Thursday, January 8, 2009

Traditions Old & New

When Lillian was around 6 months old, we took a day trip to the coast with some friends. While browsing through the requisite candy shop that exists in every beach town, I found a plate that reads "Birthday Princess." Instantly, I hatched an idea for a new birthday tradition. Each year, our birthday princess would eat her special slice of cake from this plate. So I bought it and carefully transported it home. That plate was indeed used a both of her birthdays.

With Ian's first birthday soon approaching, I wanted to find a special plate for him as well. I searched the internet and wasn't impressed with what I found. True to form, I thought "hey, I can make that!" I've always been more certain of my craft abilities than I should be.

Shortly after Christmas, I recruited my lovely sister-in-law for some pottery painting bonding time. We met at the pottery painting shop and I found my plate while my SIL browsed. She stopped at the Christmas tree decorated with plain ceramic ornaments and instantly, I hatched an idea for a new Christmas tradition.

Like many families, I had the idea of purchasing an ornament for my kids each year. I had visions of laughing over memories of Christmases past as we hung each precious ornament on the tree. A fire crackled in the background. Sips of hot chocolate would punctuate each story. Oh yeah, I had the whole thing figured out. Except the part where I actually found and purchased that special ornament apparently. So on New Year's Eve, at the pottery painting store in front of the tree dotted with naked ceramic ornaments, I pounced. My poor SIL didn't have a chance.

"Hey, why don't you make an ornament for Ian? If you make it, I'll pay for it!"

I was a little too enthusiastic but fortunately my SIL is a saint and readily agreed. She picked the oven mit mitten ornament and set to work. And soon, the perfect design was complete. I can almost smell the fire and taste the hot chocolate as I picture telling Ian about this memorable Christmas.

"You probably don't remember your first Christmas Ian. It snowed and Snowed and SNOWED! See the snowflakes on your ornament? We were stuck at home for a week just watching the snow fall. And just when the snow began to melt, Santa brought you a most unusual gift. See those red dots on your ornament? You woke up on Christmas day with the chicken pox! Auntie M made this ornament especially for you. It tells the story of your first Christmas."

Thus a new Christmas tradition is born. Oh, and a birthday tradition is continued. But the real question many years will Ian allow me to serve his birthday cake on this handmade creation? I'm taking bets.


Mindy January 8, 2009 at 4:56 PM  

Both creations are absolutely perfect. While I think Ian will object to the plate around his 12th or 13th birthday (don't take it personally-middle school is a wretched, wretched time) he will ask for it again and use it until he goes to college (cake will be replaced with beer and pizza, no plates necessary) and will ask you for it back when he moves into his first apartment. I'm not betting on this though. Not until I win more than a dollar on a Scratchit.

Anonymous January 8, 2009 at 6:54 PM  

What a great tradition. The plate is adorable and the ornament is sooooo full of symbolism! Good job. --Mom

Anonymous January 8, 2009 at 8:24 PM  

The plate turned out AWESOME!!! The cupcake is adorable :) You are too crafty for words! Michelle

Emily January 9, 2009 at 1:10 AM  

Oh I love those traditions! The mitten ornament is so amazing and I love the story behind it. Wonderful, simple way to explain his first Christmas. The birthday plate is really neat as well. Crafting is def. one of your gifts!

The Tucson Gang January 9, 2009 at 10:33 AM  

OMG - those are both adorable! Love the are both so talented...wowzers! Maybe next year - I'll try the ornament decorating thing w/my boys - it's always a frantic last minute rush to buy the "perfect" ornament you described...I totally get it!

Heather January 9, 2009 at 10:07 PM  

What a cute plate! Love the idea.

I'm betting teenage Ian will roll his eyes at the plate but secretly love it. :)

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