Keep the Love Alive How to Make Christmas Cards a Year-Round Tradition
One of the best holiday treats is mail. On chilly December days, my children run to the mailbox, me jogging behind to pull a hat over their ears or wrap a scarf around their necks. They’re overjoyed with every colored envelope they pull from the mailbox. It’s almost painful to have to wait until they get back inside the house to open their treasures. After studying the artwork and enjoying the cheery holiday words, they display the cards like a fine works of art on the fireplace mantle. By January our mantle is a fire hazard. From carols that pull on the heart strings to memories of years long passed, the holiday season entices us to treasure those we love, no matter how many miles are between. Do you want your family keep the love alive year-round? The same warm feeling experienced when pulling a Christmas card from the mailbox can be passed on to others all year long.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Shoebox Paper Bags or Drawing Paper Scissors Tape Stationery Stickers Envelopes Stamps Christmas Cards from Friends and Family (be sure to have the addresses – I clip the return address from the envelope and tape it inside the card)
Cut a 6”x1” slot in the lid of a shoe box. Cover the box and lid separately with an inverted paper bag or other paper suitable for drawing on. Tell the children to think about the words ‘Keep the Love Alive’ and let them decorate the box with markers and stickers. When the time comes to pack up the Christmas decorations until next year, gather all the cards your family received, and place them in your ‘Keep the Love Alive’ box. On the 25th of each month, from January to November, encourage everyone in your family to choose a card from the box. Have stationery, pencils and erasers, drawing paper and crayons, envelopes, and stamps readily available for an evening of letter writing. Parents and older children can team up with young ones to write and illustrate letters. Encourage the recipient of your letter to write back so children will learn to appreciate the thrill of sending and receiving mail the old fashioned way. On the back of the envelopes, in fun print, write the words ‘Keep Love Alive’.
Your family time writing letters may develop into discussions about heritage, memories, or family values. Sometimes children prefer to choose their own stationery at the store or create a letterhead on the computer. My daughter loves photography, so we designed stickers from some of her favorite photos. I include recipes and family updates to give my letters a fun twist. Personalizing the activity for each family member will help make your ‘Keep the Love Alive’ project a monthly event everyone looks forward to.