On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

A snowman family straight from the sea.

Guess which one is which?

Many of you know about my Christmas tradition of making a snowman ornament for my wife, Robyn. Read about it here. This year I depart from the tradition in a couple of ways.

Because this is my twenty-fifth year of ornamenting (and to make up for neglecting our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary – my bad), rather than one or two ornaments, I decided to clean out my mental closet and purge ideas that have been festering for years (I’m sure you’ve heard of Fester, the Snowman). At the rate of one or two ornaments per year, these ideas would never all have been realized and were weighing on my pursuit of new things. The forthcoming twelve days of Christmas will add up to a few more ornaments than previous years. A lot more.

In doing this, I run the risk of marginalizing a 25 year tradition by breaking my own rule: if everything is special, nothing is (o.k., I didn’t invent the rule, but I try to live by it). On the other hand, Robyn is bound to find one she likes.

However, she may find it more difficult to decorate the tree next year, having now to consider weight and asymmetrical loading. I’ll provide a structural diagram. 😉

I am also taking a few liberties with a classic song, the least of which is counting down to Christmas instead of up from it. My apologies in advance.

This first day of snowman ornaments arose from seashells collected over the years since our boy, Beck, was born – souvenirs from our trips to the beach previously languishing in a dusty, old box, never opened (yeah, we probably should hire a house cleaner). I may have desecrated their purity with wood and glue, but at least as ornaments they will live again, once a year, along with their memories.

You may have noticed that these are not the typical shells people collect. They are worn by sand and water to expose their inner beauty – proof that beauty is only skin deep! To us they are far more interesting than the complete shells you find in every tourist shop.



On the First Day of Christmas…

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