Sunday, December 12, 2010

2010 Virtual Advent Tour: Christmas Beauties as Memory

First off, let me thank Kailana from The Written World and Marg from Adventures of an Intrepid Reader for hosting the Virtual Advent Tour once again this year.  Last year was my first time participating in this wonderful, holiday event when I shared more about my family's new Hawaiian holidays in my "Mele Kalikimaka" post.  That was such a nice opportunity to really think about how my small family celebrates this joyous holiday, so thank you again to them and all those who participate and share their holidays with us!

For this year's 12th Day Virtual Advent post, I wanted to share something new to me.  As some of you might know, I purchased my first home last year.  This was an exciting and frightening time, but I have loved having my own place to call home.  Thankfully, I have plenty of holiday decorations that I've collected and purchased over the years, so decking my halls took very little effort!  In fact, my mother couldn't take her fake tree with her to Hawaii, so I inherited it from her.

One thing I've wanted to do though, that a new home reminds me, is to put up Christmas artwork.  For anyone who has purchased a new home or moved in somewhere that's bigger than what you're used to, there is always the matter of hanging things on bare walls!  Over the years I've developed an interest in collecting artwork when I travel, or at least purchasing art that has a story.  For instance, I have collected several paintings and watercolors that now hang in my home and are special to  me because of the story attached to them.  What about holiday artwork though?  That's tougher to find, at least from my experience.

"Christmas Dreaming" before having it framed.
Two years ago I taught a really bright young man who had amazing artistic talent.  In fact, for his introducing piece to our class, he created an oil painting of a locomotive to represent an important memory he had with his grandfather.  (None of the other students wanted to follow him to share their collages and mobiles made from coat hangers after that showing.)  This young man continued to produce beautiful art all year to represent things we were reading in class, or as his own response to our discussions.  Before the year ended, I approached him about possibly purchasing a piece from him.  He gave me a choice, and I decided I wanted something with a Christmas theme.  He jumped at the opportunity, both because he knew I appreciated his artwork and because I offered to pay him, and after graduating and getting ready to head off into the world he presented me with the final product on a little board.

Just yesterday I went to pick up the finished product after having it custom framed.  Thankfully, it is just in time for the holidays!  I can't express how much this piece of artwork will mean to me, thanks to the story and memories behind it.  As teachers, we sometimes forget names.  What we don't forget are the stories and cumulative memories we've collected over the years.  We may not remember the names, years, or exact details, but the feelings and thoughts it left behind are there forever.  In a way, this painting is a visual representation of what one student left in my memory and heart. 

For other Virtual Advent Tour stops on this, Day 12, visit:

Michelle @ Galleysmith
Thank you again to everyone involved, and to all of my friends and readers!  With less than two weeks to go, let me join in and wish you all a very Merry Christmas!


  1. Becky, what a sweet story and my goodness that young man is talented. The painting is absolutely beautiful! Anyone would be honored to hang that up in their home - I know I would.

  2. What a lovely painting - I can't draw for toffee sadly but I can appreciate the work of others. It would make a lovely Christmas card too!

  3. That looks lovely framed. How great to have your student's work up in your new home. A great way to remember him.

  4. What a beautiful drawing and story. You're right-holiday artwork is hard to find with the right meaning-but what a great way to remember him and that class by.

  5. What a treasure! Thank you for sharing the story.

  6. What a talented artist and what a great keepsake for you. Thanks for sharing.

  7. a lovely painting and a lovely memory.

  8. Darlene--He really is talented! I'm excited to have it as a new addition to my home.

    Miss Moppet--I can't draw or paint either, so it's always fun to have new art to add to my home!

    Jan & Buckeye Girl--Thanks! It will be so special to have student work at home. I know I'll cherish it for a very long time.

    JoAnn--Thanks! I thought it would be a fun advent story to share.

    Dave&Tami and Kaye--Thank you so much. This will be a great piece of art, with a nice story to tell.