It's that time of year when we reflect on the past, intentionally connect with others, and make plans for the future. One of the ways I reflect and connect is through the tradition of preparing and mailing holiday greeting cards.
Each year I page through my (old-style) calendar and make note of the highlights and ordinary happenings in our household. I approach this task as an opportunity for creative expression, aiming to convey our family news in a way that also reflects the current trends, events, and/or themes in our world.
This year I chose a word search format to share our family updates, using a tool available at https://worksheets.theteacherscorner.net/make-your-own/word-search/# (which, incidentally, is a great resource for educators):
Although the word search format is not as clearly indicative of the year's theme as the past few have been (2020, 2019, and 2018), I do think that words have been a key aspect of the past year: the words we use to communicate with each other; the words that have newly entered our casual conversations (i.e. vaccines, masks, Moderna); the words we pay attention to; the words we ignore; the words we welcome; the words we shun; and the importance of discerning words that are true and words that are untrue in an era when words are deliberately weaponized for self gain.
Words are powerful. They can be used to love. They can be used to hate. They can be used to help. They can be used to hurt. They can be amplified. They can be silenced. They can inform, and they can misinform.
Words are the raw material that I work with as an author, and as a picture book author in particular, I spend my writing time searching for just-right words for each and every sentence in each and every story I write.
This year's annual greeting captures some of the words that are reflective of my family's 2021 story. I look forward to experiencing, writing, and sharing new stories with the people I love in the coming year. May you do the same. And may words such as Peace, Joy, and Love find their way into our lives and into our world in the New Year.
|Katia, Sam, Dawn, and Nikko, 2021|