When I was pregnant with Zander, I bought some clear plastic balls at a craft store which I intended to fill with special items and give to family members as Christmas ornaments. I started by gathering some shells and volcanic rocks in Kauai while Alex and I were there on our “babymoon.” But as usual, life and a hectic work schedule got in the way, and I never completed the ornaments. Now, I’m so glad I didn’t, because they were just perfect for Zander and me to make together!
First, we walked to one of our local beaches to collect some sand (and, of course, to play).
When we got home, it was time for lunch and then Zander’s nap. While he was sleeping, I gathered all of the materials for our project and put them onto the kitchen table. I transferred some of the sand from our bucket into a ziploc bag, thinking that we maybe could snip off one corner of the bag and pour the sand into our ornaments without making a huge mess.
We used one muffin tin to secure the plastic halves and one to hold a variety of little treasures with which to fill them. In addition to the special things from Kauai, these treasures included items found at beaches both here on San Juan Island and also from our vacation to Maui just before Zander’s first birthday, such as rocks, tiny shells, pieces of bark, and beautiful smooth sea glass found at the beach near our dear friends Anja, Thomas, and Lea’s former home here on the island.
Zander started playing with these items right away, sorting and rearranging them in their muffin tin, while I put a bit of sand into the ornaments.
Then Zander got to work with the oh-so-serious task of putting items into the ornament halves. He was surprisingly focused and did not require much direction at all from me. He seemed to have a plan in mind for how he wanted these to look!
In the end, he was happy with the following distribution of treasures:
Once Zander had filled the ornaments, I glued the two halves together using a hot glue gun…
…and then tied on pieces of ribbon by which to hang them.
The end result was a beautiful, meaningful, and inexpensive holiday gift to be enjoyed for years to come!
Rather than mailing these precious gifts, we plan to let Zander hand-deliver them to his grandparents in a matter of weeks. And of course, we’ll be keeping one for ourselves as a reminder of the fun times we’ve had romping and playing by the sea.
We ended the day by attending the Lighted Boat Christmas Parade at the Port of Friday Harbor, where we drank hot apple cider and saw Zander’s friend, Jonny, and his family. After welcoming Santa (who arrived by boat) to Friday Harbor, we came home and had a warm and hearty Vegetable Barley Soup, which will be the featured recipe in tomorrow’s blog. For now, I bid you all a good night!