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December 20, 2011
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Art We Heart: Holidays

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 7:41 PM by mattdanna:iconmattdanna:
Art We ♥ is a hand-selected art feature, chosen by deviantART staff members, showcasing art we believe the community will enjoy.

:iconmattdanna:Some thoughts from Matt (mattdanna)

Being raised Roman Catholic, Christmas is a big ordeal for my family. On Christmas Eve, we would always celebrate Christmas with my Mom's side of the family and we would participate in this weird yankee swap gift exchange. It's such an evil game because only one person really ends up being happy with the gift they receive, and everyone else wants to strangle that person. Unfortunately, I always ended up with a gag gift.  On Christmas Day, we would go to church and then have my Dad's side of the family over for a gluttonous late lunch/early dinner.

I participated in these annual traditions for 21 years. Last Christmas was the first year I did not travel home for the holidays. I had just moved out to Los Angeles a couple months prior, and I thought it was a bit overkill to spend upwards of $600 for a cross-country flight home. Admittedly, the Holidays last year felt weird. Even though I had a lovely Christmas dinner with Heidi and her family and it was a nice relief avoiding all the travel plans, shopping, and cooking...it felt like Christmas passed right by without me even noticing. On a side note, it's difficult to get into Los Angeles' sunny Christmas spirit when I was used to the frigid winters of Massachusetts.

Looking back, the thing I missed most was the time I spent with my family. Whether that family time was spent around the dinner table or wrestling people in Best Buy over products like they're a bottle of water in the Sahara Desert, it was still nice to be around those you love. This year, I'm making the trip back home. :)

Happy Christmas 2008 by RobbVisionWhat about you! What's your story?
-What are your plans for the holidays?
-Does your family have any holiday traditions?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!






People

Mid-Winter's Night by IardacilWinter Smile by anako-artwinter's cry by WCS-WildcatElf by AlterEgoPhotographyMerry Christmas by lilhyperbabeWinter by elanordhCold Winter by FrozenStarRoLaughing Santa's by DuncanLIced Crystal Christmas Dream by lxrichbirdsfSanta Baby by DalaiHarmaSanta for good boys by vishstudioChristmas by youxiandaxiaCandy cane christmas by Ophelia-OverdoseChristmas snow by Mar-kaA Living Snowglobe by flashparade

Crafts

Winter Wonderland Keys by DrayokWinter by NikitaCosplayWinter sprite by BurlesqueMacabre:thumb274415188:Holiday Ornament by eerok1955WIP holiday crafts project pt 4 by amorningcupofjoWinter Wind Octopus by BlackMagdalenaBlue Agate Star of David Bracelet by FancyHeartDesigns

Nature

Not So Cold Anymore by trenchmakerthis winter.... by lovelycristinaDecorating the Christmas Tree by AmethystSkyesThese Winter Days by ForestGirlSnow Globe by aliwellesChristmas Tree by Hengki24Christmas Present is Here Today... by ChicaaaaaSnow by AlexWLFCSnow Covered Fence by StrandedAutumnChristmas Tree by DreAminginDigITalSnow Deer by fresh4uWinter Gryphon by windfalconSilent Watchers by TammaraNot Sleddin' by jollyjackA Christmas Coral by priteeboy

Literature

The Holiday SpiritWhy is it only 'the holiday season' that brings out the best in people?
'Peace on Earth' wishes
Goodwill toward all men
December melts the coldest hearts
Ironic for the coldest month
But why only then?
Why only light the night one month out of the year?
Why only open your heart one month out of the year?
Perhaps if the 'holiday spirit' could become synonymous with the 'human spirit'
We'd all be better off
All those 'Peace on Earth' wishes could become reality after all
snowA cold white blanket
snow drifting from house to house
the world sleeps.
:thumb254442652: Holiday MemoriesIt was a simple white bow, the kind you stick on gifts to make them look fancier. Most people would toss it in the trash with all the rest of the gift wrappings. But this bow... he could never throw it away, even now. He looks at it now, turning it over in his hands, remembering how happy that gift made her. The gift he dressed up with this cheap paper ribbon, bought for $2 at the local drug store. He no longer had the gift; that would stay with her always. He wanted to remember her that day, and was compelled to put the bow in his pocket as she admired him for the love he gave to her.
The gift didn't matter, but it made her feel loved. That's what mattered most, for she had a rough life and thought that no one would care. He put the bow on his desk and put his hand on her journal, the last words she would ever write. He flipped to that page and read it again. "Thank you" was all that it said, in deteriorated handwriting that stole everything away. He didn't want to remember what happe
Crystal SnowBlow on high,
dance now crystal snow
Light the painted sky
touch the Earth below
Shimmering stars,
gentle flakes descend from heaven
Wisps of god-wrought joy
their blessings now are given
Fall so fair,
Heaven's boldest wings brought low
Blow on high
fly now crystal snow
Exhale once more,
the night now so alive.
Ghostly breath entwined below
above, a glorious sky
Snow globe scene,
a moment's grace suspended
Crystalline dreams
within a world so splendid
Blow on high,
fill me crystal snow
Embrace the glimmering trees
…and wake my slumbering soul.
:thumb150430728: Rain falls into mugsI remember when i was
holding your hand
alone in a room
with hot chocolate beside us
watching the rain fall down
it was great
because i had you next to me
I felt the warmth
seep into my heart
as you touched my hand and
held me as we talked
i felt just right
sitting there
with you
Even if your gone
im still
thinking of these memories
they're the only thing
that pass the time
on lonely days
I wonder where you are now
maybe dancing in the stars
i wish you were here
but it's okay
i'll pass these lonely days
with thoughts of you
holding this mug in my hand
and watching the rain fall


