A sneak preview of the true meaning of Christmas
With Thanksgiving, 2013, under full assault from retailers, I’m afraid that this year there might be more families heading to the malls and box stores, than gathering around the dinner table to give thanks for their blessings.
It’s sad. And some sociologists think that within a decade or two, Thanksgiving won’t be recognized as a holiday at all, but as the official start of the Christmas shopping season.
Thankfully, not all retailers are hopping on this bandwagon. And on Waynesville’s Main Street, shop owners are taking a quieter approach to the Christmas season — especially T. Pennington Art Gallery.
For the past five years, Teresa Pennington — Artist of the Blue Ridge — has celebrated the Christmas season by rendering a commemorative colored pencil drawing of Saint Nicholas.
In 2009, good ole Saint Nicholas was depicted on the beautiful grounds of the Biltmore Estate. In 2010, he made his way to Waynesville and the Smoky Mountains, and in 2011, that ‘right jolly old elf’ visited Grandfather Mountain.
But in 2012, — as depicted by the gifted artist, T. Pennington — Saint Nicholas ‘stayed home’ to write a letter to his son who (sadly) couldn’t make it home for Christmas.
The idea came to T. Pennington in a dream, where God told her exactly what to draw, right down to the picture of her brother wearing his U.S. Air Force uniform on Saint Nick’s desk. Se said, God also requested that she donate a portion of the sale of that year’s Saint Nicholas drawings to the Wounded Warrior Program.
Did you know? — The Wounded Warrior Program has a noble mission — To honor and empower our wounded warriors. Here in North Carolina, that includes working closely with the Military Order of the Purple Heart to send troops stationed at Fort Bragg and Camp Le Jeune home for Christmas.
T. Pennington’s generous support of WWP helped send more than 500 servicemen and women home to spend Christmas with their families last year.
But what about this year’s Saint Nicholas, you may be wondering?
T. Pennington started praying over the 2013 Saint Nicholas Commemorative drawing in January, asking God to give her inspiration for a drawing that would again “… bring praise and honor to You.”
God answered her prayers, telling her to draw Saint Nicholas seated in a chair, reading the Christmas story from the Bible to children from five different countries.
The message for T. Pennington’s 2013 drawing is crystal clear — “Jesus Loves the Children of the World.” And to add her own support, Pennington is again donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this year’s drawing to charity — not just any charity, but one that makes a profound difference in the lives of children — The Kory Wawanca Children’s Home in Bolivia.
This outreach of the Methodist Church of Bolivia is supported by Waynesville First Methodist Church, and Carrie Blackburn Brown of Waynesville has been a moving force in this children’s mission from the beginning.
A purchase of T. Pennington’s 2013 Saint Nicholas will reflect that you (as well as Jesus) love the children of the world.
Paper giclée prints of T. Pennington’s 2013 drawing of Saint Nicholas are available in four different sizes, both framed and unframed. There is also an option to customize the drawing by adding your family photographs to the frames on the mantel above the fireplace.
The image of T. Pennington’s 2013 Saint Nicholas drawing is also available on puzzles, Christmas ornaments, trivets, coaters and note cards.
For more information about this year’s drawing of Saint Nicholas, stop by T. Pennington art gallery at 15 N. Main St. in Waynesville or visit www.tpennington.com. For more information about Kory Wawanaca Children’s Home, point your browser to www.kwchildren.org.