My Mom has a special sort of Homeschool-Mom-Genius-Gene that I really, really hope I inherited. She was able to expertly turn everything into a learning experience, yet somehow make it extraordinarily fun at the same time.
(Okay, most things were fun. Finding my little brother’s dissected frogs in brown paper bags in the fridge was decisively NOT fun.)
One of the avenues in which she perfected this gift of FunLearning was through our many entrepreneurial activities throughout the years. My absolute favorite one of those forays into capitalism was our Christmas Treasure Heads project, with which we earned money to buy Christmas presents for our friends and family.
Treasure heads are crepe paper wrapped hand-painted heads with toys inside. They make fun Christmas decorations and stocking stuffers, and then can be ripped open and unwrapped to find toys hidden inside.
(What?? Encouraging kids to rip the face off of an angel or reindeer just to find a bunch of toys inside is perfectly healthy!!)
For many years, we made hundreds of these and sold them at all of the local craft fairs, including the King of all Craft Shows, Christmas Village.
Mom would let us each make as many as we wanted, while she kept up with our production numbers and paid us accordingly.
Being that I’ve been a geeky accountant since birth, my favorite part of the whole process (besides making sure that I made more than my brothers) was figuring out how many heads we had to sell to break even, and then how much profit I personally made per head, and how much money I was raking in. Starting at the age of four.
This year, it hit me that Ali was four – nay, almost five.
I was falling behind!!
So last week, I spontaneously decided that it was time to pick back up the family tradition and recreate this experience for her, except this time without all of the craft fairs, but instead with the help of Etsy and Shop Birmingham.
I called Mom and somehow managed to twist her arm into joining our project, then set out (with Ali’s help) in an obsessive journey of picking and ordering toys, crepe paper, deciding what kind of faces we would make, and, of course, figuring out our profit and loss margins.
Boxes of fantastic toys began to arrive on our doorstep, and Ali was thrilled with the treasures that were enclosed. We immediately started work, wrapping our treasure heads.
Ali loved picking out the specific toys she wanted to go into each head, then meticulously matching her crepe paper to the toy color.
It took her a little while to figure out the coordination of holding onto the toy AND wrapping it up all at once, but she got it…eventually.
She also helped with many other tasks involved, like measuring out the hair for the angels, tongue out and all.
I wrapped the outer layers and prepared the faces for painting,
And Mom came over and helped us paint our characters.
We updated classics from my childhood such as reindeer and angels,
But our favorites were our modern addition to the Treasure Head Enterprise: Angry Birds.
Each Treasure Head has seven toys inside, somewhat akin to these,
But if not, I’m sure she’ll just as eagerly rip the faces off of each and every one of them, keeping every single magnificent treasure all for herself.