img_0567jpg.jpgWe had a fabulous Christmas. Megan went crazy over all of the fun things she received and has a had a ball playing with her new kitchen set from Santa. By now, your kids have probably had a chance to get familiar with their own wonderful acquisitions and are settling back into a regular routine. Or if you’re like us, the routine is pretty much shot. I got my own little Christmas wish when Megan slept through img_0564jpg.jpgthe night. (Which she has only done once or twice since Emily was born…sad when the baby sleeps through the night and the 2 year old doesn’t!) Moving on…
I think that gratitude is one of the most important values we can teach our kids. To help reinforce this, thank you cards are a great post-Christmas activity. If your kids are old enough, have them write their own. No matter their age, they can help make them. Take a minute to talk with your child about the gifts that they received: Who do they need to write to? What are they thanking for? What do they like about their gift? This will help them figure out what to write and how to organize their ideas.

Megan is 2 years old (obviously, she won’t be doing much of this herself, but I still feel it is worthwhile.) Basically she creates the cover art for the cards. She draws on a piece dscn2292.jpgof construction paper, which I trim into squares to fit the card. (Tip: I buy a box of blank cards and envelopes at a paper supply store (like Xpedex) which are very cheap, a box of 100 for around $10.) Your little one can draw a picture of herself with their gift, create a holiday scene, or some excellent squiggles. If you have older kids, try making a collage by cutting or tearing construction paper to make the picture. Then let them write a message or you write something like: “Megan has love playing with the magna-doodle! She carefully removes each of the stamps, makes a few designs and then works on getting them back into the right hole.” It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but I can speak from experience when I say that it isdscn2295.jpg always appreciated.

One person you may not have thought of is Santa Claus. We won’t bother with one this year, but once they are old enough to dictate a message; it is a good idea. Just make up an address, the post office knows what to do with them (if you need to mail it). Developing good manners and core values are the little lessons that we teach with our own actions, so maybe take a minute to write a few notes yourself while you guys are working. It is good for yimg_0546jpg.jpgour kids to catch you doing these sorts of things. Writing thank you notes is one of those little things that is easy to overlook, but means a lot to the recipient. I think it also helps us to focus on being grateful ourselves, which is so important. I have been off and on with this one, but it is definitely a New Year’s resolution for me. Hopefully I will master it soon enough that my kids will think it is standard fare. 😉