But this was one of those years. . .when I forgot, and was so filled with the happy thoughts of involving my children in such a formative experience (yah, right!).
This first one was easy--making gift tags and candy treats. Punch the corners of old cards, poke a hole, tie some string. My kids can do that, I could handle supervising it all, it was gangs of fun.
And then came time for the cards. . .again, it was wonderful. I printed off some ornament pictures for them to colour. . .little did I know that my son would be so particular about how he coloured and my daughter thought brown would be perfect for EVERYTHING! Oh, how I tried to encourage them. Oh, how I reminded myself that it was their work and they were proud of it. Oh, how I really wanted it done my way!
But I resisted. Cut them all apart, had the kiddos help with the punches, had them help with some stamping, had them help with the mounting, had them help with gluing, had them help with the glitter pens (their favourite part), had them help tie knots and bows. . .had them help teach me LOTS of patience!!!
My side of the story: frustrating! It started out great, but a project like that is bound to get frustrating with a 5 and a 3 year old! And the time and effort that went into it! Phew! I thought they would never get done!
But they all got done, they got put into envelopes, and most are delivered (except for family and some neighbors, which my kids wanted to do).
And. . .I'm glad they are done. . .and deep down, buried under all the frustration and chaotic memories, I think I am glad they were involved. I'm hoping that they will remember this not as a frustrating ordeal, but a way that they can be involved in giving a "gift" to someone. Hopefully one day down the road, they will get what it means to "serve" other people. And hopefully it was just plain fun for them. . .which I think it was, because they keep begging to do more and trying to make some of their own (as I clean up all the messes!!!).
Here they are working away. . .
And here is a random finished project. . .a true labour of love for all of us! Is this the most beautiful card a person will get this Christmas? No, by no means! But a lot of work went into it, and. . .it was fun!