Thursday, December 02, 2021



At some point in grad school, I learned with delight that during Victorian times, Christmas & the solstice  was known almost as much for it's ghosts as it was for it's santas and reindeer.  For all it's jolly, it was always the darker side of the holiday that charmed me, whether it was a the horror of A Christmas Carol, or a penchant for sad and maudlin things.  The Grinch stealing Christmas, sobbing while Frosty melted in the greenhouse. When I was 5, apparently my favorite past time was making my mother play a song about a sad little neglected christmas tree over and over on vinyl while I cried in the middle of the room. Just to make it hurt good enough. As an adult of course, I still have a penchant for sadder Christmas songs--"Hard Candy Christmas" and "Baby, Please Come Home" are annual favorites. And let's not forget Robert Downey Jr.s cover of "River" from the Ally McBeal Christmas CD which is on perpetual rotation in my playlist.   

I am also a fan of holiday horror. Some faves include the original Black Christmas and a couple anthologies I streamed in previous years--All the Creatures Were Stirring and A Christmas Horror Story My favorite holiday movie of all time is One Magic Christmas which may be one of the saddest movies ever.  The best horror,  of course, comes from the ordinary.  Poverty. Loss. The father shot down in the bank robbery purely to teach his wife a lesson about Christmas.  I still remember the shock to my system at 9 y.o. when Phoebe Cate's character tells the story of her father dead in the chimney smack in the middle of Gremlins. 

Nothing, after all, could be more gothic than such early dark and creeping cold. The Nutcracker, when I actually saw a whole performance,  was dark  & creepy as hell. Winter solstice, moreso even than Halloween, seems like a time when the veil would seem to  be very thin,. It's why we light candles and reach for the lamp --there is so much time in darkness.  Not to mention the punishment and reward of something like Krampus legends. And Christmas seems a perfect time for ghosts, rising up out of the past in the form of memories and lost loved ones. Dickens knew what he was doing. 

So with all this in mind, I decided to create this year's #artadvent project as a haunted dollhouse of sorts, each collage a room or section of a creepy holiday house taking all it's inspiration from the darker sides of December.  I will be posting collages and reels daily over on my instagram,. so you can follow it there through the 25th..

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