Christmas Creations

This Christmas has been a difficult one for so many. We can’t celebrate with the many parties, events, and festivities we usually participate in. Our gatherings are smaller, if at all.   And we look ahead to the new year with a wary eye, not trusting what it holds.

My Christmas season held many blessings but it has been filled with much wrestling. A beautiful, artsy friend has taught me the practice of creating while listening. (If you’d like to learn more about her and her art ministry, please visit Created) While my creating isn’t quite on the level of hers (I’m more of a crafter than an artist), the practice provides the same result: letting one’s heart and mind explore outside the confines of boxes and explanations.

My daughter had purchased some simple round wood ornaments that we were supposed to decorate with my granddaughters. Time eluded us and we didn’t have a chance, but I snagged a pile of them.

Confession: I’ve always been reluctant to throw away all the beautiful Christmas cards I receive (yes, there are people who still send them and I am one of them). I have a stack from over the years, including the ones my dad received the Christmas before he passed away.

So, combining the wood ornaments, the Christmas cards, and a bottle of modge podge and I created:

They can be used as ornaments or as gift tags. And along with that thought, I still had plenty of Christmas cards that didn’t quite fit on the size of the ornaments. Going with the theme of gift tags, I created:

And I still have a pile to finish and a handful more cards to use, not including the new ones I received this year:

When my mom was alive and in and out of the hospital, I crafted a binder to keep all the get well cards she received, which I still have. I also have many of the sympathy cards dad received after she passed away as well as the ones my sister and I received after he passed away. (While you might think I have a card hoarding problem, I like to think of them as art waiting to happen).  My thought is that they might make some beautiful book marks to include with the encouragement cards I’ve been sending to those who have been isolated because of the pandemic. A little something to brighten someone’s day.

Did creating help me in the wrestling and the listening? Many of the questions and frustrations are still there and clear answers have not appeared, but I have found my head and my heart to be better spaces to deal with them. So, in that sense, yes.

Still have that stack of Christmas cards? Don’t throw them away. Get creative and clear out your head and heart space. And be sure to drop me a note or a picture on what you created.


About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, a son-in-love, a daughter-in-love and two adorable granddaughters. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in New Braunfels, located at the Texas Hill Country.
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