Since I live on Cape Cod, I tend to let the ocean influence my Holiday decorating and gift buying. As an author who writes about mermaids, I tend to gravitate toward, you know, mermaid-inspired wall art, decorations and ornaments. Cape Cod is a great place to find mermaid ornaments for the tree…
I also have lots of starfish and shell ornaments, as well as mermaid ornaments we made with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop a few years back…luckily, my daughter gave me a few for Christmas!
But what do you buy for your friend who’s, you know, a *real* mermaid? That gets a bit trickier, since life underwater is played by a whole different set of rules.
First of all, mermaids celebrate the Winter Solstice instead of Christmas. And electric Christmas lights don’t work too well underwater. Anything made with paper or glue is right out as well – imagine how quickly a pile of gift wrapped boxes would turn into a soggy mess underwater! Mermaids tend to wrap packages with sheets of seaweed and twine instead of paper and tape for those reasons.
But mermaids do love receiving gifts, and anything shiny is always appreciated! Think of Disney’s Ariel and how she had a room filled with shiny objects that she’d collected. To make a big impression, jewelry is always a good choice, but remember it’s going to be worn in saltwater, so either choose real silver or gold, or go simple with leather cords.
In DEFIANCE, the second book of the Son of a Mermaid series, the main character, Shea MacNamara, takes my advice about jewelry and gives a shiny bracelet to his mermaid girl friend. The bracelet comes up a few times in reference in the current release, DECEPTION, but in case you forgot, here's where Kae first opened the gift.
And Happy Holidays!
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Excerpt from DEFIANCE:
“I got something for you.” He dug into his pocket and pulled out a small box, carefully wrapped in shiny blue paper with raffia string. “I saw it in Hyannis the other day when I was walking on Main Street with John and Hailey. I thought of you.”
Kae stared at the package in Shea’s hand, but didn’t reach for the gift. “Oh, it’s pretty. And so shiny blue! Like the ocean’s surface on a sunny day. But Shea, I don’t think paper will last very long underwater.”
Shea’s face cracked into a wide grin. “That’s just the wrapping, silly.” He placed the box in her hand. “You need to look inside for the gift.”
“I’ve never heard of wrapping paper,” Kae turned the box slowly around in her hands, the shine of the paper reflecting the light. “It’s so pretty.”
“You’re supposed to rip it off,” Shea explained, shaking his head. Sometimes he forgot that they came from such different worlds. He showed her how to slide the bow off, and then tore the edge of the paper to get her started.
It was a small package, and the paper came off fairly quickly once she started to rip it. She stared at the white box. “Oh, it’s lovely. But Shea, cardboard is not much better than paper…”
He interrupted. “The box isn’t the present.”
She looked up at him, cocking her head to the side. “Then why did you give it to me? Why give me shiny paper to rip and a box that isn’t a present? I don’t understand.”
He shifted his weight uncomfortably, feeling slightly foolish. “I don’t know. It’s how we give gifts.” He smiled again. “Just open the box already.”
Inside was a cuff bracelet of hammered silver, made of five thin distinct strands that rippled across like waves, looking like the undulating surface of the ocean. Kae stared, not saying anything.
“I saw it and thought of you, leaving on your journey,” Shea stammered, unsure how to gauge her reaction. “You know, the five lines of silver flowing like water, like the five oceans…” His voice trailed off. “You don’t like it?”
“It’s beautiful,” she whispered, her eyes looking watery.
“It’s just a bracelet.” He reached over to take it out of the box. “Let’s see if it fits okay.” He slipped the cuff over her wrist and gently squeezed so that it closed snugly against her skin. He trailed his fingers up to her elbow and leaned his forehead against hers. “It’s so you don’t forget me while we’re apart.”
“Oh, Shea…” Her voice was still a mere whisper. “I won’t forget you.”
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