By Lori Hope Baumel
As the year winds down and the holiday celebrations begin, take a moment to reflect how healing the arts can be when our hearts are heavy. Holidays spent with family and friends often provide the warmth and attention we desire all year. Yet, there are those who may be too ill or simply overwhelmed by the news cycle to truly appreciate this joyful time of year. Therefore, it is the role of the stronger to take over for the weak. In other words, if you see someone quietly suffering, physically or emotionally, encourage that person to take on an artful task to lighten their load.
Recently, my father was hospitalized with pneumonia. Painting is his hobby, and I must say he is rather talented. Time spent in the hospital can be stressful for both the patient and those who care for him. I asked myself, “What can I do to help relieve his stress? He needs to paint. But how?” The solution came to me rather quickly. I brought my iPad Pro to the hospital and with the aid of a stylus and the painting app ArtRage, my father spent a total of 5 hours painting a digital artwork (pictured above). Not only did it make my father feel better, it got the entire family through a very difficult day.
When I particularly need a diversion, I dive into my Audible app and listen to an eBook, podcast or Audible Original (free audio selections included with my monthly Audible membership). When an eBook is especially enjoyable, I often gift it to someone who could use a distraction from their daily life. In addition, I prefer giving digital gifts that have a small carbon footprint.
Are you interested in giving an environmentally-friendly artful gift? Here are some ideas: tickets to a show or movie, an eBook, an iTunes card for apps or music, or a homemade gift certificate to spend a day at the Norton Museum. If absolutely necessary, place your “gift” in a box and wrap it up. It may not take up much room under the tree, or next to the Menorah, but it will continue to be gratifying when we return to our daily routine.
Most importantly, give the gift of yourself to someone who could use some companionship. Paint together, assemble a puzzle, read poetry… toss it up and try something new. Make a difference! On behalf of my family, I wish you all a happy, healthy holiday season.
Live… Go… Do!
Top 5 For December
Book: Becoming by Michelle Obama
Available wherever books, eBooks and audiobooks are sold.
Movie: Green Book with Viggo Mortenson and Mahershala Ali
See your local movie listings
Theater: Clybourne Park, December 5-7 at Lynn University
For tickets and information: www.lynn.edu/events/concerts-and-performances/lynn-drama
Outdoors: Garden of Lights, Mounts Botanical Garden (evenings 5:30 to 8:30 PM)
For tickets and information go to: www.mounts.org
Once in A Lifetime: Downton Abbey, The Exhibition.
If you’re a Downton Abbey fan, do NOT miss this! I saw this exhibit in New York City and now it is on view at City Place. For tickets and information go to: www.downtonexhibition.com