“Brown paper packages tied up with string,
These are a few of my favorite things.”
These song lyrics are no doubt engraved the memories of many who will read this. A song that plays each year on the radio in my house during Christmas. This year, though, I didn’t just hum along with it. It gave me an idea. A, slightly crazy one, you might say.
Over the summer I took an interest in a form of drawing called Zentangle. I have since then been slowly but surely practicing it when I can, and bit by bit I come to enjoy it even more than I did before. The simple patterns are fun and with small practice are easy to draw ( which is good for me because I have the artistic talent of a goat ). Combine them and some shading you’ve created a swirling tile of abstract wonder.
I have always loved hearing stories from my parents and grandparents about the different traditions that they used to have when they were children, and there was one in particular that came to mind when that song first played this year. It was the one about how my oma would spend her Christmas’ back on her family’s farm in the 40’s and 50’s. They didn’t have fancy wrapping paper like we do today. They really did wrap their gifts in brown paper.
So I got to thinking, and thought, why don’t I do that this year? And then I got to thinking some more ( a dangerous endeavor ), and thought, why don’t I also hand draw a different Zentangle pattern on each of the pieces of brown paper I use? That’ll be fun, right?
Well it turns out I did have fun doing it, and despite the seven sharpies I went through and all the extra time it took away from other things that may or may not have been more important, I am so glad I did it. They are not perfect; I could go on endlessly about all the little imperfections in my drawings. But what matters is that as much care went into the wrapping as did the gifts that they hold, and I’m happy I was able to put in a little extra care for the people I care most about.
I will never be able to show them just how much they mean to me, but I’ll have to keep trying anyways.
So now I’m burning scented wax like crazy in my room to try and get the sharpie smell out, but oh well. Something tells me I’ll be crazy enough to do the same thing again next year, despite all the extra hassle. You know, been there, done that, and then went back and did it again several more times because apparently I never learn.