Thursday, 13 September 2007

A Gift From The Sea

For many of us, it is a struggle to dream up unique and creative gift ideas for children. This may sound ironic, considering the shelves of most big box toy stores are literally overflowing with the “latest and greatest craze”. It seems today’s children have it all. It is often a challenge to find a gift that will capture a child’s interest long term, and spark their imagination.

Our nephew, who lives just down the road, turns seven tomorrow. I wanted to give him a special birthday present that he would truly appreciate, but that would also meet our family’s personal ethical standards. I am making a concerted effort to supply my own little ones with natural, ecologically friendly toys. It only stands to reason that I would take these same factors into consideration when choosing gifts from our family.

Fortunately, I’ve got Chi-Chi to keep me up to speed on what kids go crazy for these days! His keen interest in sea life provided me with the inspiration I was looking for. His love of the sea prompted us to purchase him a copy of Canada’s Atlantic Seashore by Jeffrey C. Domm. Mr. Domm just happens to be a neighbour of ours! Despite the fact this book is targeted at an older crowd, Chi-Chi has grown quite attached to his copy and refers to it on a regular basis. His enthusiasm lead me to the conclusion that our little nephew would likely enjoy this publication as well. I picked up an extra copy at a local independent bookstore and assembled a small collection of native shells and preserved sea creatures. The collection includes a starfish, sand dollar, moon snail, scallop, whelk and a few periwinkles. It is the perfect little starter set for a young, aspiring beachcomber!

I’m so pleased with this little package of treasures from the sea. Not only is this a unique, educational and natural gift, it was also sourced locally. The book was written locally and was printed and bound in Canada. All of the shells were discovered by yours truly, or purchased at a nearby souvenir shop. Obviously, they are biodegradable, and will not be taking up residence in a landfill fifty years from now.

I hope our little nephew enjoys this small gift that comes from the heart. Perhaps it will provide him with gentle encouragement to further investigate, explore and appreciate the abundance of sea life at his doorstep!

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