Christmas Stories


Kids seem to hold a special key that unlocks the spirit of the holidays for the rest of us. It is no surprise that some of my favorite holiday highlights this year were inspired by a 5-year old.

Will was the reason John and I attended the Christmas Eve service at the Lutheran Church in our town. He was a shepherd.


Central casting did an excellent job in placing Will in the role of the fidgeting shepherd who refused to wear a headpiece. He remained true to character throughout the pageant.

John and I also recognized one of the angels,


and the Three Wise Girls.


Nothing brings the nativity closer to one’s heart than recognizing your neighbors in the story.

Will also helped bring to life a non-religious Christmas story. We recently watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on TV together. Since then, I could not help but think the mantle at his house needed a backdrop…


featuring the Abominable Snowman from the story.


I thought this would be a good project for Will and me to work on together.


Before getting started, I showed Will a few images on my iPhone. He didn’t want me to draw this one. It was a little scary.


We agreed this one was better.


As I sketched in pencil, Will was keen to start coloring. It was really, really hard for him to be patient. We were both anxious for the first opportunity that Will could lend a hand.

As soon as I had the face outlined, Will asked me if he could color in the pupils. I was very impressed that he knows what a pupil is, and said “yes, of course you can.”


In working on our project together, I had to overcome my fear that Will, armed with markers, may alter the project in a way I didn’t want.

In the Rudolph story, Yukon Cornelius befriends the fearful Abominable Snowman, and in doing so, discovers the transformative power we have if we face our fears.

I gave Will some direction on what areas to color, and took a deep breath as he picked up a marker. It was really, really hard for me to watch him bring a marker to the drawing.


Will did a great job coloring the hands and face. He also outlined the ice covered mountains with a thick marker.


I had envisioned cutting out the shape of the mountains and the outline of the Abominable Snowman. But Will saw an opportunity for a blue sky and cloud.


I welcomed the artistic collaboration, and appreciated that his idea for the finished piece was as valid as mine. It made the project much better.


live. enjoy. repeat.

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