At the request of Natalie Hogan, a student in my Year Seven Class, you will find that Santa appears on many pages of this Advent Calendar, working, preparing for Christmas.

Santa has begun to make a present list and is seriously thinking of giving new life to old shoe boxes this year

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The Two Boxes

I have in my hands two boxes
Which God gave me to hold
He said "Put all your sorrows in the black,
And all your joys in the gold"

I heeded his words, and in the two boxes
Both my joys and sorrows I store
But though the gold became heavier each day
The black was as light as before

With curiosity, I opened the black
I wanted to find out why
And I saw, in the base of the box, a hole
Which my sorrows had fallen out by

I showed the hole to God, and mused aloud.
"I wonder where my sorrows could be"
He smiled a gentle smile at me.
"My child, they're all here with me."

I asked. "god, why give me the boxes,
"Why the gold and the black with the hole?"
"My child, the gold is for you to count your blessings,
the black is for you to let go."

Collaged Gift Boxes

There is no time like the present to get yourself organised and begin making Christmas presents for your friends and family. I have used shoe boxes for many purposes but never once thought to collage them, slip a present inside and tie them up with string ready to sit under the Christmas Tree.

Another suggestion from Worth Works

a prayer for peace by Stephanie Hansen. The piece in the bottom corner reads: A love that is allowed to adapt is virtually indestructible.

You can't judge a book by its cover, nor the quality of love by the lover, but it is possible to convey the value of a gift by the way it is wrapped. Shiny, sparkly paper on professionally wrapped gifts scream "Jewellery!" and "Perfume!" under my tree and are always welcome sights. Amid the shiny boxes and festive patterns, however, are always a few gifts that stand out, set apart by the fact they are wrapped personally with more time and thought. I give people gifts I know they want, and those are the gifts that come in shiny, festive packaging. The packages with the artistic touches are the ones that are filled with my best and biggest wishes for my friends and family. My favourite idea this year is to collage the wrapping with photos, images, words and phrases that best convey the sentiment behind each gift and what the recipient means to me. Some gifts will be mischievous and humourous, others compassionate and comforting, and others still will be outright dares. To be sure, the creative care with which each collaged gift is tended to will be a form of meditation upon the nature and value of my relationship to the recipient. What greater homage could be paid to the spiritual nature of this season?
Stephanie Hansen - Worth Works Studios