The annual holiday card is on everyone's to-do list this time of year. No matter how your family celebrates, we all want to share a seasonal sentiment with our loved ones. Rather than buy fancy stationary, work with your little helpers to make a holiday card that is truly from the whole family. This collaborative project is a great opportunity to teach your children the real significance of sharing seasonal greetings (it goes beyond just signing your name to a card).
Here are three ideas for homemade holiday wishes using your child's creativity and artwork as inspiration.
Regardless of how your family decides to convey holiday greetings, keep in mind the focus of this project: creating something together. So if your child wants to draw a purple Christmas tree or his rendering of Santa Claus is a bit abstract, be sure to remember that you are working to create a unique piece of art-no perfectly straight lines or traditional holiday scenes required.
You can create your own one-of-a-kind stationery. Encourage your child to make a drawing that celebrates the spirit of the season. Be sure that the artist signs his work.
Use a color scanner to scan your child's picture onto your computer and resize it to fit cardstock paper in the size of your choice. If you don't have a color scanner available or this process seems too technologically complicated, leave it to the professionals at your local copy store. Simply bring the picture to the store, explain your project and the professionals can help you create the holiday stationery you have in mind. Include a personalized greeting inside the card and match with coordinating envelopes to complete the set.
Another time-saving option is using an online photo service. Scan your child's artwork into your computer and upload it to an online photo service such as Shutterfly (www.shutterfly.com) or Kodak Gallery (www.kodakgallery.com). Use the online photo service's program to customize a "photo card" featuring your child's artwork rather than a traditional photo.
Stamps, cut outs and glitter, oh my!
If you would prefer to stick with the tried-and-true family photo for your holiday card, you can still incorporate your children's creativity into the project. Buy plain, fold-over note cards in the color and size of your choice. Offer your child a selection of art supplies including punch-outs, holiday stamps, glitter pens, glue, wrapping paper scraps, crayons or markers. My daughter used a Christmas tree punch-out to make a dozen or so little trees out of wrapping paper scraps. She glued the little trees on the front of the card in a pattern. I attached a family photo on the inside of the card with a glue stick and we used stamps to write a holiday greeting. This type of card gives family and friends the chance to see your little one's creative talents and enjoy a recent picture of the artist as well.
• A selection of art supplies to create the picture
• Cardstock paper
• A color scanner
• Plain, fold-over note cards
• A family photo
• Stamps and ink, punch-outs, glitter pens, glue, cardstock paper, crayons, markers, wrapping paper
Think outside the card
Who says that your holiday greetings need to come in the shape of a card anyway? Work with the kids to paint wooden holiday ornaments in lieu of the traditional card. Unfinished wooden ornaments are available from craft stores for less than a dollar. Stock up on a variety of ornaments, poster paints and glitter glue and then let your little artists get to work. Work with your kids to paint and decorate each ornament. Attach a ribbon tied into a bow and a small note sending holiday greetings. The lucky recipients will be thrilled to display your holiday wishes.
• Unfinished wooden ornaments
• Poster paints
• Small holiday note cards
• A hole punch