Give Me a Break

As our country turns to the important task of choosing our next President, I’ve turned to an even more important task, carving Santas for grandchildren. Somehow there’s something far more satisfying in a razor-sharp knife cutting cleanly across the wood grain than pushing elusive words around the page trying to convince hypothetical readers that it’s vital to elect a new President.

My first Santa is the cute little guy on the right, a fairly accurate replica of a Santa I found in a carving book. Perfectionist that I am, though, I was not completely satisfied with my first attempt, and ultimately with the design itself.

Though I like the short, squat little guy, he seemed TOO short to me, and those tilted eyebrows revealed a worried look that might prove as disquieting to impressionable young minds as it already has been for me.

Naturally, I’m not entirely satisfied with my new version, either. Somehow the proportions seem to have become distorted in trying to make him a little taller.

It turns out that each of these little guys seems to have a life of his own, subtle shifts in grain that make each of them far less malleable than you might expect. Of course, that’s also part of the fascination. If they could simply be turned out in identical molds, I’d probably just continue buying store-bought Santas mass-produced in China.

Of course, it’s not entirely fair to compare the two at this point, the little one is about to be liberated so I needed to get a permanent record now. While trying to get Kel’s opinion which version he liked best, he decided that he wanted to keep the little one that was nearly done. And, so he shall.