Having a Laugh
A child laughs along with Santa Claus in this entry from Steve’s Sketchbook. And if you were wondering, this was based on a real event, sort of.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take photos of kids with Santa and Mrs. Claus, as I have enjoyed doing for several years now. It is always a fun time, and Santa and Mrs. Claus are great people, of course. Many kids wear their pajamas for the photos, milk and cookies are served, and most everyone enjoys themselves.
However, as you can imagine, there are usually those who are a bit shy. And there are others who are just downright afraid of Santa. Some tears are shed, and some kids try to hide behind their parents. Santa knows how to talk to them and can sometimes win them over, but not always. I try to make the parents feel better by telling them how fun it is to have a “Crying with Santa” photo. We have one of those, too, and it is one of my favorites just because it is funny to me. The parents try to laugh it off, but I can usually tell that not quite all of them are happy with it.
But this year, one young lad in blue pajamas really stood out to me. As soon as he got up on the stage where Santa was, he started laughing. He was genuinely happy to see Santa. Maybe he was remembering Santa’s generosity from past years, or maybe he is just a happy, laughing kid all of the time. But for whatever reason, he was laughing and giggling the entire time he was there with Santa.
Smile and Laugh
I have mentioned before both here and on the Burnsland Podcast that a smile and a laugh can change things. I was reminded of that fact once again by this young man in the blue pajamas. Laughter and smiles are quite contagious, and we could all use more of that, especially now.
Don’t be afraid to be the one who is always smiling and laughing. That is a good thing to be remembered for. And if you pass that along to others, they will pass it along to even more. Pretty soon, everyone will be smiling and laughing!
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. - Psalm 118:24
About the Artwork
I did not draw this quite like I saw it, and that was for the same reason that the moment was hard to photograph. From where I was, I could really only see the back of the boy. I could have run around and looked over Santa’s shoulder, but then I would not have seen Santa.
So instead, I chose to draw the boy and Santa standing by each other, sharing a similar pose and a laugh together. This captures the spirit of the moment more than capturing the actual look of the moment. And it is easy to see what is going on here, even if you do need a little explanation as to why it is happening.
Here is the early line version of the artwork with the even earlier rough sketch underneath it. There are a few minor differences between this and the final artwork. The biggest difference comes in the eyes. Pretty late in the process, I went from squinty eyes to more normal-looking closed eyes. That made a big difference, I think.