“Easter Sunday with Grandma”

This oil painting “Easter Sunday with Grandma” is featured in the book “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Nature” and is also a live painting show event for the Easter Show 2021.

Watch Natalie paint “Easter Sunday with Grandma” in this 2 minute time lapse video

Options to purchase prints are below, followed by the buy buttons.

Full Painting “Easter Sunday with Grandma”
“Robin with Eggs” (cropped from full painting)
“Pink Bell Flowers” (cropped from full painting)
“Going to Church” (cropped from full painting)

Small Print “Robin with Eggs”

All small prints are approximately 8 x 10. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$33.50

Medium Print “Robin with Eggs”

All medium prints are approximately 16 x 20. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$65.50

Large Print “Robin with Eggs”

All large prints are approximately 24 x 30. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$98.50

Full Painting “Easter Sunday with Grandma”

Small Print “Easter Sunday with Grandma” (full painting)

All small prints are approximately 8 x 10. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$33.50

Medium Print “Easter Sunday with Grandma” (full painting)

All medium prints are approximately 16 x 20. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$65.50

Large Print “Easter Sunday with Grandma” (full painting)

All large prints are approximately 24 x 30. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$98.50

Small Print “Pink Bell Flowers”

All small prints are approximately 8 x 10. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$33.50

Medium Print “Pink Bell Flowers”

All medium prints are approximately 16 x 20. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$65.50

Large Print “Pink Bell Flowers”

All large prints are approximately 24 x 30. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$98.50

“Going to Church” (cropped from full painting)

Small Print “Going to Church” (cropped from larger painting)

All small prints are approximately 8 x 10. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$33.50

Medium Print “Going to Church” (cropped from larger painting)

All medium prints are approximately 16 x 20. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$65.50

Large Print “Going to Church” (cropped from larger painting)

All large prints are approximately 24 x 30. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$98.50

Maundy Thursday

Another Lenten season ends. As we head toward Easter weekend, my blog will feature Easter related oil paintings and short videos of live music events. On Monday, I’ll pick up where we left off in the blog series “Stories that Inspire my Art“.

 

In recognition of Maundy Thursday, the above oil painting features the feast from my larger painting “Jesus at the Table“. Below, my kids and I are singing with the church choir “The Feast Divine”. My oldest daughter and I were the entire soprano section. As you can see, this is a very small church choir. 

In the above song “The Feast Divine”, the lyrics that speak to me the most are about the bread of humility and the cup of nobility… one and the same. There are no class divisions in spiritual enlightenment. Powerful statements about class division are just as relevant today as long ago. I’m also moved by the phrase “Christ Himself, sacrificed”.

 

Before I wrap this blog post up…  a little something bizarre to share…

 

Those of you who’ve followed me for a while know that I share literally hundreds of videos. I clip them to fit short time lengths on a regular basis… sometimes daily. Weird unexplained ghosting or stray images that have been cut (split/spliced and edited out/deleted from the file) seldom pop up. I can probably think of only a couple of times this has happened in the past decade, meaning thousands of clips (because I’m counting my personal family videos as well). Anyway, so this is rare…

 

I edited this oil painting video (at top of blog post) to start with the feast, but somehow a fraction of a second, a deleted clip of Jesus appears! Well… serendipitous, a minor tech miracle…  whatever we want to make of it, that’s what happened! If you look closely, you’ll see Him appear as a very fast blip before the video starts.

 

These things (that come to each of us in different forms) can be explained away as coincidence, but I prefer to think of them as “God winks” (not my phrase, someone told me this a long time ago). Just one of those strange things that happen, that give us pause… dare we hope that a divine presence cares about our trivial little lives? Yes, let us dare!

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Sand Dollar

First, the oil painting, then the story behind it… you’re invited to reflect upon what this means to you.

