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Why Make > Take This Christmas Season

As we enter the holiday season, the attitude at school changes.

The excitement grows.

There is anticipation in the air.

Kids are always a little bit antsy. A little bit extra squirrely while we teachers try to make them continue to work and learn.

Why do the holidays bring out such a change in children?

Because the holidays are, unfortunately, not the season of satisfaction, but the season of want, of unmatched desire. Children everywhere are making their lists, not of things they will give, but things they are hoping to receive.  

We are taught from a young age to buy, to consume, to want constantly, to never be satisfied.

And with this feverish desire to consume hovering in the air, it reminds me of yet another lesson I hope children can learn (and I can remember) in the art room.

Creating Is a Lost Art

As children, we were trained from the youngest of ages to want. And we were taught satisfaction came with receiving what we want.  

As adults, we have had a difficult, if not impossible, time unlearning this. We fill every last space in our homes with things we want.  

But, often, as soon as we have something, it is no longer as valuable to us. So we keep chasing after something else.

In our modern world, no one really needs to create anything.  

We don’t need to create our own food or clothing.

We don’t need to create beautiful words or pictures or stories.

We don’t need to create worship.  

Someone else can do all of these things for us in our highly specialized society. We are well-practiced in taking, taking, taking, but hardly ever making.

Creating is a lost art.

Creating Makes You Generous

What brings me so much joy about teaching little hands to draw and little minds to think in colors and textures is that it is all an exercise in creating, an activity that seems downright unusual in a world obsessed with consuming.

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mattappling@churchleaders.com'
Matt Appling is a teacher, pastor and author of TheChurchOfNoPeople.com and the book "Life After Art: What You Forgot About Life and Faith Since You Left the Art Room," released by Moody Publishers. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri.