There's something sweet and warm about hand-made holiday cards, especially when done by small hands.
The 5 yo seemed interested again this year in making holiday cards for his friends at school. So, we tossed around themes. After the Penguin obsession over the last few years, he finally was ready to let go and try something new.
Remembering what a joy it was to do potato stamped cards last year, and how elegant they turned out, and how well the assembly-line precision worked for the young one, I suggested the Potato-Stamped Reindeer, which was received with way more enthusiasm than I expected.
I carved the potato- just a generic cute head, neck, body, minus the legs and antlers and tail for the reindeer, poking a hole with a pencil for the eye. Also, I had pre-cut white card stock ready for the potato printing.
Then, the kid added nose, eye, ear, antlers and legs, talking as he went, describing the current one, giving it a personality, and sometimes, a name.
Loved watching how whimsical he got with some: Super long back legs as it is standing up, Short stubby legs, some with reins leading back to a sleigh, some with red nose, some with a bell on the neck (attached by a camouflaged string)...
Then, the kid added the background with chalk pastel, applied with the flat side: purple on top, dark blue in the middle, light blue at the bottom.
Then, blended it to form a wintry background in cool colors. After all the cards were nicely blended, I laid them flat outdoors and sprayed with a sealant so the chalk powder doesn't transfer at every touch. And allowed it to dry for about 30 minutes.
Once the background was in, it started looking magical... conjuring images of Aurora Borealis and the North Pole...
Then, I added some snow foreground at the bottom of the picture, with white oil pastel, working around the whimsical legs. And mounted it on chili pepper colored card stock that seemed to pop the picture out well.
It was still lacking some holiday cheer. So, we picked some evergreens from the garden and glued it on for dimension and color- as if the reindeer is reaching for it. I suggested a hint of glitter, but the kid would hear none of it. So, no more sparkling up the cards.
Voilá! A set of gorgeous yet unique cards ready for giving away.
Since we were not mailing it, we wrapped it in tissue, held it close with a label for the name of the recipient.
The best part for me? "This is even better than doing Flags? quiz, Mama!" said the kid, a few times, during the process, while his sister was working her way through the 100 Floors Annex. Knowing his obsession with countries and flags, I took that as a beaming endorsement for the card-making process this year.
The 8 yo made a handful of cards to give to her close friends. Her independent creations were more quirky and silly as that's what she is into these days. And, they were a mix of dimensional stickers, stamps, and drawings, nothing that took my breath away except the fact that she wanted to do it and she had fun making up the silly messages.
One of the messages was a stamped word that says "Believe", and foam letters making the word "PIE" and a tiny handwritten "in" in-between... Believe in PIE?! The intended recipient apparently will rotflol, or so she claims.
Another card had the message in Armenian (thanks to online translators) for her friend whose family is from Armenia. She patiently and faithfully copied the symbols/letters from the online translator, and listened to the accompanying audio which showed how to say it in Armenian.