First posted Jan 25 2010
Paradoxically, given the prevailing grey skies, the recent prolonged icy spell and general air of gloom and despondency that seems to be the default mood in January, this is one of my favourite times of year. The reason is simple and will be readily understood by all fellow snow-hounds: it’s the ski season! I’ll be heading off to La Clusaz in the French Alps later this week with the usual group of reprobates and the resort webcams suggest that there’s an abundance of the white stuff waiting there for us.
Anyway, while we’re at least vaguely in the right chronological ballpark, I should post these two Christmas sketches before Spring is upon us and the festive period but a distant memory.
We rather pride ourselves as a family on how little we watch television but here we are indulging in that most traditional of Christmas non-activities at my Mum’s place in Yorkshire. Chloë is out of shot but was similarly glued to the box. A genuinely rare family event, believe it or not.
I thought I’d have a go at drawing our Christmas Tree before we dismantled it. Now I’ve drawn many Christmas Trees over the years but up until now they’ve always been the ‘cartoon’ variety with the vaguely symmetrical jagged cone-shape and regulation baubles. There was nothing remotely symmetrical about our somewhat anarchic tree however, and drawing it made me appreciate the value of ‘visual shorthand’.
We’ve never been a ‘designer tree’ kind of family where Christmas is concerned. Colour-co-ordinated ribbons, bells and lights are all very well in a shop window but surely something more homely is appropriate in the living room? Which I suppose is my way of defending the miscellany of theme-less tat and tinsel that we’ve accumulated over the years which, no matter how carefully it is arranged around the branches, still ends up looking as though we’ve simply emptied a swing-bin full of kitchen detritus over the poor tree and left it exactly where it landed. As with all good family traditions though, we wouldn’t change a thing.