Two Days in December

>> Monday, December 6, 2010

Aside from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, there are two consecutive days in December

that stand out for me each year: December 6 and December 7.

As a teacher in a Catholic school, I always look forward to the sixth of December, the feast day of Saint Nicholas. He was known for his valiant and altruistic acts, including reaching out to the needy, protecting children, and giving without expecting anything in return. Because he was a bishop, Saint Nicholas is often depicted carrying a crozier, or staff, so each year on this day, I give candy cane "croziers" to my students. This year I got a little creative and decided to include the candy canes in a stocking banner made with -- what else? -- Lily Bee's Christmas Town line.

This is hanging on my bulletin board at school, for my homeroom students.

To create the banner, I hand-drew a stocking on cardstock, cut it out, and used it as a "master stocking" to create sixteen more. I stamped the names of each of my homeroom students, and sewed around each one twice.
Once each stocking was done, I then sewed the whole line of stockings together, leaving a little space between each one.

When my homeroom left on Friday, the pockets were empty, but when the students walk in on Monday morning, they'll be greeted with a little surprise. Projects like this go beyond the pretty paper. They are all about making life itself more colorful, and letting people know that they matter.
There is another day in December that is unlike any other day.

December 7 is the anniversary of the Japanese military strike on Pearl Harbor. I have lived on Oahu my entire life, and I see Pearl Harbor nearly every day, but I still look at the U.S.S. Arizona memorial with reverence and awe each time it comes into view. It is not just a physical structure, not just a photo in a chapter on World War II in a history book, and it is certainly not a tourist destination in my eyes. The history of Pearl Harbor runs through the history of families here; it is connected to our identities.

It is difficult for me to create pages that communicate this kind of solemnity, but I was amazed at how Lily Bee papers from past and present lines helped me to achieve this. How is it that the same papers that can be playful and festive in one layout can be understated and serene in another?
The more I think about it, the more I realize that these two days in December present two different ways of thinking about the gifts that we are given, and the many gifts that we can share with others.

4 comments:

Jenni December 6, 2010 at 11:38 AM  

beautiful projects and thoughts, jill!

NanaBeth December 6, 2010 at 12:30 PM  

Boy am I glad I ordered more Christmas this weekend!

Brenda Hurd December 6, 2010 at 3:36 PM  

love your projects Jill - always do!

Olivia December 6, 2010 at 5:05 PM  

Sweet banner & beautiful layout :)

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