Watch me paint “Living Sand Dollar” in a minute (time lapse)

“I saw this living sand dollar in the touch pool at the Marine Science Center, but I’ve also seen many sand dollars at the beach. The living ones are dark and pop through the sand during low tide. We are not meant to take those, as removing them from the ocean will kill these special creatures. One time I saw a woman with a full bucket of living sand dollars and I felt grief stricken. But, when a sand dollar is light and dry (bone white and brittle, or turning that way), it is no longer living, and may be collected as a wonderful beach treasure souvenir.
The sand dollar is a fascinating simple sea creature with markings that have deeply religious and spiritual meaning for many Christians, and are especially meaningful at Easter. There are markings on the front and back, and “doves” inside (discovered only when a sand dollar is broken open).For many, the sand dollar represents the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ:
1. Five slits in a configuration may represent Christ’s wounds while on the cross
2. Markings look like an Easter lily with a star in the middle, symbolizing the birth of Christ
3. On the opposite side is an outline of a poinsettia, or Easter lily
4. Tiny doves of peace and hope are inside (white bird shapes that were once the sand dollar’s teeth)
Besides all of this, sand dollars are special to me because my dad brought one home to me when I was a child. He had been to Savannah for a military training exercise and had found the sand dollar on the beach. He told me that I needed to go one day, that I would love it. Dad died from cancer at age thirty-seven, after having beat it once before when in his twenties. He had served two tours in the Vietnam War. I had recently turned sixteen years old when he died. Many years later, I not only got to visit Savannah, but I now live here, and hope to make it my forever home.
When I found my first sand dollar on the beach, I held it up to the sky and said, 'This is for you, Dad.'"

from book "50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Savannah, Georgia" by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Update to the above story…

 

The art in the second video “Angel Releasing Dove” probably looks to you as if I was painting my sand dollar story as it relates to me holding a sand dollar to the heavens for Dad… but my conscious mind wasn’t aware of this connection until now, when putting this blog together. It was simply another painting project.

 

At the time, I’d found a bit of a broken shell that looked like an angel’s wing, and the idea to incorporate the actual shell into a painting of an angel was born. The “dove” idea came later when I realized that it was the right size to add to the painting. But really, it was just about using cherished treasures from a beautiful day at the beach with my family, especially my daughter who was walking with me when I found the broken shell and agreed with me that it looks like an angel’s wing.

 

So, it was new memories, not old, that inspired the angel and dove painting. And yet, obviously, it looks very much connected when I see the previous sand dollar story next to the angel and dove video. In this way, I once again see how our past, present and future are always connected- even when we can’t see it.

 

Sometimes that connection is seen easily by outside eyes, while we are oblivious to it. But does our unawareness made the connection disappear? I think not. Someday, we may see it. When that happens, it doesn’t make the reality suddenly reappear, it simply means that we are aware of it. Our awareness, recognition, admission, or approval of reality is unnecessary for truth to exist.

 

Nor do we need to understand serendipity or natural wonders, for those miracles to exist. And that brings me to a timely point to ponder:

 

If the religious meaning that some assign to a sand dollar is offensive, could a sand dollar be “banned”? The sand dollar is a living creature. Only when it is dead does it become a “thing” to possess and reassign to our own significance. The reality of the sand dollar’s life or death is not altered by the opinions, beliefs, passion, appreciation, or malice of humankind.

 

I invite you to ponder what happens when the free will of people to determine for themselves those thoughts that are kind or unkind to share, the words that should be said or left unsaid, and when the power of language that may hurt another may be considered a weapon; is controlled, stifled, and enforced by entities who perceive themselves as a moral authority over thoughts, ideas, words, and the association, distribution, possession and communication of these concepts. What happens? Is the truth altered? What is changed? Is the world a better place?

 

Is the sand dollar living or dead? If people no longer believe in religion, as is the wish of a very large movement (which is, of course, in itself a religion, though they are blind to it), for the “good” of the planet, will the sand dollar’s markings fade? Will they be erased? No, of course not. We cannot remove all traces of symbolism or reminders of what humankind believes, thinks, or feels that is “wrong”.

