I just received my first Christmas card in the mail and was so excited. I look forward to receiving Christmas cards every year. It’s so fun to open the mailbox and find something other than a bill or piece of junk mail.
I have always loved sending cards to others, as well. Each year, I look forward to putting on a favorite Christmas movie and spending my evening addressing envelopes to my family and friends.
After becoming a mom and transitioning to photo cards of my kids, I will admit that securing the perfect picture has become a tad stressful. Every year, I start dressing my kids in holiday clothing the day after Thanksgiving and spend days, sometimes weeks, attempting to get a card-worthy photo. This task is never easy.
Here are a few from the past that did NOT make it onto the cards!
The picture below is probably my favorite picture that ended up on a Christmas card. So much joy!
This year, as I was addressing Christmas cards, my four-year-old daughter wandered by and asked if she could do her own Christmas cards to give to her classmates at preschool. I readily agreed. There are so many reasons why this is a great activity to do with children of all ages.
1. It’s a fun Christmas activity that doesn’t cost a lot. You can pick up cards at the dollar store or Walmart for very little money. My kids had fun picking out what design they wanted and selecting some Christmas stickers to go along with them. My kids LOVE stickers. (Who am I kidding? I LOVE stickers!) Each card they plan to give out probably has roughly fifteen stickers on it!
2. It is a great way for your children to practice their handwriting. Not only do they have to write their own name over and over, but they also need to address the envelopes with the names of all of their classmates or friends. Reading and transferring a list of names to cards and then crossing off names on a list also teaches great organizational skills.
3. It teaches kindness. Sending or giving a card is a simple gesture of kindness. It spreads cheer and makes someone smile. I want my children to learn that these simple gestures, which are sometimes overlooked, can truly make a difference in somebody’s day or life.
4. It teaches young children that they don’t always get something back when they give. As we were working on the cards, my son asked, “I wonder what all my friends will give me?” I quickly explained that we give cards to make people happy, but that doesn’t mean that we will get cards back. I know not everyone likes to send holiday cards, and that is okay. A holiday card, like any giving or charitable act, does not necessarily have to be reciprocated. We give cards to spread happiness not to get anything in return.
5. The experience made me more present. Having my children write out Christmas cards for all of their classmates forced me to sit down at the table with them and give them my full attention. I will admit that in this party-planning, party-going, house-decorating, mall-shopping, and gift-wrapping season, my attention has been a little scattered. But instead of throwing an activity in front of them and rushing into the kitchen to start dinner, I turned on the holiday music, helped them seal envelopes, and just enjoyed being present in their lives.
If you are the type that doesn’t enjoy sending cards than this activity is probably not for you. You certainly don’t want one more thing you feel like you have to do this holiday season. Do something else that brings you and others joy this season. (Click HERE for some of my other kid-friendly ideas).
However, if you and your kids are looking for an activity for a rainy or cold afternoon, an activity that involves red and green markers, stickers, and teaches your child to send some Christmas cheer to others, perhaps this is something you can do together.
And if the task is too daunting to fit in before Christmas, you can always start on those Valentine’s Day cards!