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Tag Archives: Merry Christmas

Paul often reads to me while I cook. With holiday preparations underway for Christmas 2016 Eve supper there was ample time for this week’s headline story in our small town newspaper of childhood Christmas traditions recalled. That led inevitably to stories from our own childhoods.

Sugar Plums first and then the Christmas tree

When we were young trees were decorated and packages arranged only after children were asleep in their beds presumably with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. Children were expected to wait to be called or at least past a certain early morning hour before Christmas could begin.

Bells in the family

We’ve always had bells in the family, not the thin metal, cheap ones but real harness bells, weighty and resonant. My parents prized a strand of five woven into a red rope that hung from a hook on the back door. On Christmas morning they were rung to signal me and three siblings that it was time to come downstairs accompanied by Santa’s deep-throated gravely, “Ho-ho-ho, Merry Christmas!” Our mother’s voice was never recognized in any hint of tone or timbre. Our father was by nature too guarded and serious to be so playful. Long after I knew their secret, it remains a special memory and a phrase like music that I can recall perfectly. Whether I say the words aloud or not, tomorrow morning the memory will connect me once again to Mother.

Who Santa really is

I was the eldest of four, each of us born five years apart. My parents grew concerned as I neared age seven that I might learn and tell the larger truth about Santa to the youngest. That Christmas Eve as they tucked me into bed, they revealed who Santa really is: the season’s love and generosity openly expressed and shared in gifts and greetings among cherished family and treasured friends. Parents, they said, are the real elves, surrogates who do the magic work themselves. They invited me to join with them for the sake of my siblings. The words were gentle and honest, words I emulated with my own children as they too began to participate in Christmas magic. But that night I closed my eyes and held my breath until my parents tiptoed away. And then I cried myself to sleep at the loss of reindeer who could fly and a red-suited stranger who visited all the world’s children in the night.

Guilty sled runner tracks in the carpet

Paul recalled a Christmas in Bronxville when his older brother waked him early on Christmas morning, “Wake up! Don’t you want to go down stairs to see what’s under the tree?” Paul was very young but savvy enough to see darkness outside and mistrust that it was past seven o’clock. “Just come look at my clock then!” which big brother had slyly set forward. So both boys navigated the wide staircase and flipped the switch to light the tree in a vision of sparkling light and color. That’s a strong, visual memory that Paul carries today. At long ago Christmases the children’s gifts weren’t wrapped but arranged openly beneath the tree. That year a train and a sled demanded immediate play. Tired after a while of their too early adventures, they went back to sleepy beds where their parents found them and when guilty sled runner tracks in the carpet’s deep pile gave them away.

Wishing you joy and peace and kindred souls

However you enjoy these wintry days, take time, as will we, to remember those who taught us by their example to love, respect, and be generous of spirit. Home is wherever and with whomever you rest your heart. May you be blessed with joy and peace and kindred souls. Merry Christmas to all!


Merry Christmas from Light Pixie Studio!

This is how Mother Nature decorates our Christmas tree in the central meadow at Richwood Valley. How fortuitous that Mr. Cardinal stopped for a rest between flights to the creek from the forest to take a look around and brighten the winter with red. It’s a Merry Christmas kind of day.

As Light Pixie Studio has developed over these past ten years, the greatest and most unexpected pleasure has come from the stories heard and the clients met. So as not to spoil someone else’s Merry Christmas surprise, I chose not to send Christmas greetings to you until the actual day was past and the gift given. Three months ago I received a Polaroid spoiled with age, one that had been pinned up as a reminder of happy winter scenes and Christmases long ago. My client was a son acting as agent for himself and his siblings. They grew up with the winter scene below just outside their window and–with this as backdrop–merry Christmas memories evolved. Their mother is now a widow living in a smaller home not far away. That Polaroid was her memory link to happy times with husband and young children in the home someone else now owns. I restored the image and added the top of the central tree where the camera cropped it away. Then it was enlarged to life scale and printed on heavy archival cotton rag, framed for their mother’s new home for a renewed Christmas memory of those happy days.


Light Pixie’s creative fuel

Thank you for making another successful year at Light Pixie Studio. Your visits and comments at the website are valued greatly; they are fuel for my creativity. Your stories are inspiring and your commissions and other purchases always appreciated. Here’s wishing you and yours a wonderful season full of joy and peace! Take time to say thank you, make amends, give with a generous heart, and may you receive your own heart’s desire whatever good thing that may be! Merry Christmas

Corgi Merry Christmas
Let the Feasting Begin
One successful painting begets another!

A year ago I painted a commission of a very special Pembroke Corgi which I posted here as Lifetime Achievement together with the portrait and story of Northwynd Everlasting “Sprite” who won the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club National Specialty. Recently that commission brought another.

A Corgi Merry Christmas!

A white and Merry Christmas is upon us. Here we have two other Pembroke Corgis, Lu Lu and Aggie, who were invited to the holiday table. Through the back window cold snow and freezing rain lay heavily upon the lawn. This pair waits patiently for what they hope will be more than savory smells but a true Corgi Merry Christmas! Sharyn finished this painting called Let the Feasting Begin just in time as it is to be a surprise found under someone’s Christmas tree next week.

Corgis are easily recognized for their beautiful fur and short legs. As a breed they are known for intelligence and loyalty. Vigorous, lively pets, they are good with children and make excellent watch dogs. When bound for the show ring, animals are trained with food as their primary reward so it took great discipline for this pair to pose with such inviting smells so near! A product of careful breeding at Encore Corgis where traits of beauty, confirmation, and disposition are prized, these two were also the beloved pets of the client who commissioned this painting as a special gift for his wife’s Christmas.

A good chance to learn

Over the years I’ve learned a lot about animals that are famous in their own circles but about which I knew nothing. Their owners are always generous to share with me the qualities of character and nature that make their animals special. It is my job to figure out how to illustrate these abstractions in a concrete way.

A successful year for Light Pixie Studio

It’s been a very busy year for Light Pixie Studio. This is the last commission promised for Christmas giving. Phew! There are three more to begin after New Year. I know my readers are very busy too. My goal at the Light Pixie blog is to show images that tell good stories and write in a compelling, concise way. I want to inspire creativity, give a bit of knowledge and pleasure, and to never waste your time.

A renewed resolution!

I am renewing last year’s resolution once again–it is to keep writing and painting and photographing and moreover to post more regularly if not more often. Thank you for stopping by to look and to read. I value each one of you and the likes or comments you share. Thanks especially to those who buy my work and the many others who’ve signed up for blog updates.

Wishing each of you time to spend with those you love, joyous memories, and a warm place to shelter from winter’s cold. May the New Year bring happiness to you and yours!

Sharyn Richardson