Norman Rockwell's Freedom from Want was chosen as this week's SIA inspiration as a reflection of the true gifts of the holiday season. It's not cheap electronics sold to us on Thanksgiving day by employees who are forced to work holidays to pay for their own family's presents. It's the joy of being together. It's the love and the care we have for each other. That's worth more than all the Black Friday deals in the world. Sure it can be easy to get caught up in the sales and the binge buying but, the more we fuel that version of the holidays the less the season exactly means.
I couldn't be with my family on Thanksgiving as several of them work in retail. Their store opened at 2 o' clock on Thanksgiving day because people had to have five dollars off a toy twelve hours earlier than they got it last year. If we really thought about, is that worth it?
I'm not saying that we can't indulge in holiday shopping or aim for that sale that means we can give someone a present we wouldn't be able to afford otherwise. These are not inherently bad things but, they can be when we make them a bigger priority in our lives than time spent together or time spent helping others who don't have the blessing we have. If we all thought about what the holidays meant to us personally and acted accordingly, if we all stopped seeing our "wants" as our "needs" and instead thought about what really fuels our souls, we would see a season that more reflects the simple happiness portrayed in this painting. We would be people that could, if only momentarily, experience freedom from want.
I have always admired Norman Rockwell paintings and in this particular one I love how the soft, cool colors of the environment highlight the warmth and the genuine feeling of togetherness. For my interpretation I based the foundation on the whites and blues in the painting and then added the warmth with the scarf. I kept it simple, soft, and cozy to evocate the feeling of a good meal with family.