'Tis the Season...
I love this time of year...bundling up, having an excuse to drink hot chocolate whenever I want, spending time with family, and...Christmas ornaments EVERYWHERE!
Now you may be wondering, "what's this lady's crazy obsession with Christmas ornaments, and what does that have to do with sandtray therapy?"
Well, pull up a seat whipper-snapper...
Unique, quirky, and ultra specific minis haven't always been widely available, and some of my most-loved and most-used miniatures actually began their lives as Christmas ornaments!
No matter where you shop, a big chain, craft store, or specialty boutique, they all have super unique ornaments to fit every possible hobby, interest, vocation, milestone, family dynamic, aspiration...you name it, they have an ornament for it.
So, it's no wonder that these make perfect miniatures for use in the sandtray!
Some of my favorite places to find ornaments are Hobby Lobby (50% off 'til Christmas, booyah), Michael's (also offers great coupons), and Kirkland's...but there are ornaments literally everywhere you turn... (Target and Walmart are no slackers in the ornament department either, with TONS of special interest and character ornaments, too).
ALSO you don't just have to BUY ornaments...you can make them too!!
Read on to find out more...
For this edition, we have sought out the very BEST and most representative ornaments-turned-minis we could find this season. The hunt was real, and we were able to snag all of these (and more) for well under $50 bucks (all were purchased from Hobby Lobby at their discounted price of 50% off).
Careers/Aspirations/Milestones - In this category, we found SO MANY different careers and accomplishments that it was difficult to choose. There were ornaments for nurses, doctor, firefighters, cosmetologists, teachers, new graduates, and milestones such as "baby's first Christmas" etc. We chose the toolbox as it could symbolize many different things for our clients - strengths, assets, literal tools, career, etc., and the police uniform, as this could symbolize a career, aspiration, consequences, or even a fallen loved one.
Hobbies/Interests - Again, just walking down the ornament aisles can be overwhelming, and there were a plethora of interests to choose from. We selected a video game controller that is widely popular with our teens and young adults, a passport representing travel, exploration, or adventure, and a yoga cat which could be utilized to symbolize fitness, relaxation, mindfulness, or self-care.
Fairy Tale/Fantasy - You can never have enough fantasy miniatures! These will get used by younger clients, as well as clients across the lifespan. We chose recognizable characters such as the frog prince, the tin-man, and a stack of books...and you can probably already think of a TON of ways these could get used in the tray by all ages (especially our teens and those working through relational/social difficulties).
Whimsical/Mythological Fantasy - Mermaids and sand castles get used a ton in the tray, and sometimes it can be tough to find mermaids that are really well made and pretty. These were awesome finds!
Angel/Children - Angels and children are great for obvious reasons, representing families, loved ones, spiritual themes, protection, etc., This angel child could be utilized in many ways, such as helping a client process the loss of a child, or exploring ways in which children bless their lives or work that they do.
The opportunities for connection to a specific miniature are limitless, as all of our clients are unique and have their own individual, powerful stories to tell...so it's important to know your clients, or primary client base, when selecting ornaments to use as miniatures.
Want a FAST, EASY, and super CHEAP way to spice up your miniature shelves this season?!
We created a step-by-step, no fail guide for making the Gumball Machine ornament/miniature seen at the top of this newsletter!
Seriously, 10 minutes and less than $5 bucks...what do you have to lose?!
Hope you enjoyed this all-things-ornaments edition of The Sandtray Ally, and we look forward to hearing more of your feedback!
We hope you have a happy and safe holiday, and we will be back after the first of the year with more actionable content for your sandtray practice!
- The Southern Sandtray Team