My children and I have this tradition. Well we have many and at this time of year, at the very beginning of Advent, we have a huge amount. Christingle, decorating the house so it looks like a cheap grotto, Advent calendars without chocolate, making reindeer food etc. But the particular tradition I am meaning here is the making of cards for teachers and close relatives.
Every year I convince myself that what every Primary teacher really, really wants is a card lovingly handmade by their pupil. Maybe with a thoughtful handwritten message, complete with poor spelling and illegible writing. And not a bottle of wine.
I am probably wrong. It is probably me that would really like a handmade card complete with a poorly spelt but loving message. And in a master stroke of psychology I am persuaded that others would like this too. Preferably with glitter.
Nothing says to me ‘I appreciate you’ more than effort. And time. And so that is what we try to do for those important people in my children’s lives. Take time and make effort.
Every year I come up with an age appropriate card making activity. I have to confess that this is not a totally altruistic act on my part. I am quite crafty. In a glue, paper cutting, glittery way. Life does not contain enough opportunities to undertake such activities. And so this one is very welcome.
When my three were little it was hard to manage their enthusiasm. It was safe to say that the finished products certainly looked home made. I was often a wreck of stress uttering phrases like ‘No its your brothers turn!’ and ‘Please don’t use the glitter whilst your brother is spraying me with gold paint!’ and ‘Try to keep the glue on the card and not on the carpet/ table/ your hair’ and such like.
We had to form queues for each to ‘have their go’. There was a scramble to make those odd cards for godparents.
Then last year the reluctance set in. Well certainly amongst Eldest and Middlest. Instead of making one card each for every relative they made only one to send signed by all three of them. And even then Youngest made the lion’s share.
This year I have come up with an activity that most people would find hard to resist. I wanted something that would attract even Eldest. Therefore it needed to be messy. And quick. Some of those card recipients will be reading this so I am not going to elaborate further. Well, OK, it involves paint…and a toothbrush…and glitter….
I have cut out templates and cards and had a dry (well wet and messy but you know what I mean) run. And Youngest has come down and made one card. The others cannot be persuaded away from Minecraft.
So there it is. Is there a sadder sight than a mother sat at her newspaper covered table surrounded by bits of card and paint. But completely lacking in children.
I miss those enthusiastic years. A lot.
The teachers will probably be pleased with the Pinot Grigo though….
I made those….in case you thought my 8 year old was a genius with the scissors…