Catholic Activity: Hand-Printed Christmas Cards
Using some of the beautiful symbols of Advent and Christmas the children could design and make their own Christmas cards. Although this suggests "linoleum blocks" there are numerous ways to make a "rubber stamp" to imprint onto paper. Imagination is the limit.
Now that Advent is almost completed and the children are truly prepared for rejoicing upon the heights of the Christmas-Epiphany feasts, they should begin the preparation of their seasonal greeting cards. Since the fullness of the Advent preparation is achieved on the Feast of the Epiphany rather than on Christmas, it is more in the spirit of the Church to send cards representative of the themes of the Epiphany. We all realize very well that the custom of sending Christmas cards has received commercially inspired encouragement, which often impedes our celebration of the solemnities of Advent because of social obligations. This may be averted somewhat by placing our emphasis upon the liturgically greater feast.
The children could very easily carve upon linoleum blocks simple symbols which represent the major themes of the Epiphany of the Saviour and they could hand print their own cards. The antiphon to the Benedictus of Lauds of the feast of Epiphany (or the antiphon of the Magnificat of second Vespers) could be used as a text for the cards:
"This day hath the Church been joined to her heavenly Spouse, for Christ hath cleansed her crimes in the Jordan; with gifts the Magi hasten to the royal nuptials, and the guests are gladdened with wine made from water, alleluia."
The symbols and drawings made by the children may be varied in many possible combinations, and free rein given to the artistic talents of the child. The result of making these cards on the days that follow would be for the child an increase of interest and knowledge of the mind of the Church, a development of his own talent and imagination with a corresponding possibility of an increase in grace. For the recipient it would be a highly personalized and spiritually inspirational Christmas card.
Activity Source: True Christmas Spirit by Rev. Edward J. Sutfin, Grail Publications, St. Meinrad, Indiana, 1955