Toys & Puzzles

Do you love a White Christmas? I sure do.

I remember a couple from my childhood when I lived up in Caribou, Maine, and there may have even been one or two right here in Central Virginia. But as an adult I recall maybe one, so the only White Christmas I might witness first hand this year is likely to be the scene inside a Christmas Snow Globe.

"Snow Globes"

Until very recently I wasn't really sure what the subject for my December column would be, I wanted to find something that fit my definition of toy/stress reliever but could also be something that brought Christmas to mind. So when a very special friend found me a miniature water globe with a white tiger cub inside the wheels in my head began to turn.

My tiger globe is about 2½ inches tall, the globe itself being 1½ inches of the total height. The base is a rocky cliff made out of a molded resin; the globe is made of glass. Inside the globe a small tiger cub sits upon a rock, it's tail wrapped around its feet. The globe is of course is filled with water but rather than the snow we often see the flurries swirling around the tiger are made from glitter. This glitter is mostly green but in certain lights reflects purple and blues; these colors are very soothing to the eye.

I recalled that for years these water globes came with nothing but white confetti or snow swirling about, even if the scene inside was a palm tree with a hula dancer. As I watched the green glitter dance around my lovely white tiger cub I found that the scene was relaxing and could relieve stress as well. This led me to the conclusion that a column on snow globes would be just right for Christmas. Also in researching I might find some fun decorations for my house.

As always, whenever I become interested in some new something I did some searches on the Internet. I found many web sites to review for snow or water globes. Actually one of the things I learned in my research is there are several different names for the globes. Here are a few examples: Snowdome, Snowglobe, Waterball, Shakies, Water weight, Water Globe, Blizzard-weight, Crystal-shakies, Snowscene, Snowstorm, Snowfall-weight, Water Filled Paperweights, and Waterdome.

The best site to start with is http://www.snowdome
. This site has many links to various snow dome sites; some are just places where various collectors have elected to show their personal favorites with some great pictures. Included in the links are many different types of things. Such as where to find certain types of globes, sites where you can sell your own collection, and look for new ones as well, whether you are looking for something new or old.

Another of the sites that is listed is http://home.
this one is a construction and repair service. They will build a globe based on your instructions and they also repair old broken ones. Within this site are before and after pictures of some of the jobs they have done.

Try this one,
it allows you to vote for your favorite snow globe materials and also shows a snow globe of the month picture. Or check
Which is also a lot of fun, it lists the many different names and even has a section that allows you to submit your own naming suggestions.

Once I decided that my Christmas column would be about snow globes I realized that since I did not have any globes other than the tiger I was going to have to do some shopping. I actually thought finding them would be very easy, I just knew that at Christmas time these things would be out and about… Thinking I could perhaps find some globes for my personal decoration needs and possibly a little something for a few of the people on my Christmas list. Well, of course it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, but then things rarely are.

My habit of trying to get all my shopping done a month in advance means that sometimes the Christmas sales haven't gotten started at some stores yet and I might not always find just what I want. Eventually I found several snow globes but it took some serious searching.

For example, over a period of 3 days I went to several different stores and only came up with two snow globes, a polar bear and a wolf. But they will make excellent paperweights; they are very small, about the same size as my tiger globe but with plain wooden bases and white snowflakes.

Happily I did finally find 2 globes for my white Christmas scenes, they are rather festive and will cause many smiles this Christmas as well as in the future. One is a Santa Claus surrounded by woodland creatures, the other a large Teddy Bear accompanied by a snowman. They are also music boxes that revolve as they play, Santa plays "Joy to the World" and Teddy plays "We Wish You a Merry Christmas". Each is filled with a mix of snow and green glitter; these are quite a bit larger than the others and will make lovely table accents at Christmas time. They are each about 6 to 7 inches tall with the globe being 4 inches in height and width. When shaken the precipitation of snow and glitter is quite lovely and of course soothing to the eye.

But my favorite finds are quite unique or at least they seem so to me. As often happens you find what you are looking for when you stop looking. I was visiting a Bath & Body Works store to pick up some bubble bath and there before me was a display of what appeared to be a variety of snow globes. Upon further examination I found that they were plastic containers with small pictures inside and when shaken they did indeed respond like a snow globe with snow falling against the scene. They are spray bottles, filled with body splash in various fragrances with names like Icy Raspberry or Snow Cranberry. They have silvery bases with what appears to be ice crystals on them, they are each about 5 inches tall with 8 ounces of splash. The last things I found were discovered in the same shop, these are almost too cute. They are little transparent soaps, about 3 inches tall, they have flat bases with rounded tops and come in various colors and fragrances. Inside the soap is a water globe with a snowman, when shaken glitter falls around the snowman. So when the soap is gone the owner will still have the globe to keep and play with.

Well, I have pretty much finished my shopping now and of course all the stores have the globes out. Recently when I went in search of an ornament to take to work for the office tree, I saw many water globes. I only bought one though, the Teddy Bear I mentioned earlier, but there were lots to choose from this time. Many Christmas scenes both religious and commercial, animal scenes and landscapes as well. I guess they pulled them all out in the last week, because they sure weren't there last week.

Oh well, that's okay, I found what I needed. My White Christmas is guaranteed even if it is only within a water globe, some of my friends will have some cute gifts and I had a fun subject for my column. Best wishes and Happy Holidays to you all.

Return to Toys & Puzzles