Friday, December 09, 2011

How to Have A Children's Christmas Card Exchange

One of our new (as in, we've done this 2 years in a row) Christmas traditions is to have a Christmas card exchange for the littles in our life. It is a wonderful way to guarantee your children receive actual mail and its also another way to focus on others during the busy holiday season. 

To set it up, I chose 9 other families with children my daughters knew well and asked them if they'd like to exchange cards. I tried to make sure that all of the families knew each other so no one was sending a card to a stranger. Then, we all posted our addresses and the proper spelling of our kid's names so no one had to dig around for the contact info. For me, a Facebook event was the easiest way to manage the exchange of information. Then, once you've got your participants, it's time to make the cards!

Last year, I bought dollar store cards and Charlotte colored or wrote a note inside each one. This year, I wanted them to do something a little more handmade, but on the appointed morning, I decided I also didn't want to spend any money buying new "craftivity" supplies. (I really need to bust my craft stash!)

After browsing lots of ideas for kid's Christmas cards, I finally settled on a hybrid craft/hand-colored card.

First, I laid out 5x7 sheets of plain colored scrapbook paper and several bells I had cut using the Ellison machine at our local library. Charlotte's first job was to match up a bell with a sheet of paper. I tried to be laid back with the color combos and remind myself it's about the process as much as it is about the product.

Then, I worked on keeping my patience as Charlotte put way too much glue on every single bell. Someone please tell me I'm not the only mom who can nearly ruin a fun morning of crafting by getting hung up on how much $0.25 glue we use. After a short prayer, I thankfully reigned it in and we carried on with making our friend's Christmas cards.

Of course, once everyone had smiles again, I needed to record the proof that my children had not been irreparably harmed. They both cheerfully gave me their Christmas card poses.

I let Mary use some glue too. She was not nearly as heavy handed as her older sister. Thankfully.

To add a little pop I dug out some Christmas tree ribbon to add to the top of the bell.

Here comes the hybrid part. I asked Charlotte to draw a Christmas-y picture and she chose to draw a tree. Then, I scanned the picture so I could edit it a little in Picnik.

Charlotte helped with the Picnik editing and this is what we came up with for the back of our card:
I liked this method of making pictures for her friends so much better. Even though we limit the number of families we exchange with, Charlotte is unlikely to have the patience to make 10 separate pictures and have them all come out neat.

I did step outside of my own box a little and let both girls try their hand at trimming the printed drawing. The glee Mary expressed when she was done was unimaginable. It really doesn't take much to make my girls happy.

Here is the finished project. Next, we get to make some envelopes to mail these cards in.

Do you do a children's Christmas card exchange? If not, there's definitely still time to organize one.

1 comment:

  1. Such a wonderful idea. I will definitely do this with my daughter..we do struggle doing so many cards so to scan and print off the picture is a fsntastic way of doing it! Thank You!
    Your girls look like they had great fun making them!


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