These Advent illustrations above and below are from the book Becky's Christmas by Tasha Tudor published in 1961.
It is just one of the many books in my own library by this outstanding woman. Sadly she passed away this last June, but she lived a marvelous life until the age of 92! Did you know that she lived without running water until her youngest child was age 5? I do not know if I could have faced that with as much grace as she, but I do admire her lovely gardens and the fact that she adored tea parties! I am especially a fan of her art. It appeals to me because of the soft colors -- I like drawing with colored pencils and one of my favorite things to do is bringing little critters to life through whimsical art. I also like the simple everyday events she used for her subject matter.
My Mother was a huge fan of Tasha Tudor's work and so I grew up surrounded by her books and I treasure them still. My first fairy tale book was a Tasha Tudor version. It has big pages with illustrations that take you away into another world.
These Advent illustrations shown here remind me that tomorrow at our house we will start our 12 days of Christmas tradition. I give the 3 kids a small token gift each day. They are wrapped simply-- in newspaper print and labeled with scrap paper tags rubber stamped with snowflakes in red ink.
We do not give big or expensive gifts at our house for the 12 days; rather small surprises. Here are just some examples:
1. hand made coupons for things like-- a future date for a block of time with Mom and NO SIBLINGS to go for ice cream, a special dessert or a mug of hot chocolate with tons of whipped cream and poke around in the library or a museum or a book store or where ever the recipient chooses.
2. A special candy or lunch box snack they have asked for all year and have always been told "No, not today".
3. For the girls-- a charm to add to their charm bracelet that I have assembled for each of them for each birthday, Christmas and Catholic sacrament since birth . (I'll have to show you the bracelets some time!)
As I mentioned, my Mom really instilled in me a love of Tasha Tudor and her art. I have the books my Mom collected--story book fiction, non-fiction such as gardening and cook books. I have one of her framed prints in my room of a Mother standing in the doorway while her children and a dog frolic happily outside. I love to gaze at that when I have just had to hang my head out the door and yell at my kids to stop fighting or tell the dogs to stop that endless barking!!
I have these packages of Tasha Tudor greeting and note cards that my Mom never was able to use up. She had 100's of pen pals all around the world, back before email.