Is there anything better than the innocence of a child at Christmas time? I have always loved the holidays. Even before I had children, I would adorn any apartment I ever lived in with seasonal decorations, much to the confusion of my then-boyfriend (now-husband). He would cock his head to the side and ask, “Why do you go all out for the holidays?”
My answer was always the same.
“One day, I will have children and I will do the same thing with them. I love the holidays and I want anyone who passes by my window to know that, too.”
Then I had my own children and my love for the holidays kicked into overdrive! It was like a second chance to experience the magic of the season all over again in a new way. I get to experience the holidays through their eyes. But, life is funny. Time passes. We get older. Unfortunately, as adults, the holidays can transform into something else entirely. For one reason or another, we begin to focus more on the stress, the gifts, and the financial burden that the holidays can bring. We lose our sense of wonder.
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Enter our children.
Recently, while navigating a department store, searching for ornaments, my 4-year-old son stared in amazement at the glass snow globes on the shelf. Gently turning over the globe to allow the shimmery snow to delicately fall to the bottom, his blue eyes remained transfixed on the magical scene in front of him.
“Mom, I wonder what it’s like to live inside a snow globe,” he pondered, awestruck.
To him, everything in that moment stood still. He was truly at peace.
Observing his wonder, I suddenly found myself reverent. It was humbling. For a few moments, my little one gently reminded me of the depth and wonderment of the season.
Christmas is a time to slow down and reflect on our faith and our family, rather than misplaced importance where it needn’t be.
I thought a lot about his reaction that evening after he fell asleep. At first, I thought maybe I would purchase him a little snow globe that I had seen at the store earlier. Then I realized what better way to help him feel what’s it like to be inside a snow globe, then to have him put himself in one (metaphorically, of course)!
The next morning, off to the craft store we flew like a flash . . .
DIY Photo Snow Globe
What You’ll Need
• Clean, glass jar with tight lid
• Laminated photo
• Seasonal décor
• Glitter and/or Glycerin
1. Select a sturdy glass jar. A mason jar works well, or you can use an empty glass jar you find around the house (think pickles, baby food jars, etc.). After peeling off any labels, give the jar a nice thorough washing and make sure it seals tightly.
2. Take a picture of your child. Cut out the outline of them in the photo and run it through a laminator.
(Now you may be thinking, who has a laminator?! But honestly, once you buy one there’s no going back! It is amazing the things that you will find an excuse to laminate. Also, this is a great time of year to purchase one. Many stores will sell them for less than $20. If you opt out of buying one, most copy stores offer lamination services inexpensively or you can find self-adhesive laminating sheets.)
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3. Select a variety of small seasonal décor. We stopped by a local craft store because they were having a CRAZY great sale in their floral department. But, a trip to the dollar store would suffice as well. Be sure that you select items that will withstand water. If possible, test them for a day in water and see if they flake or break apart. *Important tip: don’t go overboard when creating your scene. Space is limited. Less is more in this case.
4. Now it’s time to create your magical winter wonderland! To begin, remember that you will be gluing your items on the inside of the lid of your jar. Make sure to work in the middle, keeping space along the edges to allow the jar to screw shut. We started by putting a big pile of gooey glue in the middle of the lid and mounting our decorations to the inside of the jar lid. We added small glass beads (red and green, of course!) to the top of the pile to hide any unsightly glue and hold our other decorations in place. You will see what I mean as you go. It is an imperfect system, but the goal is getting everything to stay stuck together in the center of the lid.
Allow time for the glue to dry and test the sturdiness of your creation. Turn the lid upside and give it a couple good shakes to see if anything comes loose.
5. Add water to your jar and sprinkle in the glitter. Some people choose to add glycerin (found in baking aisles in the craft store) to the water to make the snow fall more slowly. We did not, and the kids still loved the snowy effect. But, it might help preserve the glitter a bit longer.
6. The finishing touch . . . enter wonderland! Bottoms up! It’s time to attach the lid with all your decorations. You may need to squish some of your holiday foliage to get it to fit, but once everything is completely in, tighten the lid firmly.
7. After checking the final placement of all your items, you can add some glue to the inside lip of the jar and reseal to prevent curious little ones from giving themselves a glitter bath.
Samantha Lee is a homeschooling mom and blogger in the Pittsburgh area. As a wife, homeschooling parent, and freelancer, she aspires to grow academically, faithfully, and wholly everyday. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
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