The 12 soaps of Christmas: Day 9

Beachin 3

Nothing says Christmas to me like a day at the beach. Seriously.

For many years, some of my favorite Christmases were spent on a beach on the Gulf Coast of Florida. My parents wanted to flee the winter cold that had settled in. And, if I had to speculate, they also wanted to escape the frenzy of family gatherings we would be obligated to attend had we actually been in Ohio. (Thank you, Mom and Dad, for providing your introverted child the opportunity to avoid some of those functions. That was the greatest Christmas gift of all time.)

Looking at this soap reminds me of the ocean and the white sand beaches where my brothers and I spent hours looking for shells and other treasures that washed ashore when the tide rolled in. I can almost hear the waves hitting the shore. I think I’ll be booking a trip soon…

While I’m waiting for that day to come, I’ll use this Beachin’ soap and think fondly of Christmases past.

Christine’s big (soap) adventure: Episode 1

A few years ago, if you told me I would be starting up a soap making business, I would have laughed at you.

It all started with a Christmastime lunch date with three of my girlfriends. I knew this was a perfect time to give them a token of my affection—something I don’t do often enough. But I had no idea what type of gift to give them, and I didn’t have a lot of money to spend.

I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of making gifts by hand, so I started to poke around the internet for ideas. That’s when I stumbled upon this article on craft maven Martha Stewart’s website about making glycerin—also referred to as melt and pour—soap.

One of my early melt and pour soap creations.One of my early melt and pour soap creations.

“Wow! How beautiful and easy,” I thought. So, I carted myself off to my local craft store and stocked up on melt and pour soap base, colorants, scents and molds. I congratulated myself on how much money I would save on my gift giving because I planned to make soap for everyone I knew.

My friends weren’t the only ones who got a gift that Christmas

During that time, some serious life stuff was happening.

I was dealing with the declining health of my mother and living in a constant loop of doctor’s appointments and errand running. I was in a state of constant worry over every detail of her life: Is she living in the best place? Is she eating enough? Are these medications right for her? Am I doing enough for her? Is she in pain or angry or scared or lonely? In addition to the mom worries, my significant other, Matt, was out of work. I was the only one bringing in a paycheck , so money was tight. Needless to say, when my thoughts weren’t on my mother, they were on Matt, money and bills.

But, one Saturday in December, I decided to spend the day focusing on nothing but turning those blocks of soap base into beautiful creations for my friends and family. It was a welcome distraction…