Every Christmas, I face the challenge of making that particular Christmas unique.  Last year, I encouraged the kids to make their gifts for one another and to see how creative they could get,  spending the least amount of money.  It definitely was a memorable Christmas!  The laughs we had over the stories of creating gifts made my sides hurt.  Even this year we reminisced about last year’s gifts.  Just to give you an idea of how creative my children are…Michael made soap hearts for the girls.  He did a great job but when they hardened and we took them out of the molds, they looked more like “behinds” than hearts!  These were a favorite 🙂

Victoria made name plates for the horses for Megan.  When she told the process she went through to actually accomplished the task, I had tears rolling down my cheeks from laughing so hard.  Tori is amazing when it comes to baking and editing video but when it comes to arts and crafts – well, let’s just say she’s a bit challenged.  The signs still hang in the barn and they bring a smile to my face every time I look at them.

Another thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older, gifts don’t always have to be tangible.  We’ve gotten to the point where we will ask, “Do you want a gift or do you want a memory?”  I find myself wanting memories more often than a gift.  The “warm and fuzzies”  last a lot longer, especially if there are pictures to look at later.

After wracking my brain for ideas, I stumbled across a pottery studio in downtown Athens, Good Dirt.  I called and scheduled a time for the whole family to learn how to use a pottery wheel.

We had our own, very patient, instructor who kindly walked us through the steps of using the wheel again and again… and again!

Our family also met the minimum for a class size so we had the studio to ourselves.

We laughed and encouraged one another for the whole 2 hours we were at the studio.

Our persistence paid off and each of us walked away with a piece of completed pottery.

I loved that this was a “first” for the kids, something they had never tried before.  We all learned so much- about clay, pressure, the idea of “spinning”, glaze, firing, etc.

After our creations were finished on the wheel, we took them to a table where we painted them with glaze.

The studio fired them for us…

…and I picked them up after a week or so.

The excitement of seeing our finished creations was like Christmas morning all over again!

We all have our own piece of pottery as a “memory” of this fun family day.

We agreed that  this is something we definitely want to do again – even Dave!