Writing a letter to baby Jesus is one of the most rewarding Latino Christmas traditions. I am not going to say there is no work involved, specially when you have children 4 or 5 years old. They are learning how to write some letters (if so) and they also don’t want much guidance, even worse, they don’t want to relinquish power. This is the age of “I can do it all.”
Getting my 4 1/2 year old to write the letter was a bit of a challenge because I did not want the task to turn into a long ordeal, where he feels frustrated because he knows very well what he wants to write to baby Jesus but he quite doesn’t master the writing process. Also, I had to make sure he understood he should ask for blessings not only for himself but others we don’t even know.
How to Write “La Carta al Niño Dios”
It is show time. Tell your little one you are displaying the letter so she feels proud of her work. Use colorful green and red papers or a paper that reflects the season. Say “we are going to use fancy paper to write la carta al niño Dios.” Bring out the silver marker and a pretty lace to make a ribbon to decorate the top of the letter
- Perfect opportunity to work on writing skills. Ask her before hand what is she going to write about in the letter. Thinking ahead helps her organize her ideas and you can now bring the “how about we ask for gifts for other people also?” This teaches her to be compassionate and not to be selfish.
- Start the fun by coloring. Take out the markers, color pencils, or temperas. I encouraged my son to draw a picture of the nativity on the top of the letter, and that gives me the chance to go over the story of Christmas.
- Start writing. I try to break the body of the letter in three parts. First the thank you part where we tell Jesus how much we appreciate all the blessings we have. The second is about asking for love, peace, health and the blessings for the less fortunate. The third part is where children ask for what they want to receive from baby Jesus.
Making a Special “Carta al Niño Dios”
2 sheets 8 1/2 by 11 of card stock paper, one red and one green. Scissors, glue, markers, pencil, ruler, a thin lace to make a ribbon on the top of the letter.
- Use the red paper as a base for the letter. Make it 7 1/2 by 11. This will make the card slim.
- Cut the green paper (we use light green to see the writing better) to measure 5 1/2 by 11.
- Glue the papers together letting the red show on both sides of the letter.
- Make two evenly distributed perforations at the top with a 2 hole punch.
- If your child is just starting to write make a square at the top of the green paper where she can color the nativity scene.
- Make lines beneath the square for her to write. When little ones write they take a lot of space, therefore you can help by writing what she wants to say in dotted letters that she can trace.
- I wanted to let my son do it himself but after the first word it was obvious the space was not going to be enough. I decided to dot what he wanted to say to baby Jesus.
- After finishing coloring and writing make a little bow at the top of the letter with the lace, and it is ready for display.
- You can hang “La carta al niño Dios” close to the fireplace, on the Christmas tree or with the Christmas cards you receive. Anywhere…just show it, so baby Jesus can read it!