I admit it. I am all schmaltz when it comes to the holidays.

BZTAT Studios
BZTAT Studios

And I am unapologetic.

Unlike many families, who unfortunately seem to rack up painful memories this time of year, my family always shined when it came to the holidays. I like to recall the memories with a heart full of sentimentality.

One of our family traditions when I was a child growing up in Liberty, Mo. was to go to downtown Kansas City and look at the lights. We would drive around looking at the fountains and buildings all lighted up for the holidays.

Sometimes we would get out of our old Dodge Dart, and we would walk around looking at the all department store window displays. Window shopping was one of my favorite things to do around Christmas.

One year, I remember falling in love with one particular window.

The display was a magical animated doll house, only there were no dolls. The house was inhabited by miniature mice, busily preparing for a visit from Santa!

I decided that I had to have a magical mouse house for myself, so I went home and wrote a letter to Santa, asking him to bring one for me on Christmas.

Although my parents tried to persuade me to put other things on my list in case Santa was unable to bring me a mouse house, I was stubborn. I wanted nothing else.

Sure enough, Santa brought me my magical gift!

BZTAT's Mouse House that Santa Brought
BZTAT's Mouse House that Santa Brought

I played with the mouse house for years, and I collected new things for it each year at Christmas. I still have many of the miniature mice and their furnishings.

I was reminded of the mouse house, which has been in storage for years, in a recent Twitter conversation with @JedBramwell. Jed is making a miniature movie!

Jed encouraged me to pull my mice out of storage and use them as part of my own window display for my art studio in Canton, OH. My hope is that another child will venture downtown with his or her family, and be inspired to dream as I was so many years ago.


If you are near Canton, you can see the window anytime during the holidays. I have my special feline nativity scene given to me by a friend a couple of years ago displayed in my other window.


You can also visit my studio and all the other great galleries and studios in the Canton Arts District this Friday for our monthly First Friday event. There is Snow Much to Do Downtown!

I will have my special canine guests from Friends of Stark Pound joining me again this month, and Ashley Brooke Toussant will perform live music.

And, as always, I will have lots of BZTAT art on display! Do you know someone who wants art under their tree this year?

I hope to see you at First Friday or some other time during the holiday season. Best wishes for a happy and joyful season for all!

Life is an adventure!