Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 8 - Christmas Cards

One of my happiest holiday memories from my younger years is making cards with my mom. We made cards for every occasion. And this was before scrapbooking ever became a verb. Plus we lived in Africa. So we didn't have all the fancy paper, die cuts, scissors, crimpers, and ribbons. But my mom is creative and artistic, so we used any materials we had available around the house including old cards, buttons, and fabric. Her Valentine cards were always the best. A heart centered on a lace doily, featuring a cute, lovable creature cut from old wrapping paper were standard. I was usually away at boarding school on Valentine's Day, but receiving her handmade card in the mail always meant so much.

Since the internet with Facebook, blogs, and email have taken over the world, we've been terrible about getting Christmas cards out every year. The holidays get so crazy, it just does not happen. And I blow it off with a, Who cares? Everyone knows everything about our past year anyway because I carefully lay it all out for anyone and everyone here on Treasured Chapters as well as on Facebook. Which is true. I mean, who wants to hear an additional summary of all of the sordid details you've already trudged lived through with me right here?

But despite my shortcomings in the Christmas greetings department, I thought the kids might benefit from giving a little of themselves to bring cheer to others. So today I littered the kitchen counter with a virtual scrapbooking store's worth of Christmas card making materials. Before we started cutting and pasting, however, I read to them about the history of Christmas cards.

My friend Marianna recommended Lisa Whelchel's book The ADVENTure of Christmas to go along with our 24 Days of Christmas. After calling all bookstores in the area and being told they could order it for me, I decided to order it for myself (I'm handy like that), and it came yesterday. A wonderful book and one we will probably participate in from start to finish next year. For this year, however, I am just going to pick and choose a few of the activities. I love the ideas, the stories, and the illustrations in the book. Of course, I have a special place in my heart for Lisa Whelchel. I got to see her in action in The Facts of Life during one of my furloughs years ago. And I've enjoyed her books on homeschooling and parenting in this season of life.

Anyway, we read about the first man to send a Christmas card and how it was possible with the invention of the first penny stamp. And we talked about the importance of sharing Jesus through our Christmas cards. Then the paper mayhem began.

Just like my mom and I used to do, I offered old Christmas cards to be cut and used as they wished. We had a fun time looking through the old cards to see who they were from and reading the seasons greetings from years past.

Alex had quite a list and completed about 20 cards. The others were a little less ambitious and only did 2 or 3, but they enjoyed their work and used their creativity to come up with the perfect cards. Certainly our card-making session did not produce the 100+ cards Mark and I used to send out when we had our Christmas act together, but these certainly have a more personal and special touch than a form letter with holly and ivy trimming.


tsinclair said...

I am impressed. I grew up in a house that did not send many cards: Christmas, Valentines, even thank-you cards were unusual. Unfortunately this is something that I have carried with me through life.

I realize I need to break the habit and am working on it. Maybe this can be a New Year's resolution for me to work on.

Oh, I really like Lisa Whelchel also and have enjoyed her books. Her year of homeschooling on the road has me envious. I am determined to take a long road trip in the next couple of years.

audrey @ the lewis 4 said...

Oh, I must get this book! Thanks for the recommendation. There were a few years I missed sending Christmas cards so I sent New Years cards instead. :)

CrossView said...

Ooh! Another great idea! And in my case, it has the bonus of knowing I will be bugged- er, reminded - about sending them. I've meant to send out cards for the last umpteen years and haven't.

Yours turned out beautifully!

Anonymous said...

I love, love, love that book! We have talked about some of these traditions in years past but my kids were still asking me about them this year. I took that as my cue that it won't hurt to revisit them in years to come. I took the book and made a calendar of activities and we are slowly working our way through them. We may not be able to hit every one of them but we are having fun trying. If you decide to try the candy canes call me first!!! :-)

dclouser said...

That book looks like a winner! Of course I love card making so this was my favorite activity in your 24 days of Christmas so far!