Kids make cards for military, someone special

Originally Posted Online: Dec. 08, 2012, 3:15 pm
Last Updated: Dec. 08, 2012, 7:17 pm
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By Laura Anderson Shaw,

BETTENDORF, Iowa -- Kaitlyn Weier's tiny fingers carefully sprinkled glitter onto the green Christmas card, covering every inch of the white Elmer's Glue.

It was the second card the 8-year-old made Saturday during Holiday Card Day at the Family Museum in Bettendorf, and this one was for mommy and daddy, she said.

Her mom, Jessica Trier, of Davenport, was nearby, helping whenever she could.

Ms. Trier said the two came out because the card making "looked like a lot of fun."

As Kaitlyn worked, her card sparkled more and more. She rubbed her fingers together here and there, brushing off the few flecks of remaining glitter before gathering a fresh pinch.

Kaitlyn's first card boasted a strategically-placed snowflake, "'cause it's pretty," she said.

She traced her hand on the second, added glue and sprinkled on the glitter.

"A glittery hand!" she said, and a smile beamed across her face.

It's "a lot of fun here," Ms. Trier said of the museum.

At the next table, Melynda Gilberg, of Davenport, helped her son, Oliver, 2, stamp a card, while her husband, Loren, helped their daughter, George, 5.

"It's a nice thing (to do) to get out of the house," Ms. Gilberg said, "especially with the glitter."

She said she and her husband enjoy teaching the kids about the holidays and "making something for someone else."

George was just finishing up a purple card she made for daddy. She added shimmery silver snowflakes to the inside.

She enjoyed making cards at the museum, she said, and that she likes crafts in general. "I like that it's fun."

Armed with glitter, stamps, scissors, glue, markers and paper, dozens of other kids and their families made cards, coloring and adding stamps at a couple of tables, and adding glue and glitter at another.

Education coordinator Becky Ortner said parents don't often let their kids craft with glitter at home because it's so messy. "So we do it here," she said.

Smiling, she surveyed the crowd of kids who were hard at work.

"This is just a cool experience," she said.

Ms. Ortner said the annual Holiday Card Day was definitely an "all-time favorite" event at the museum where kids could make cards for their family and for those serving in the armed forces.

Events at the Family Museum help the kids learn new skills, she said, and the Holiday Card event in particular "makes them feel part of their community."

While many of the kids might not understand what they are doing or who they are helping, "they're having a great time doing it," Ms. Ortner said.

Emily Gehring, 10, was old enough to understand, though. The Parkview girl was making a card for someone in the military to wish them a Merry Christmas and to thank them for "our freedom" and their service.

"I like to make things for people," she said, adding that she is very interested in art. "It's one of my hobbies," she said.

Emily said she was sure to make a Christmas card for someone in the military because while they're stationed in another state or country, they often "can't get things." When they receive a card she or another kid made, they'll think, "'Wow. Somebody remembers me,'" she said. "They feel special."

No matter where a person is stationed, she said, "I think that they should be able to celebrate Christmas," too.

Miss Holiday Card Day? Handmade Gift Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the museum, 2900 Learning Campus Drive, Bettendorf.


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