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Be a child...

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

In the recently imposed stay-in-house restriction my region of California is under, I stumbled onto a work of art of mine from a long time ago.

I’m not sure when I picked up those vibrantly colored Crayons we all remember so fondly and scribbled this homespun Christmas scene...

Maybe it was in the dark and foreboding Dora Moore School on Corona Street in Denver. (At least to a little girl whose Daddy was a “soldier who had to go away” during World War II. ( It has been cited as one of the "top ten haunted places in Denver.")

More likely at home because it’s drawn on a sheet of paper with the heading Processed Food Credits, which I researched and found were issued by The United States of America during wartime. Food rationing—enough for us and the allies and the military.

My dad, a major in the army, served in Europe; my mom, my brother and I stayed near my grandparents in Denver while he was gone.

The drawing is a huge puzzle to me.

Have no idea who the twins in blue are, but I always wanted to have a twin sister.

The snowman is quite perfectly proportioned. Smiling with a warm green scarf.

Did the two children on the left build the snowman? Certainly not my tow-headed brother and me at work.

Could that be a sled standing upside down?

Plenty of snow.

Who is the random guy on the right with his pants neatly tucked into his boots?

Where is that house?

Lovely stained-glass window.

Cozy fire. See the smoke in the chimney?

At the very bottom, one eager child, a little boy I think, waves. Apparently wants to join the gang in their snowman worship.

I have no recollection of this drawing at all, but I know I did it. My name is there scrawled across at the lower edge.

Marilyn used-to-be-Gardner. But I’m not at all sure what happened to the N in Marilyn. It got very large and very black. Perhaps covering a mistake? Did I not know how to spell my name?

Or is that the mailbox? Maybe a secret wish for a letter from Dad?

So many questions I can’t answer.

But more than ever before, at Christmastime this year being childlike seems good.



Do as you're told.

Hang your stocking.

Leave cookies for Santa.

Drink hot chocolate with marshmallows.

Be safe.

Keep warm.

Embrace the music.

Stay well.

Be joyous.


Oh, I love this! It is clear that you were already on a path of art, color, vibrancy, storytelling and magic. And you knew how to make good use of the “flesh” crayon! FIMO 21

And a very merry Christmas to you my childlike friend. Wonderful blog, so much to say about a simple drawing. I also lived with my dad‘s parents during the war or so my mother told me. I’m glad you found a way to get your newspaper spectacular out to your blog readers. I was sure there was a way. Love Jan

I am thrilled that your work is being shared with many readers and that each will take away something to enrich their life.




🥺🥺🥺. That is so sweet and beautiful! Particularly your Christmas sentiment! I like the “do as your told”.

Xoxo Jamie

Love your childhood drawing and memories, and beautiful card and sentiment at the end. Merry Christmas to you dear friend. Suzy and Bob

Thanks.I saw the newspaper article,good ink for you.I've got your book on my list the next time I go to Barnes and Noble.HAPPY HOLIDAYS.Jim C.

I was a long time – and retired – Crayola guy, Marilyn….think of all the years you could have had free Crayola crayons! You had a good eye even as a child. A year from hell for all of us is no reason not to enjoy a peaceful and joyous Christmas and a VERY different New Year. Warmest regards from both of us, Dan

Really lovely, Marilyn. What’s better than children’s art?...especially such a colorful and sophisticated piece as yours. Thanks for that slice of history and beauty.

Merry Christmas,


So much thought went into this. Your book is the next on my ‘must read’ list. Many good recommendations from people who have already read it.

Also saw the article about you in the newspaper.

All good.

I’ll do everything but “Do as you’re told.” 😉😏😘

Have a nice Christmas.


I have been touched by

your kindness,

your book

and your garden events

+ Mardi Gras dancing

all in 2020!

What a challenging year it has been: but we are still here and ready for 2021.

Today I harvested this december tomato in the bright low saturday afternoon wintersun. Little things like big tomatos matter!

Hope you find quiet joys for the days of Christmas.

I will have the company of my stepson Dan and DIL Cameron here.

Soon we can all start dreaming of what we can and want to do once things get normal!

God Jul!


This is delightful, Marilyn. You know I have a soft spot for children’s artwork, and I’m also a huge fan of mysteries😉

Merry Christmas to you, too, dear Marilyn, and may the New Year bring you only good things.


In case you missed this Christie’s treat...Bundle up and enjoy these 10 beautiful Winter landscapes - from Monet to O'Keeffe. (The Monet is especially luminous)And have a very Happy Christmas 🎄 donna

This is so charming, Marilyn! It’s not just a piece of personal history, but being drawn on the war time food credit sheet is a fascinating bonus.

Wishing you a holiday with all the delights of a child’s eye view of the season.

Warmly, Anne M.

So good to hear from you and what a treat to see your delightful early artistry, and now a book we look forward to reading. These childhood musings and more recent reminiscences are what keep us grounded and remind us of what is important in these trying times. Ken and I miss beautiful Pauma and will be down as soon as circumstances allow! Meanwhile, we’ve been fortunate to have had our golf course to enjoy with friends through the year almost as if nothing was amiss, but cold weather and reality have now confined us like the rest of the world. On-line bridge with friends has been a salvation and we’ve walked and explored neigborhoods more than over the decades!

Glad to hear you are well, have a Merry Christmas and here’s to a bright New Year.

Sharon and Ken Winnipeg, Manitoba

What a sweet holiday message. Love the drawing and the mysterious twins. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Hugs, Tracy

Tracy Jones Content Writer/Editor, Copyeditor, Ghostwriter Jones Blackstone Editing

Marilyn, your very special Christmas card actually brought tears to my eyes. It defines Christmas as we would all like it to be. It gave me some Christmas spirit that was long overdue. I can’t believe what a wonder, creative artist you were even when you were such a little girl. The adorable striped outfit on the busy boy building the snowman is a little masterpiece. I hope you have the best Holiday that’s possible now! Taffy

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This was just lovely, Marilyn. A lot went into your drawing, and many good thoughts went into your blog. We have much to be thankful for, and we just needed to be reminded of that. I hope 2021 is a much better year for all of us. BTW: If you need a fresh supply of crayons, see Dan. 😊


I'd frame the picture and hang it next to your Booker Award, shows the transition from one art form to another! Looking back can be a lot of fun, particularly at our age as we have so much stuff to look back on! Have a great Christmas & New Year and we'll look forward to a get together in 2021.


Dec 19, 2020

Marilyn, this is you at your very best. What a wonderful recollection and an important reminder that the child in all of us has to come out, especially at Christmas. I know this will be a meaningful holiday for you this year, as for all of us, and look forward to good stuff in 2021.

Thanks for sharing.

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