Be sure to scroll to the bottom for a Window Painting Activity you can do at home!
This holiday season I got to return to one of my favorite jobs ever - painting holiday windows!
I get decked out like an ornament, put on my reindeer boots, grab my paints and brushes and head off to spread joy from window to window! It's a skill I learned from my Pop who wanted to be an animator for Disney. His name was ART! He taught me:
"Everyone has art inside them, it’s a simple matter of discovering it. You just have to pick up a pencil and see what happens when you let yourself create."
While my Mama, like Mrs. Clause, took care of the INSIDE decorations and all of the BAKING for the holidays, my Pop handmade everything that went up on the OUTSIDE of the house. Wood cutouts of Santa and his team on the roof, 8-foot tin soldiers on either side of the front door, snow people in the front yard, and more. So, for me, painting holiday windows just seemed like the natural thing to do.
My Mama and Pop surrounded by his creations
When I paint I feel like a real-life elf leaving giant festive cards for my community. People stop to tell me their stories. They share sentimental memories or confide their plans for a special holiday surprise. They even ask me to tell Santa the things that they need. Some folks just say how happy they feel to see something that makes them smile…like an elf blow-drying a bunny or a penguin serving a fish-topped ice cream cone to a polar bear. The scenes lift their spirits and for me, that’s the best part. Even if they aren’t in the holiday mood something unexpected brings them joy. I love that the magic keeps working whether or not I’m there.
When I paint I feel like a real-life elf leaving giant festive cards for my community.
My window creations. Click each image for an expanded view.
One of my favorite window-painting memories is with my Dad whose name was Art. He would go with me when I was painting in areas that he didn’t think were safe. That day I only had time to paint one store's windows. The owner next door begged, 'Please, please, can you paint my windows too?' I said "I can’t but my dad is here and he’s an incredible artist. He’ll paint it for you." So that day my dad and I painted together. Two generations painting one big long mural in an area that really needed some extra love and joy. It was so much fun!
My Pop "Art" and I paint windows together
This Year's Windows
This year I got to paint some windows for a family that I love. It was like no time had passed at all and I’m pretty sure my Pop was with me as I painted too. Check out my latest work in Queens, NY, turning windows from a family-owned business into eye-catching joy!
Paint Along With Leslie!
Now it's your turn! Here's an activity the whole family can do together. Follow along with me to learn how to make a window painting of your own. Find a design of your own or...
Happy Painting! Love & Joy to you!
Five-time Emmy nominee Leslie Carrara-Rudolph is a multi-faceted entertainer, puppeteer, visual and voice-over artist, writer and producer
best known for performing Abby Cadabby and Elmo’s dog Tango on Sesame Street.