Holiday Activities

His First Snowman by Lady-Torihappy christmas by ranczandrasChristmas time by UberzersSnow by SweetochiiWinter Love by LittleSeaSparrow:thumb274043276::thumb44306992:Opossum Christmas by Silverfox5213:thumb274532779:Winter by Volandist

Festive Food (Om Nom Nom!)

:thumb274904843:Little bitty cakes by NeutroniaDelicious Gingerbread Dragons by The-SixthLeafCloverPenguin Cake by sparks1992Dutch Holidays cake by NaeraHappy holidays by lieveheersbeestje

Winter Wonderland

winter. by NDliciousWinter by theunderdogalmamaterWinter pastorale by uvar:thumb208193253:Winter by yelouLooking forward to winter by ZorooKoning Winter by CocoaDesertHeat Of Winter by Dani-Lefrancoiswinter sun by MellkorFoggy winter day by oriontrailWinter Church by uvarWinter Sky by erwinsart

Christmas

Making Christmas I by caithness155winter by ValentinaKalliasSnowman by aGuyFromPlevenChristmas. by HQheart..Christmas.. by fruitpunch1christmas lights by photoamateur77Happy Holidays by farhan169:thumb45554637:Christmas by minipadde



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:iconmollykittykat:
Mollykittykat Dec 22, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Still. My family was very pleasant. And I suppose that's what matters.
Reply
:icontwixie09:
twixie09 Dec 22, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
My mom always wanted Christmas Eve to be the formal occasion. We would all wear our nicest Christmas clothes, and we (my mom, mostly, with help from my dad) would spend the whole day preparing the Christmas Eve dinner. We would eat around three or four in the afternoon, then clean up the kitchen and sit around and let the food settle. haha Then, a few hours after, we would eat dessert (my mother always made her secret-recipe sugar cookies, pumpkin pie, and a delicious Christmas-themed chocolate cake). After dessert, we (my siblings and I) would each open a gift (my parents would always give us a pair of new pajamas to wear that night) and we would model our new pajamas. Sometimes, we were allowed to open a small gift from under the tree as well. At 11:30 pm, we would leave to go to the candlelight church service (I'm not very religious, but I have always enjoyed it). Service would let out at around 12:15 am, then we would socialize for a bit and head home. After getting into our pajamas, my mom would read my siblings and me "The Night Before Christmas", and then we would head to bed.

Christmas day is our casual day. We would wake up around ten or so and my parents would make a breakfast of fresh fruit, cinnamon rolls, eggs with the leftover ham in it, and hot chocolate and orange juice. After breakfast, my siblings and I would take a picture under the tree together in our pajamas, and we would open stocking stuff. After we all did that and showered, we would spend the rest of the day taking turns opening gifts and that was pretty much my family Christmas. (:

I didn't intend to write a novel...haha I just love my family's Christmas traditions.

Thanks for sharing!
Reply
:icondurpdur:
durpdur Dec 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I love it! Nice features, very good selections! :heart:
Reply
:iconficticiousanimation:
FicticiousAnimation Dec 21, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very touching story. Me? I just want others to be happy. Don't think i'm the super giving and happy guy though. I gave away my xbox to some kids who weren't going to have a Christmas. Whatever though. I don't want any recognition for it. -And I already got an early Christmas that I absolutely love, so i'm doing okay. I hope my family is happy this Christmas. I'm glad I always get to be with them. :)
Reply
:iconartbycher:
ArtByCher Dec 21, 2011   Traditional Artist
Great interview for the holidays! I'm from Massachusetts and it is far from frigid this year :D
Reply
:iconforestdwellerhouses:
ForestDwellerHouses Dec 21, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
Beautiful looking art by all MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!
Reply
:iconvanart94:
VanArt94 Dec 21, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I have two traditions, but one is not on Christmas.

