Every year I sit down to write Christmas cards with the kids, and every year I forget how it will inevitably turn out. This year, we are waiting on the school to find out if the kids will be allowed to exchange Christmas cards. I’m secretly hoping they won’t be! Here are the 6 stages of writing Christmas cards with kids.
Stage 1 – The Pestering
This starts in November. As I’m a “no Christmas till the 1st December” person, this goes on for quite a while. They can’t wait to write their Christmas cards. They love their friends so much that they need to give them cards RIGHT NOW. They are so excited they can’t possibly wait until December. Eventually I suggest that while they wait, they write a list of who they want to write them for.
Stage 2 – The List
When I suggest the list, they look at me bemused. Why do they need to write a list? They want to send one to everyone. Every one of the 30 children in their class, plus their teacher, teaching assistant, lunch lady and the head. Plus everyone they go to scouts with and everyone in their gymnastics group, obviously. I tentatively suggest that is rather a lot of cards to write. They inform me it would be mean to leave anyone out. I resign myself to buying 60 odd Christmas cards per child.
Stage 3 – The Cards
While in Tesco’s I decide it’s time I bought some Christmas cards. I choose a bulk buy box of mini cards with cute Christmas puddings on them for the kids. I choose a classy, monochrome design at an exorbitant price for me. When the kids return from school I present them with the long awaited Christmas cards. They spy my cards on the table. They are no longer my cards. My friends will be receiving cute Christmas puddings.
Stage 4 – The Writing
Finally, it’s December. Time to write the Christmas cards. I get everything set up, cards, pens, stickers, address book and when the kids return from school, they are excited to begin. They write their first card. They add a sticker to the envelope. They inform me they have forgotten who it was for. I pry the envelope open and announce the lucky recipient. They ask if I could just pop the name on the envelope as it’s in my hand anyway. Actually, could I just put all the names on since they’ve got so many to do. They write another two cards. They are tired, they’ll just watch some TV for a bit then they’ll carry on…
Stage 5 – The Pestering (part two)
For the next few weeks I pester the children to write their cards. “Just do a couple a day” I say. “It will be done before you know it” I say. “In a minute” they say. “I’ll do some later” they say.
Stage 6 – Defeat
A few days before the end of the term, the children have come home with many, many cards, but have still written only 3. I worry that if they don’t give cards to their friends, they won’t have friends anymore. If the teachers don’t get cards, they will think I am a bad mother. I give in and write the cards myself. I present the cards to the children, expecting huge gratitude for my act of kindness. They say “Thanks Mum, can I have sausages for dinner?” I resolve that next year we’ll solve the planet and donate to charity instead.
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