 

The sand dollar is a primitive living creature who is in many ways more free than we are. It is allowed to simply “be”… except when opportunistic beach goers collect these fragile beings while still alive, thereby killing them. The reasons for controlling other living beings may be scorn, condemnation and the prevention of influence and ideas that entities do not like… but sometimes control is about possessing another being, even if that possession denies them the freedom they need to thrive… or survive.

 

When I posted my Easter show yesterday, I named the video file “spring show”, because I wanted to avoid censors that blacklist the term “Easter”. Whatever your feelings about religion, politics, and other causes, I invite you to ponder what affect it has on us when entities control our freedom of thought, and our ability to share our thoughts with others.

 

Just as a sand dollar can never be “banned”, we are alive-imperfections and all- and are meant to be free.

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Painting Diary

When artists paint a diary of their lives, their work may be recognized globally, regionally, or locally.Flag at Tybee Island” is a famous icon, as it is displayed on the only road to or from Tybee Island, Georgia. Tybee’s beaches attract tourists worldwide, and because the Internet brings every corner of the globe to the far reaches of the Earth, one doesn’t need to visit a place to be familiar with it.

 

This particular icon was also given international publicity. The flag was featured in major media after police officers rescued it from flood waters after a hurricane. That news story was then distributed widely online. So, while I painted this scene because it is my personal happy milestone telling me and my family that we are nearing our favorite weekend place, it is globally identifiable. When I posted this art online with no description, someone recognized it immediately as the flag from the Tybee Island roadside. What may be a personal “diary share” in the artist’s mind, may be globally recognized.

When paintings depict objects, people, or events that aren’t globally recognized, they may still be regionally identifiable.Floral Cross” was inspired by a table display I admired on Easter morning at a new church I was attending. Each guest was invited to place real cut flowers into the cross display. I’d never experienced this beautiful Easter service ritual before, but the same experience was shared by all who attended that service, and was likely heard of throughout the region.

Even the things we see in our own backyards may be recognized, at least locally. I enjoy this little guy who comes to our patio hummingbird feeder often. He seems like “our” tiny wild pet, but he is of course an ordinary common bird belonging to nature. “My” backyard birds are all over the neighborhood, and little birds identical to him are local visitors to everyone in the surrounding area at the same time, as we share the same seasons, specific environmental conditions, and localized weather impacts.

When artists paint the things that they see in their daily lives as a shared diary of sorts, their work may be relatable on a global, regional, or local scale. However, spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally, any shared art can still be relatable, even if the viewer doesn’t recognize or connect with the painting through personal experience or prior knowledge. The beauty of sharing our personal lives with others is that we often find that other people have experienced similar joys, sorrows, and the full range of emotions that make us human. When we share our humanity, we are never alone.

Painting Shows

Good news! Painting shows are now a regular event. Current painting shows are HERE, moved to a permanent page for adding new episodes.

Enjoy!

“Celtic Cross”

Watch Natalie paint this art, and all 50 oil paintings in this collection (menu below)

“After our disappointing early return to the United States after we couldn’t get our one-year “permission to remain” visa in Ireland, I thought we’d be resigned to a life in the Northern or Midwestern states. Our dream destination of Savannah opened up for us expectedly through a series of events. I had no idea that I’d feel a connection to Ireland, and my Irish heritage.

It was only after moving here that I learned that there is a big Irish community in Savannah, as many Irish immigrants settled here. Savannah has one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the world, second only to New York City. I attended a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Cork, and it was ironically much smaller than the parade here! Savannah also holds an annual Irish festival and has a strong Irish dancing and music community.

The Celtic Cross that this painting was inspired by is in Emmet Park. It was handcarved in Ireland, and presented as a gift to the Irish of Savannah. According to Visit Historic Savannah:

‘Dedicated in December, 1983, the Celtic Cross of Irish limestone from the County of Roscommon, in West Ireland, honors Savannahians of Irish descent, a reminder that their history was one of religion as much as it was about ‘hard work, suffering and endurance.’ The monument faces Bay Street, and every year a wreath is laid at its pedestal, right before St. Patrick’s Day.'”

