“One of the great things about the traditions of holiday gift giving is that they allow us to take the time to focus on our friends and family—to focus on what makes them special and what makes them special to us. Finding that special gift that will light up the face of a friend or family member is itself one of life’s greatest gifts that we can give to ourselves.” Allen Clapp, artist and owner of 311 Gallery
Elaborate feasting, the burning of candles, and the giving of gifts, many of our holiday traditions, harken back to Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated during the winter solstice; a time of darkness, cold and hunger; a time when it’s easy to slip into depression. It is also a time when the harvest is done and the fields, fallow; when people have time to devote to their religious life and to spend time together.
Today, with the flick of a switch, much of the solstice darkness is conquered but the heaviness remains for many. What better way is there to face the shortest day of the year than a celebration with family and friends.
Looking back at the origins of mid-winter festivities, we learn that gift giving was added as a magical custom.
The giving of gifts in our culture is no longer magical. It has become a season of wants, a gift-giving bonanza; creating stress and the depression it was meant to ease. The shopping season reaches from mid October through late December, extending the period of stress and depression to nearly a quarter of the year!
Turn back to the magic.
Remember that the purpose of a gift is to show love. “I hate shopping! It’s so stressful staring at stacks of sweaters, racks of neckties, and display after display of novelty gifts knowing that most will be exchanged or broken in short order. My Aunt Mary had a knack for finding just the right gift; everything had a story. Twenty years after her death, her gifts still bring back fond memories. I want to give gifts like that. I want to give a gift that will last.” Susan Jones, artist with Tipping Paint Gallery
Art is a gift that lasts. It will be around a long time. “Art will have a lasting impact as it continues to speak to the viewer and to nourish their soul.” Amy Beshgetoorian, artist with Tipping Paint Gallery
Art is permanent. It will be enjoyed for a long time; that’s not true of most gifts.
Art reaches beyond,” it becomes loved not only because of its beauty and its origin but because it was cherished by someone we love.” Cheryl McCardle, artist, 311 Gallery
As we move toward more meaningful gift giving, don’t forget to add those organizations that support artists and museums to your list of charities. These organizations work to sustain the gift of art that is so vital to civilization.
The artists of 311 Gallery and Tipping Paint Gallery invite you to stop in and browse our collection of one-of-a-kind gifts so that you can give a gift that lasts.
“Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable. George Bernard Shaw