When I was a kid, Christmas was a very special time. Not only because the food, presents, and cartoons that were coming along with the holiday, but because of the things we, as a family, only got to see once a year and the new things that would be added to our tradition.
|Raymond Larson circa. 1980. If you look closely, you can|
see a couple of the miniature houses he built under the tree
I had spoken in a previous entry about my Dad, Raymond Larson, and how creative he was. Christmas time was when that creativity seemed to shine the brightest. He had produced special decorations that were exclusive to us. From paintings to ornaments to miniatures, we were surrounded by things that could not be found anywhere else:
|This painting was done when he was still a student |
at American Academy Of Art in 1948.
Poppy also used to create miniature houses and buildings from
scratch. Though around all year, they usually became part of the old railroad
train set that came out at Christmas time.
In addition to the decorations, Poppy also made his own Christmas cards. He was doing them all by hand ( unlike the ones I make and digitally print out- this was before computers) so only made a couple each year.
|These are the plans for one of his earliest creations - a puppet|
theater for the kids
|My brother Erik, Me, and my nephew Joey doing a puppet play ( circa. 1975)|
|He created the fort out of illustration board, dowel rods, and styrofoam.|
The end result was a more durable and realistic toy than was mass produced by the toy company.
|30 years later and this creation is still mind blowing to me...|
The effort that was put into these creations was amazing. The result of all of this is that Ray Larson gave us all something special. It wasn't just the unique gifts, but the memories that we will always carry with us. There is no better Christmas present than that.