First studying Fine Art at University of Guelph, Kathy then graduated in Art Education at the University of Toronto and in Creative Arts at Sheridan College. Her artwork is represented by Christina Parker Gallery in St. John’s, NL and Project Gallery in Toronto ON.
Although her subject matter addresses her own experiences in this modern time, Kathy’s oil painting practices are taken from Rembrandt and the Renaissance Masters. She learned about these techniques in the late 70”s while attending Guelph University and embraced them as incredible tools for achieving spectacular colour and illusion of depth.
Kathy has always been fascinated and with the intricacies of nature. When painting her waterscapes, she is exploring the wonder of the infinite designs, within infinite designs that dance within water. She digs farther and farther into the designs while the glazing process evolves, piecing together and refining the shapes, recording the tiniest nuances of colour, value relationship and contrast. In the end, through catching the very specifics of what can be seen, she hopes to capture the rapture of the experience itself; she hopes that the viewer will be transported to her very own experience – to the transcendent awe – the Sublime – which she feels when actually on the riverbank or on the harbour looking at the lightning-quick movements and the overwhelming beauty of the waters there.
Along with artmaking, Kathy has always quietly loved writing. Her writings have usually been crafted musings that dig for greater truths. She has done them to achieve understanding, make sense of things and to find clear paths of personal direction. Writing to Kathy is often like prayer and sometimes is prayer.
Website: Kathy Marlene Bailey