Celtic Cross oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas

List of Oil Paintings in this Collection, linking to their pages here on the site, and also citing physical pages in the hardcover book:

  1. City of Savannah
    1.1 “City of Savannah” page 6-7
    1.2 “Natalie at the Fountain” page 8-11
    1.3 “House in Savannah” page 12-13
    1.4 “Guardian Lion” page 14-15
    1.5 “Autumn Angel” page 16-17
    1.6 “Steamship Savannah” page 18-19
    1.7 “Boiled Peanuts for Sale” page 20-21
    1.8 “Bulldog” page 22-23
    1.9 “Serenity Piano” page 24-25
    1.10 “Painting Colors” page 26-27
  2. Tybee Island
    2.1 “I Love Life” page 30-31
    2.2 “Living Sand Dollar” page 32-33
    2.3 “Matthew the Sea Turtle” page 34-35
    2.4 “Fungie the Dolphin” page36-37
    2.5 “Angel Releasing Dove” page 38-39
    2.6 “Flag on Tybee Island” page 40-41
    2.7 “My Kids at the Beach” page 42-43
    2.8 “Lighthouse near Tybee Island” page 44-45
  3. Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians
    3.1 “Gator and Snake” page 48-49
    3.2 “Tree Frog” page 50-51
    3.3 “Lizard” page 52-53
    3.4 “Blue Heron” page 54-55
    3.5 “Hummingbird” page 56-57
    3.6 “Painted Bunting” page 58-59
  4. Flowers and Trees
    4.1 “Pink Flower” page 62-63
    4.2 “Porch Flowers” page 64-65
    4.3 “Clover” page 66-67
    4.4 “Butterfly Tree Flowers” page 68-69
    4.5 “Savannah Tree” page 70-71
    4.6 “Dancer in a Floral Forest” page 72-73
    4.7 “Come to the Garden” page 74-77
    4.8 “Cherokee Rose” page 78-79
  5. Faith and Food
    5.1 “Floral Cross” page 82-83
    5.2 “Lenten Flower” page 84-85
    5.3 “Celtic Cross” page 86-87
    5.4 “Mary of God’s Favor” page 88-89
    5.5 “Lion and the Lamb” page 90-91
    5.6 “Breakfast with Friends” page 92-93
    5.7 “Peaches in a Bowl” page 94-95
    5.8 “Peach Cookies” page 96-97
    5.9 “Peach Pie” page 98-99
  6. Seasons and Weather
    6.1 “Pumpkins and Mums” page 102-103
    6.2 “Autumn Cottage” page 104-105
    6.3 “Spring Lambs” page 106-107
    6.4 “Peach Tree Hurricane” page 108-109
    6.5 “Eye of the Storm” page 110-111
    6.6 “God’s Promise” page 112-113
    6.7 “We Gather Together” page 114-115
    6.8 “Savannah Snow” page 116-117
    6.9 “I Believe in Santa” page 118-119

“Lenten Flower”

Watch Natalie paint this art, and all 50 oil paintings in this collection (menu below)

“Lent is about giving something up, and adding something new. I mentioned earlier about learning something new, during our Easter experiences at our new Southern church, and it’s all about ‘new’. I’d been focused on Lent being about the past- repenting, letting go, pledging to change. What I hadn’t spent much thought on is that when we let go of something it makes room for something new. Repentance is also about forgiveness. Letting go is about mercy. Forgiveness and mercy frees us.

What a loving God we have, who wants us to be free! The depressing and sometimes challenging process of examining our lives and deciding what we need to change is only the beginning of the journey. We do this to prepare the way for something better, something new. It may require a leap of faith, and the journey is bittersweet, but the destination is beautiful.

