Have Yourself a Creative Christmas

I come from a very creative family. I was born into a fairly creative family, and I married a creative genius. So, it comes as no surprise that even with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, my husband and I have stayed committed to our creative projects, and found innovative ways to celebrate.

(Check out Chris’ video on staying creative during the holidays, while he focuses on visual art, the ideas can be applied to writing, work projects, or whatever your Muse inspires you to create!)

For instance, we don’t really buy each other presents. Chris knows what I’m getting him because I asked he if wanted me to get it for him (he said abso-freaking-lutely– I mean LOOK at it!). I also go ape-shit crazy every Black Friday weekend on Thrive for their 30-50% off sale. I get a huge shipment of snacks (that still adhere to our principles of no sugar, as little processed as possible, often gluten-free, and NO PALM OIL) that we then enjoy little by little for the rest of the year.

(Haven’t heard of Thrive, or want to try it? Get 40% off your first order here!)

Creative conservation around the holidays is also important to me and my family. Each year, 2.3 million pounds of wrapping paper ends up in landfills. Often, when people try to recycle their gift wrap, it’s actually recycle-contamination (or what eco-nerds call Wish-cycling, as in “we WISH it could be recycled, but it’s not). I can assure you, this does not happen in our family.

Ever since I was a child, my family has truly recycled wrapping paper. No, not taken gift wrap to a recycling center. We reused the shit out of wrapping paper. As a young girl, I carefully unwrapped presents because “Santa reuses the paper each year, so he doesn’t have to go out and buy paper for all the children’s gifts.” And so, instead of the chant “rip and tear, throw that paper everywhere,” I grew up with “careful, careful not to tear, so Santa has paper next year to share.” Last time I was home, in 2019, my mom still had a big box of used gift wrap, and yes, there were small pieces of paper leftover from when I was a kid.

That’s some creative holiday conservation!

But I’ve even let my creative holiday spirit shine through at my work in the past. It’s been over 20 years, so a lot of the exact details are lost on me, but when I worked with dolphins, I spent a lot of time one year creating Christmas carols for the dolphins.

We Wish You a Merry Griffith

Some I remember quite well, such as “Hark the Herald Ariel Sings” and “Blue Hacksaw” Some of the songs made sense to only the other dolphin trainers, including lyrics that resonated with the animal at the time.

Hark the herald Ariel sings
She did a lay-out finally
Peace to Derrick, who works her daily
Too bad she keeps getting mated by Baily.

or “Blue Hacksaw”, which was fitting when his head trainer got transferred to another area.
We’ll have a blue Hacksaw without Jen
He’ll be so blue, thinking about Jen.
He’ll sink toooo the bottom of
The pool, like he loves.
But there won’t be Miss Jen, to call him up again.

Jade to the World

And while I can’t remember the words to the songs, I remember most of the titles.
Here Comes Tiger Claus
Santa Bailey
The First Noe (we got a second dolphin named Baily, so we ended up calling him No-e)
Lily, It’s Cold Outside
Jingle Belle
Twas the Night Before Nemo
Deke the Halls
We Wish You a Merry Griffith
O Starky Night
Bunny Claus is Coming to Town
Tasha, the Toothless Reindeer (we called this dolphin the toothless wonder because she barely had teeth, which would have been a death sentence in the wild, but she did very well with us)
Run, Run Sebastian
Jade to the World
I’ll Be Home for Kendall

Mele Hekili-Maka

I share this list with you as a kind of silly Christmas gift, and to show that creativity can come from anywhere, take any form, and be as personal or as public as you want it to be.

The Krakken attacks the Narrows Bridge at Point Defiance’s Zoo Lights

What is your favorite creative holiday memory? And how can you use your creativity to make it a wonderful season for you, your family, and the entire planet?

May you have a wonderful Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate (my favorite holiday this time of year is Visit the Zoo Day on December 27)! And a wonderful, creative new year!

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