Our family sends out a lot of Christmas cards each year, and getting them ready to mail is a joint effort. We set up shop at a long table and churn them out in fast order. Every member of the family is given a task.
As our family has grown, we’ve had to manufacture extra “jobs” for the assembly line, so that even the youngest members can take part.
Most of our little ones are now in charge of stamps and stickers. One will put large stickers on the back of the envelope, another will put small stars on the front. One will rubber stamp with red ink, another will use a different stamp with green, and yet another will use a tiny, self-inking stamp that says “Merry Christmas.”
We usually listen to Christmas music while we work and have hot cocoa once we’re done. Even our college kids still love to help and ask us to assemble on a night they can participate — usually over Thanksgiving break.
A couple years ago, I smiled to hear one of these older kids say, “It’s a good thing we have so many helpers in this family. Can you imagine how long it would take one person to do all this alone?”
He was too young to know that there was once a time (over 20 years ago) when Mom did do the job alone (minus the stars, stickers, and ink stamping). She stuffed and addressed all the envelopes by hand and sent them unembellished.
The task is much more fun now that we do it together!
Ideas for Christmas Card Assembly Line Tasks
Here’s how our job assignments are currently broken down:
- Put return address labels on envelopes
- Affix postage stamps to envelopes
- Emboss envelope flap with Monogram seal
- Put small stickers on front of envelope
- Put large sticker on back of envelope
- Rubber stamp envelope with red ink
- Rubber stamp envelope with green ink
- Use small self-inking stamp
- Affix foil stars to the envelope
- Add a strip or two of washi tape to front of envelope
- Put labels on backs of photos
- Fold Christmas letters
- Stuff letters and photos into envelopes
- Address envelopes (we print out recipients’ address labels, too)
- Add handwritten notes as desired
- Seal envelope (we use self-sealers, so nobody gets stuck licking 200+ envelopes) and place finished letter in mail bucket
We rotate jobs several times during the course of the evening, and we pray for the recipients when we drop the letters at the post office.
UPDATE (2022): This remains one of our favorite Christmas traditions. Our adult children often plan visits home to coincide with our annual Christmas card assembling event — bringing grandkids with them (who also want to help). So our envelopes keep getting more and more elaborately decorated with every passing year!
This post is excerpted from our book, Glad Tidings: The First 25 Years of Flanders Family Christmas Letters:
Do you send Christmas letters, greeting cards, or family photos? Why not get your children involved, and make this tradition a family affair?