I painted this in a style similar to ‘Pink Flower’, except this time my process was deliberate. I liked the layering-background technique I created almost by accident with Pink Flower, and now it is one of my signatures. I paint colorful shapes around my main subject, that I then paint over while the oils are still wet. The flower stays in sharp focus, while the background is soft, yet luminous. ‘Lenten Flower’ is one of my favorite paintings. I’d like to do more work like this.”

Lenten Flower oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas
Lenten Flower oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas

Small Print “Lenten Flower”

All small prints are approximately 8 x 10. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$33.50

Lenten Flower oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas

Medium Print “Lenten Flower”

All medium prints are approximately 16 x 20. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$65.50

Lenten Flower oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas

Large Print “Lenten Flower”

All large prints are approximately 24 x 30. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$98.50

List of Oil Paintings in this Collection, linking to their pages here on the site, and also citing physical pages in the hardcover book:

  1. City of Savannah
    1.1 “City of Savannah” page 6-7
    1.2 “Natalie at the Fountain” page 8-11
    1.3 “House in Savannah” page 12-13
    1.4 “Guardian Lion” page 14-15
    1.5 “Autumn Angel” page 16-17
    1.6 “Steamship Savannah” page 18-19
    1.7 “Boiled Peanuts for Sale” page 20-21
    1.8 “Bulldog” page 22-23
    1.9 “Serenity Piano” page 24-25
    1.10 “Painting Colors” page 26-27
  2. Tybee Island
    2.1 “I Love Life” page 30-31
    2.2 “Living Sand Dollar” page 32-33
    2.3 “Matthew the Sea Turtle” page 34-35
    2.4 “Fungie the Dolphin” page36-37
    2.5 “Angel Releasing Dove” page 38-39
    2.6 “Flag on Tybee Island” page 40-41
    2.7 “My Kids at the Beach” page 42-43
    2.8 “Lighthouse near Tybee Island” page 44-45
  3. Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians
    3.1 “Gator and Snake” page 48-49
    3.2 “Tree Frog” page 50-51
    3.3 “Lizard” page 52-53
    3.4 “Blue Heron” page 54-55
    3.5 “Hummingbird” page 56-57
    3.6 “Painted Bunting” page 58-59
  4. Flowers and Trees
    4.1 “Pink Flower” page 62-63
    4.2 “Porch Flowers” page 64-65
    4.3 “Clover” page 66-67
    4.4 “Butterfly Tree Flowers” page 68-69
    4.5 “Savannah Tree” page 70-71
    4.6 “Dancer in a Floral Forest” page 72-73
    4.7 “Come to the Garden” page 74-77
    4.8 “Cherokee Rose” page 78-79
  5. Faith and Food
    5.1 “Floral Cross” page 82-83
    5.2 “Lenten Flower” page 84-85
    5.3 “Celtic Cross” page 86-87
    5.4 “Mary of God’s Favor” page 88-89
    5.5 “Lion and the Lamb” page 90-91
    5.6 “Breakfast with Friends” page 92-93
    5.7 “Peaches in a Bowl” page 94-95
    5.8 “Peach Cookies” page 96-97
    5.9 “Peach Pie” page 98-99
  6. Seasons and Weather
    6.1 “Pumpkins and Mums” page 102-103
    6.2 “Autumn Cottage” page 104-105
    6.3 “Spring Lambs” page 106-107
    6.4 “Peach Tree Hurricane” page 108-109
    6.5 “Eye of the Storm” page 110-111
    6.6 “God’s Promise” page 112-113
    6.7 “We Gather Together” page 114-115
    6.8 “Savannah Snow” page 116-117
    6.9 “I Believe in Santa” page 118-119

“Floral Cross”

Watch Natalie paint this art, and all 50 oil paintings in this collection (menu below)

“I’ve moved around a lot. My dad was in the Air Force, and my husband was in the Army. After his service, we continued to relocate for jobs. One of the challenges for settling in, is finding our place in our new community. I’ve attended many churches, of various styles, denominations, sizes, and cultures. It’s always a bit intimidating to join in, but I appreciate when our family is welcomed.