I'm from a dutch family and community. We celebrate Sinter Klass on Dec,5. On that day, we get a chocolate letter and a small a orange.

Then on Christmas day, we do a thing called dine and dash. After church service, we get home and get ready to leave for someones house. We usually go to about 4-5 places that have either,
Drinks
Appetizers
Supper
Desserts/gift exchange.

And for gift exchange, we have a game. We each get a number, 1- 29 or however the amount of people is there. If you get #1 you can pick any present from the pile and open it. Here is the fun part. If your #2 you can steal from the first person, forcing them to pick again or grab one from the pile. It's so much fun!~
Reply
:iconlexymi:
LexyMi Dec 21, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
"Petit papa noel, quand tu descendras du ciel, avec des jouets par milliers, tu verras, mon petit soulier..."
For those of you who are french, you will of course know the song. Otherwise, let me explain: When I was little, my family and I all went to grandparents house in Geneva from my mother's side. My cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, my parents and soon after my little brother. we were about 30 in total. All the cousins got together and invented a choreography, a dance, a show that we would present after dinner.
I remember we used to practice in the entrance of the building because there was a huge mirror. we always fought, and there was always one of us who ended up leaving or crying. But despite that, we never gave up and found ourselves in front of the adults, smiling, laughing and clapping as if they were at a rolling stones concert :)
Since we were so many, the adults would eat at a table and we (the young ones) had our table.. we then felt free, independent and big as we weren't "watched" by our parents during dinner time. Dinner which was always a wonderful feast and loud, because imagine 30 people talking at the same time in an apartment mixed with oriental music. Why? my grandparents lived in Marocco for a few years and when I was old enough, my grandmother taught me how to belly dance!
So, dinner was always very eventful and I keep amazing memories. After dinner, my uncle would make jokes, pull pranks and bring "clown accessories". We would then all sit in the living room and start singing that song.. why? well to call Santa of course! By singing that french song at midnight, santa would ALWAYS show up at the door with a HUGE bag full of presents for everyone. He would drop off the bag at the door, ring the doorbell, and as soon as one of us would open the door, we would see him run away.

I am now older, my cousins have grown up, but not yet old enough to have kids of their own to sing that song for. we therefore have to wait another few years to sing "petit papa noel" at midnight and wait for Santa to ring the bell :)

In the meantime, I am wishing you all a Merry Christmas
Reply
:icontarolemon:
TaroLemon Dec 21, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Every Christamas we do the same thing - until evening we donīt eat a thing . My dad is afraid to kill the carp so we eat fillets and sauerkraut soup( I totally hate it - but in Slovakia itīs tradition ) . At the midnight we go to the church . Every Christmas there are the same movies at the same time in the TV.
Basically our family donīt have any special traditions .

What I hate about the Christmas is the gift exchange beacause now when Iīm bit older I must buy presents too and itīs really hard to save up money.
:D
Reply
:icononemeanmotherfokker:
onemeanmotherfokker Dec 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
My Christmas has always been hectic. When I was a kid, we had 3 - one at my parent's house, one at my mom's mother's house, and one at my dad's mother's house - things are pretty much the same now that I have a child - Christmas here, christmas at mom's (where my paternal grandfather comes - Gram died last year around this time, so it's hard for us still) and Christmas at my mother-in-law's (occasionally, she's in her 80s and it's hard on her) and then Christmas at my maternal grandfather's place. It's hectic.

Being a pagan, I celebrate a couple of days during this time - the 6th I use as Sleipnir Day where all the horses are fed extra, hay and treats are left out, and my son leaves out a pair of klompen filled with hay - which is a nod to my French-Canadian ancestors on mom's side. I put little wrapped treats and other things in the shoes when he goes to sleep.

Of course, the Holidays wouldn't be complete without my infamous Red's Cookie Tray of doom, which I take a crappy picture of each year and put up on here to torment everyone. HAhaha.

Tonight is Yule, or the Solstice - my son will be opening a small gift in the morning, but today on Yule Eve, he'll be helping around our community with acts of service, and putting out food and drink for the Wild Hunt so we are not numbered as one of the dead to be collected this year.
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