Category Archives: Xmas-Holidays

Celebrating the Holidays, Florida Style

tropical christmas
Tropical Christmas

I will be celebrating the holidays, Florida style, next year. At least that is what I am hoping. For now I am gearing up for snow and ice and a long, cold winter here in New England. But, my mind is in the tropics as I create new products for my Holiday Store at Zazzle.

All store owners begin planning for the holidays long before customers even realize that Christmas is approaching. November and December are big sales months, and early shoppers may even finish shopping in October. Does anyone shop earlier than that?

Having a long background of celebrating holidays in a warm climate, I always think back to how it was on Thanksgiving and Christmas at my southern home. Windows were open, which was a nice change from the air-conditioning, and we could enjoy a dip in the humidity. Most of our holidays were spent outside.  Often we would go to the beach, or take a boat ride.

Decorating the house was just as much fun, and we always threw a few tropical ornaments onto the Christmas tree. None of ours were personalized, like the ones you’ll find in my store, but they were usually made from real seashells.

Although the items I sell do not contain real shells, the images are of the most popular beach treasures.  Sand dollars and starfish are tops on most beachcombers list of awesome “shells” to find.  My holiday store also contains wrapping paper, Christmas cards and business greetings that have this same type of theme.

This will be my 9th year working at Zazzle and things have changed a lot over the years.  I’ve tried to build up a brand of tropical products, as that is what I love making.  Please click any of the links here and let me know what you think.  I’d love feedback from people who keep the ocean and beaches close to their hearts.

Follow Dustytoes’s board Tropical Xmas Ornaments on Pinterest.//


Using Seashells For Christmas Tree Ornaments

white sand dollar
A sand dollar just waiting to be decorated.

At Christmas time many families like to decorate their tree with some homemade ornaments. A coastal or southern lifestyle will usually include trips to the beach and all those seashells can be used as home decor as well as ornaments. Just use a little imagination and you can use your beach shells in crafts and activities for the kids.

These days money seems to be tighter than ever, so giving homemade gifts at the holidays is a popular option. Continue reading Using Seashells For Christmas Tree Ornaments

Tropical Themed Christmas Photo Card

custom photo card for christmas
Holiday Photo Card

I made this tropical themed photo Christmas card for last years holiday season and it became one of my best sellers in the Holiday Store. Many families enjoy sending a personalized card with a photo. This template holds a horizontal image nicely, and the fit does not have to be perfect. Whatever size picture you choose to add will be centered, and will fill the template.

The partial border around the photo is a swag of starfish and green holly leaves. The white frame is offset against a tropical, blue background color.

Inside there are text templates to customize the greeting and add a signature. Be traditional and add a nice family photo like in the example, or create your own unique look with a vacation action shot. And this greeting card could also be used for Hanukkah.

Sea Glass Jewelry as Christmas Gifts

Green and white sea glass.If someone on your Christmas list loves the ocean, I’m here to help you cross that name off the list!

Genuine sea glass jewelry made from glass found on the beaches of Maine will delight your wife or sweetheart or daughter this Christmas. Anyone who loves the beach (and who doesn’t?)  would be thrilled to have a beautiful, unique gift of real sea glass to wear.

The designers at “Tears of the Sea” mix their colorful glass with unusual beads, freshwater pearls and sterling silver to make stunning, unique designs.  And they are all one of a kind, since no two pieces of glass are the same. Visit the site for a look at their collection of pretty bracelets, necklaces and pendants made from genuine, natural sea glass. They also make sea stone jewelry, which is also very nice.  (I’ve never purchased from this place, just going by what I read and see online.)

Or, if you are a crafty person, make your own sea glass jewelry (video).

Some jewelry I’ve seen online is sold as “sea glass” but it has been hand crafted by tumbling glass and not using the real thing. Real sea glass comes directly from the ocean, and big lakes, already worn and etched by many years of rolling in the sand and surf.

One difference will be the price. Shops that use the real thing have limited supplies and charge higher amounts. But there are differences to look for in the glass too, and color can cause the prices to fluctuate.

Buying or Making Seashell Christmas Ornaments

Image by justinrussell via Flickr

It’s that time again when we pull out the Christmas decorations and set up the tree and for those of you who live in a warm climate, decorating with seashells may be a yearly event.  Anyone can use seashells to decorate their home, but living near beaches or in a tropical place can make it easier (and cheaper) to do since all you need to do is visit the beach or pull out that collection of shells.

For the rest of us, there are many options to buy ornaments made of shells – real or fake and they come in a wide variety of styles.  You can make your own ornaments if you are crafty and tie them with ribbons or hang them with string.  Seashells can be hand-painted, dipped in silver or gold or made from wire and beads. The scallop shell is often used as an angel’s dress and shells can be glued together to make whatever your imagination allows.