My experience with church in the Savannah area was this: we went the first time, and were so warmly received that we stayed. We now sing on the choir, and look forward to sharing family traditions with fellow Georgians.

One of the most significant events in a Christian church is celebrating the risen Christ during the Lenten season and into Easter. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was stunned to see a cross displayed on the foyer table- filling quickly with cut flowers. We were invited to take a flower, and add the stem to the cross. The assorted buds and blooms were strikingly beautiful, but it was more than that. It was life. He is Risen, Indeed. I didn’t know I’d feel something new and different, after all of these years of ‘seeing it all’ before, but this little church taught me something profoundly new.”

Floral Cross oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas
Floral Cross oil painting by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Small Print “Floral Cross”

All small prints are approximately 8 x 10. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$33.50

Floral Cross oil painting by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Medium Print “Floral Cross”

All medium prints are approximately 16 x 20. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$65.50

Floral Cross oil painting by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Large Print “Floral Cross”

All large prints are approximately 24 x 30. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$98.50

List of Oil Paintings in this Collection, linking to their pages here on the site, and also citing physical pages in the hardcover book:

  1. City of Savannah
    1.1 “City of Savannah” page 6-7
    1.2 “Natalie at the Fountain” page 8-11
    1.3 “House in Savannah” page 12-13
    1.4 “Guardian Lion” page 14-15
    1.5 “Autumn Angel” page 16-17
    1.6 “Steamship Savannah” page 18-19
    1.7 “Boiled Peanuts for Sale” page 20-21
    1.8 “Bulldog” page 22-23
    1.9 “Serenity Piano” page 24-25
    1.10 “Painting Colors” page 26-27
  2. Tybee Island
    2.1 “I Love Life” page 30-31
    2.2 “Living Sand Dollar” page 32-33
    2.3 “Matthew the Sea Turtle” page 34-35
    2.4 “Fungie the Dolphin” page36-37
    2.5 “Angel Releasing Dove” page 38-39
    2.6 “Flag on Tybee Island” page 40-41
    2.7 “My Kids at the Beach” page 42-43
    2.8 “Lighthouse near Tybee Island” page 44-45
  3. Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians
    3.1 “Gator and Snake” page 48-49
    3.2 “Tree Frog” page 50-51
    3.3 “Lizard” page 52-53
    3.4 “Blue Heron” page 54-55
    3.5 “Hummingbird” page 56-57
    3.6 “Painted Bunting” page 58-59
  4. Flowers and Trees
    4.1 “Pink Flower” page 62-63
    4.2 “Porch Flowers” page 64-65
    4.3 “Clover” page 66-67
    4.4 “Butterfly Tree Flowers” page 68-69
    4.5 “Savannah Tree” page 70-71
    4.6 “Dancer in a Floral Forest” page 72-73
    4.7 “Come to the Garden” page 74-77
    4.8 “Cherokee Rose” page 78-79
  5. Faith and Food
    5.1 “Floral Cross” page 82-83
    5.2 “Lenten Flower” page 84-85
    5.3 “Celtic Cross” page 86-87
    5.4 “Mary of God’s Favor” page 88-89
    5.5 “Lion and the Lamb” page 90-91
    5.6 “Breakfast with Friends” page 92-93
    5.7 “Peaches in a Bowl” page 94-95
    5.8 “Peach Cookies” page 96-97
    5.9 “Peach Pie” page 98-99
  6. Seasons and Weather
    6.1 “Pumpkins and Mums” page 102-103
    6.2 “Autumn Cottage” page 104-105
    6.3 “Spring Lambs” page 106-107
    6.4 “Peach Tree Hurricane” page 108-109
    6.5 “Eye of the Storm” page 110-111
    6.6 “God’s Promise” page 112-113
    6.7 “We Gather Together” page 114-115
    6.8 “Savannah Snow” page 116-117
    6.9 “I Believe in Santa” page 118-119