I’m totally kidding.
I am not going to do that to you. I am not going to list supplies you need to buy, instructions you need to follow in this exact order, and I am definitely not going to show you what a craft project should look like when it’s done (and if doesn’t look like that then, well, you must not be very good at art.)
Sorry. Not doing it. (Feel free to go to your next email if that’s what you wanted — I hear they’re giving out 10 tips to revitalize your laundry room!)
Here’s what I suggest instead:
Picture your mind like a hallway lined with doors. One of the doors is labeled “CREATIVITY”. In front of that door is a pile of boxes stacked so high you can’t see the doorknob. The boxes are labeled: “I have no time”, “I’m not good at art”, “Mean things my art teacher said to me 30 years ago”, “I don’t have the right paintbrush”, “But what if it’s not perfect?”
You get the idea.
I hope you’re wearing good shoes, because now I’m going to ask you to kick those boxes to the side. Hard. Until they’re not in front of the door anymore. Until you can see the doorknob.
Now open the door.
Welcome to paradise.
You can put all the “HOW TO” articles down because I have good news:
You are already more creative,
as you are,
than you give yourself credit for.
There is no picture I can show you of a snowman made of cotton balls that you could ever recreate. Because you do not create like me. You create like you. You bring something to the art table that no one else has.
Maybe it’s your wit. (Write a funny poem on your family’s holiday card)
Your innate sense of color. (Go nuts wrapping presents in coordinating patterns)
Maybe you’re really good at _________. (Really? You are? Teach me please.)
Whatever it is, I don’t need to tell you. You already know. And you don’t need any more instructions.
If you want to be more creative and inspired this holiday season, do what you love, and take it one step further. Enjoy the process. Do it with intention. Tell yourself out loud, “I am really good at this,” and let your kids hear you.
In the creativity room, where you’re standing now, we have fun. We are successful, no matter what we make and what it looks like. We laugh at our mistakes and turn them into surprises. We collapse on the floor laughing and say, “Wow, when can we do that again?”
If you pinned the article that says, “This is how to be the perfect creative mother who makes all the perfect crafts that your children will also do perfectly and no one will make a mess,” I’ve already read it. Spoiler: It doesn’t work.
A creative home for the holidays means things get messy. It means there are 10 markers with mismatched tops. It means we hang our pictures on the wall with washi tape. It means your kids let glue dry on their fingers just so they can peel it off. I swear there was a scissor on the table five minutes ago, but no one can find it anymore.
Spend some time in this place. See how it feels. Then send me a picture of what you made over the holidays that you’re REALLY proud of. I’d love to see it. Whatever it is.
PS. If you know someone who could use a creativity pep talk right now, please forward this to them and encourage them to sign up for more :-) (thank you!)