These Gifts Are Better Than Toys — The Story of This Painting

The story of the painting, These Gifts Are Better Than Toys, by Steve Henderson at Start Your Week with Steve:

These Gifts Are Better Than Toys inspirational original oil painting of Santa painting nativity set by Steve Henderson licensed prints at icanvasart and give write cards

Christmas is what each individual makes of it, and we can consciously choose, like Santa, to focus on things other than materialistic frenzy. These Gifts Are Better Than Toys by Steve Henderson, original oil painting, sold. Licensed prints at iCanvasART and greeting cards at Give Write Cards.

For being a time of peace, goodwill and joy, Christmas generates a lot of controversy, not the least of which is the variance between out-of-control materialism and the event, Christ’s birth on earth, that a number of people celebrate.

It has always intrigued us that Easter, which celebrates the arguably more impressive resurrection of Christ, is generally observed quietly, with little controversy because there is less pressure to buy, buy, buy electronics and toys and clothes and DVDs and stuff. What is odd, however, is that despite this freedom from materialism, many within religious households make less of the day than they do Christmas.

Christmas does not have to be an us versus them thing, and indeed, as a cultural holiday, embraces many within the celebration. Santa does not have to be an evil, distracting influence, as some accuse him of being — and when he is separated from the glutted sense of marketing and frenzied attitude toward shopping — his message is a good one: he gives gifts. He loves children. He recognizes the child that lives within the adult. He rejoices in the lights, the music, the frost on the windowpane, the cookies, the warmth of friends and family gathering together.

These elements all fit into the spirit of the original Christmas story, and in the painting, These Gifts Are Better Than Toys, Santa focuses on painting, with infinite care and respect, figurines from the Nativity story. Though the figurines are smaller than Santa, what they represent is greater, and it is clear that Santa — though he is great and jolly and good — is subservient to One who is greater, and kinder, and better.

The purchaser of the original painting commented, “Santa has kind eyes,” and that observation speaks volumes. In a society that literally worships making money, and advancing up the ladder, and exhibiting cunning and craftiness as a means to achieve “success,” kindness is a virtue that does not — simply cannot — go out of style. If one cannot grasp the sheer goodness of God, and His kindness toward the human beings He has created, then Santa provides an example that the youngest child — dwelling deep within even the most cynical adult — can understand: Santa does not give lumps of coal, even to the naughtiest child.

Read the rest — Steve’s Art in Stores, Tea by the Sea newly sold, at Start Your Week with Steve.

The original painting of These Gifts Are Better Than Toys is sold; the work is available as a limited edition print through iCanvasART. It is also available as a greeting card, individual or in sets, at Give Write Cards.

Find the books and DVDs below at by clicking on the image.

The Misfit Christian Book by Carolyn Henderson at Live Happily on Less book by Carolyn Henderson at Grammar Despair paperback and digital book at by Carolyn Henderson Step by Step Watercolor Success digital DVD workshop by Steve Henderson at

About This Woman Writes

Carolyn Henderson is the marketing manager of Steve Henderson Fine Art. She writes about life, art, and the art of life.
This entry was posted in Art, blogging, Christian, Christmas, Culture, Current Events, Daily Life, decor, Encouragement, Faith, Family, holiday, home, inspirational, Life, Lifestyle, newsletter, painting, santa, shopping, simple living and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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