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Every Friday afternoon, I spend an hour at my kids’ school. It’s on Friday afternoons that Ione and her classmates from the 2nd grade have Art class. Sometimes, it feels like that commitment is infringing on my free time, but most of the time, I really enjoy it. The teacher likes having me help out because I know a little about art and she likes the way I interact with the kids about their artwork. The kids work on something, and I sit down and talk to them about what they are trying to communicate and what they are thinking. It’s fun. But, I won’t lie. Sometimes, I encourage their less appropriate creative expressions.

A few weeks ago, the kids started working on white glue relief print Christmas cards. Don’t ask, it’s not important. The important thing here is that I was walking around the room and I stopped by one of my favorite students. She sees things a little bit differently than the rest of the world. I like her. She had created a very interesting image. It was obviously a manger, the place one would expect to find a baby Jesus. But, in her manger, there appeared to be a 30 pound sausage. My curiosity was piqued.

“Hey, Jane (name changed to protect her identity). Cool picture. What’s that in the manger?”
“It’s baby Jesus. He’s wrapped up like a mummy cuz he’s dead.”
“Sweet. I really like it.”

See what I mean? Well, I came back a couple of weeks later to help the kids finish up their projects. I cut out the prints they had made and, using glue stick, glued them to a large piece of black paper. Glue stick sucks. They should outlaw that crap. I passed out all of the prints to their respective owners and then handed them a white pencil. They were supposed to come up with a greeting or phrase that played off their image. Another one of my favorites had drawn a cross with a manger in the middle of it that looked like light was exploding out of it. He was struggling, so I suggested he write something about light and darkness. He came up with, “the light came into the darkness.” I thought that was very hopeful in an Adventy kind of way.

I kept walking around the room until I came to Jane’s station. I looked down at her work. She had written:

Jesus is alive!, or
is he dead?!?

I think that’s probably the best Christmas card I have ever seen.