We didn't do Christmas cards last year. I was tired (pregnant) and we were still reeling from Beastie Boy's first seizure. It was hard to just get normal Christmas stuff going. Plus I struggle with the environmental impact of cards. But at heart I just love Christmas cards. I love receiving them and getting them. There is something so....seasonal....about going to the mailbox and having those red and green envelopes tucked into the mailbox. And then having them shown all over the house so that you can feel the love!
This year I really want the kids to be a part of the whole season. As they get older this is such a pleasure, and I felt that it was time to introduce them to the joy of sending out holiday cards. What better way than having them MAKE the cards? Initially I had visions in my head of these beautifully crafted cards made with stamps and fancy scissors. We would be sitting around the table with our supplies neatly laid out. The children would be quiet but excited! Christmas carols would be on the radio as we worked together to create lovely visions of the season on paper. Never mind that we NEVER make cards or scrapbook or do anything remotely close to making Christmas cards. Never mind that my children never do a craft without creating a hurricane of bits of paper, pens, paint, glitter, etc. Never mind that the girls usually end up smacking each other midway through ANY project attempted together. No I had a firm image of how this was going to be done.
And then we hit the craft store. The first fight immediately broke out over stamps. There was no way I could afford a ton of stamps but there was no agreement on the horizon. Each Beastie wanted their own stamp. Then I almost has a spasm over the price of red card stock. Yes, reality was slowly sinking in...there was no way we could afford the vision. Plus the Girl Beasties had pretty different visions from each other and from me. Boy Beastie was just incredulous over the whole idea, and trailed behind us in slight mortification at even being in a craft store.
When we left, I was still trying to figure out a way to get this ball going. I had promised beastie made cards and damn it we were going to have beastie made cards. Right? I decided to check out if Target had anything. Nope. At this point, I have been to four stores, and the beastie girls are ripping into each other. I am feeling really frazzled, and my vision is starting to look a little different. The girls are at the table, and I am trying to get supplies out for cards. Baby Beastie is screaming because I am not nursing her. Boy Beastie is in his Lego haven safe from crafting and Girl Beasties. Girl Beasties are beating the crap out of each other because one said that cats suck and the other said that dogs suck. I can't find anything because the girl beasties have been slowly smuggling craft supplies into their bedroom while I am trapped on bed with Baby Beastie. When I finally find enough stuff to lay out, the beastie girls fight over materials. They create messy cards. Not perfectly crafted ones (see above). I start to think that the boxed cards with some pictures might be the answer.
We get home, and I get out the new paints for the girls. I am tired by I promised. I lay out the newspaper, and the paper along with egg cartons filled with different colors. I am all the while trying to figure out how we're going to do the cards or if I should give in and buy photo cards from the internet. And then Camille starts painting. She's covered in paint when she's done with her flurry of creativity. She beckons me over to show her splatter painting with her hand print in the corner. She has also made a "Christmas Pegasus" in red with green wings.
No my beastie girls may not make the perfectly crafted things I see in those Waldorf craft books (damn you Waldorf and your expectations!). No they don't dive into their crafting with the quiet discipline of angelic children. No my girls craft with the same fierceness and energy that drives them through life. With abandonment, and determination, they create these things that are beautiful and unique. Really what more could I ask from a Christmas card created by the Beasties?
I've deprived the girls of crafting because of my drive for perfection. If it's not going to perfect then why bother doing it seems to be my attitude. It hampers me from so many things, and it's starting to hamper how I school my children. I've decided that we will be dong more messy artsy things. We will create with wild abandon and see what happens! We'll have smacking and frustration! We'll have paint on noses and on paper!
This year my friends will get a Beastie created card which may not be perfect but will for sure be unique.