Anders Leonard Zorn, 1860 -1920
Oil on canvas, 1928
Zorn Museum, Mora, Darlana, Sweden
"Warmest Wishes for the Holiday Season"
Have you ever found a Christmas card that seemed to be the one you would want to send year after year, just because it expresses visually and literally exactly what you want to say ?
Some years ago, I found a set of boxed cards at Rich's Department Store, printed by the Caspari company of New York & Zurich. The image was the above painting framed by a rich gold and deep red border and the message inside was simple. I think I bought every box they had. I have about ten cards left. I even had one matted and framed. I love the simplicity of the girl and the tree. As a young teen, the last of my parents' four children and the only one at home, the task of finding a tree often fell to me. My father was suffering the ravages of cancer, and I tried to help my mother any way I could. Those quiet, peaceful treks into the pine woods behind our home made me long for the times when my father was well and my sister Sue and I would find the tree. I was growing up, I knew. It was a bit frightening, but I was determined to get out all the old family ornaments and colored lights, and make Christmas for my mom and dad who had done so for all of us for so many years. So, I suppose when I saw this painting, I literally saw myself -- Marnie in the Woods--a place I always loved to be. I know that Zorn's Sweden is a long way from Alabama, but the joy and magic simplicity of a native pine tree that filled our home with its scent, glowed with soft colored bulbs, and shimmered with boxes of glass ornaments and aluminum icicles will remain with me always.
Please accept this as my Christmas card to each of you who honor me with your visits here.
"And so as Tiny Tim observed, God bless us, everyone."