Tag Archives: Christmas decorations on sailing boats

We’re going on a stick hunt

On our stick hunt

As you may know, we have started a little tradition of making Christmas decorations for family and friends. But this year due to everything that has been going on (travel, work etc) Orbit and I haven’t had the lead up time we’ve had in previous years. It was already December and I had no idea what to Christmas decorations make and we had very little time left to make them.

I was searching the internet for ideas when an answer arrived in my inbox. I was saved by Picklebums, a fantastic parenting/activities website for kids of all ages. That week’s newsletter had a list of Christmas decorations to make at home – woo hoo! Scrolling through the list, the stick reindeer stood out as the perfect decoration for this year.

For the last six months or so (maybe longer), Orbit has been obsessed with sticks. You can imagine my disgust when he would walk around with a stick in his mouth like a dog. I have lost count of the number of sticks I have found on Medina or in the car. But on the positive side, Orbit does draw some pretty cool sand pictures with the sticks when we are at the beach.

One of Orbit’s sand drawings

Orbit’s grandparents made the connection with the sticks – he was copying the character Spot from the movie, The Good Dinosaur! With the connection made, I have been able to manage Orbit’s behaviour beyond just saying (also read yelling) “take the stick out of your mouth!”. Thank goodness for grand parents!

So embracing Orbit’s obsession with sticks (he no longer puts them in his mouth), the decision to make stick reindeer was pretty easy.

The next day was gorgeous and wan’t meant to be too hot, so I decided to turn collecting the sticks for the reindeer into an adventure. We packed our bag (including a picnic) and went on an a stick hunt.

Orbit and I had lots of fun wondering around the bush looking for appropriate sticks, we even made up a song based on, “We’re going on a bear hunt” …

The stick reindeer production line

We’re going on a stick hunt , We’re going to find a forked one, What a beautiful day, We’re not scared!

Yeah, Bush! Brown scrubby bush, We can’t go over it, We can’t go under it, We’ll have to go through it

Look crunch, Look crunch, Look crunch

What’s that?

One small close fork, Two rough breakable ends, Two matching friends

It’s our stick!

Quick, put it in the bag

Orbit and a stick reindeer

With sticks collected and bellies full of morning tea, we headed off to the local haberdashery to cool down the air conditioning and buy some buttons, glue and eyes. Back on Medina, after some lunch and a nap (stick hunts are very exhausting), Orbit and I got the stick reindeer production into operation. I snapped the sticks to the right size and Orbit decided which buttons to go on each. They were really quick to make and all I had to do was use the hot glue gun. Once the glue was dry, Orbit then decided who was getting each reindeer and we packaged them up ready for their delivery.

The next day our reindeers stared to slowly make their way to loved ones houses and boats, just in time for Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you and your family from the Skipper, Orbit and myself. We hope you have lots of amazing adventures over the holidays, no matter how big or small they are. Oh, and apologies for the ear worm!

Fancy Pants Christmas Decorations – “made by Orbit”

Last year the Skipper and I decided to start a new family tradition of making fancy pants Christmas decorations. So quite a few weeks ago, I put on my thinking cap on and tried to come up with some concepts. I was keen for the decorations to be as “made by Orbit” as possible, so the concept would have to be age for Orbit. I also wanted to make Christmas decorations for Orbit’s grandparents and our ‘marina family’, so not only did they have to be Christmas tree friendly, but they had to be boat friendly too.

Sorting the bits and pieces - the lip on the saloon table came in handy!

Sorting the bits and pieces – the lip on the saloon table came in handy!

My initial (and only) concept was to make a Christmas decoration that had an existing decoration at the bottom, with beads threaded on top and finished with a bit of ribbon so it could be tied to various places on a boat or a Christmas tree.

With this ‘broad concept’ in mind, Orbit and I headed off to our local craft store. I was bit worried as we drove to the craft store – would the concept practical and if not, prayed that I would be inspired for a Plan B at the craft store.

In the spirit of making the decorations as “made by Orbit” as possible, I gave him a lot of the decision making about what materials we used. After I selected a range of decorations, beads and ribbons to choose from, Orbit choose the particular ones he wanted or pointed over my shoulder to the ones he wanted. I was surprised by his decisiveness, I think he has inherited my low tolerance for shopping, so was able to make quick decisions.

Using a plastic needle to thread the beads

Using a plastic needle to thread the beads

Back on the boat, the first step was to unpack and sort out purchases. I helped Orbit split each of the decorations, beads and ribbons in individual packets so we could work on one decoration at a time. Again, in the spirit of trying to make them “made by Orbit” as much as possible, I left the decision of which and how many beads went with which decoration and ribbon to him.

After the first decoration was made, we had our process down pat. I was pleasantly surprised that that my concept worked and wrapped that Orbit enjoyed making the decorations.

One of the completed fancy pants Christmas decorations

One of the completed fancy pants Christmas decorations

Once all the decorations were complete, we then laid out all the decorations and I asked him which one he would like to give to his grandparents or members of our marina family. Orbit then decorated bags to deliver the decorations in, adding final element of the “made by Orbit” to the process.

This whole process from heading to the craft store to delivering the decorations took about four weeks. It was a great project for a number of reasons, Orbit could work on each decoration pretty much independently of me (he just needed me to set them up and finish them off); and it involved very little mess (once the initial distribution of materials was complete).

Merry Christmas from my little family to you and your family, hope you have a fantastic time over the Christmas and New Years!