On the third day of Christmas sketches…
We all like something weird, some little trinket that strings along memories that other eyes can’t see. It holds sentimental value like a treasure, though it may be locked away in the trivial shell of an old toy.
Each year as I pull out decorations, there are a few pieces that stand out more than others; a few that I dig around for, searching through attic-musty tissue papers in the Christmas box. My one-armed bendy Santa is one of those oddly precious objects.
He has a wonky, yellowed beard, mismatched painted eyes, and an excellent wooden cone hat. He’s one of those toys where you push the round base from below and it makes the figure slump, then you release it and he pops back up. He’s old and you can tell…he was part of my paternal grandmother’s collection, and he has been around my whole life.
Now, this is the grandmother who was an artist. She taught me the basics of art and let my cousins, sister and I have regular, free-for-all craft time at her house. She was quirky, inventive, interesting and fabulous. And she collected EVERTHING: rocks, bells, books, flowers, these little toys…you name it. She had a room in which the walls were completely covered in framed family photos (aka “the picture room”). I apparently get the urge to collect and create from her, along with a lot of other quirks that my sister likes to point out. Ha!
Anyway, this little cockeyed, one-armed bendy Santa makes me think of her, my delightfully eccentric grandmother, and it warms my heart each Christmas.