Art Classes as a Christmas Present


Yes, Art Classes for Christmas!

The stress of buying Christmas presents hits me at the end of November, like a premature Santa express. I want my beloveds to love my gifts, but not as much as they love me. I want to prove just how thoughtful I am but I also have a budget, and no way do I have hours on end to spare for trawling the Internet or worse still, shopping centres. It’s a conundrum. Even worse, I must repeat this torture for every present.

The problem is that most of my friends and family have abysmal, appalling taste- by that I mean; it’s not the same as mine. They don't have my good taste in clothes, my good taste in books or my excellent taste in paintings. And yes we all know that finding the right present is not about what I like, it's about what they want.

How do I know once I've found something whether they will like it? I could hypnotise them, and administer truth serum and interrogate them, but the law takes a dim view of this.

My daughter likes neutral colours, (as I said, she has no taste) and I love strong, bold colours. When I see something that is neutral, it looks like it should be wallpaper; visual muzak, and that has me doubt whether she would like it.

Of course, she would be so much better at choosing something she likes. That would seem to point to giving some money to the person with the message "buy it yourself, you're better at this anyway" but that feels too much like a cop-out, so it's not an option.

Another solution would be to ask my beloveds what they would like to have, but they all tell me they want a surprise and that I should hone my ability to research covertly. But that's full of dangers.

My partner isn't any easier. He tells me men like something you can use, but it has to be fun using it. Unfortunately, tools don't seem to fall into that category. Aren’t men strange- I love using a spanner, and am elevated to ecstasy by beholding a chisel; I guess that would be far too easy. The blow-up dinghy I bought him was a failure because it was too hard to blow up and too big to store; I really shouldn’t have bought the aircraft carrier size. The remote control helicopter was also a disaster because it was too hard to steer and there was nowhere safe to land it- though it did make a great tree decoration for a while.

Therefore, I face the challenge of analysing my beloveds. I’ve tried covert methods: interrogating their friends, asking their opinion on this or that but still to no avail. I know I need to think of all the things they're interested in, the things they like and what kind of objects they want to surround themselves with. But that’s even harder than Shopping Mall-hell. When I take myself on this intellectual journey nothing decent results.

The truth is I also don't want to be adding to someone else's clutter.
Another problem is that run-of-the-mill presents just will not do, so a framed photo, a gift certificate, or a sweet smelling cream do not qualify.
That's why recently I've taken to giving my beloveds experiences. Then I can inject them with fun, and best of all I get to join in the fun too. What could be better than that?

I confess, and here I can cross my heart and swear to …, if someone wanted to give me a present, the best imaginable present for me would be an art class with a brilliant teacher. Ha! But my friends are foiled there. I run an art school, which means I can attend the best courses in the universe for free.

However, I can give them art classes, and I do. We've had a few clients do the same thing: a daughter who gave her dad an art class and came along with him, a husband who gave his wife an art class, but he didn't join in; a wife who gave her husband an art class, but she didn't come, and a friend who gave her friend who was in mourning an art class and they did it together.

But what do I get for those friends that aren't creatively inclined? Because I live in Adelaide, a.k.a. The Creative State, I give them tickets to an enticing dance or theatre production. Moreover, best of all they get to go there with me!