At the end of our Thanksgiving festivities, we gather the extended family, sit down together for an hour or so, and make cards by hand with a holiday drawing on the front and an appreciative message inside. This is one of those thoughtful, hands-on exercises that works well for family members of all ages. You can see this year's batch of cards at right.
We send the cards along to an organization like Operation Holiday Card who, in turn, routes them to our troops. Here's a wonderful picture from their site:
There are many such organizations, so you may want to Google around and find one that works for you. Check their deadlines carefully: for example, Operation Holiday Card must receive the cards from you by Dec 2.
Some organizations send along gift boxes as well in which items are selected from a vetted list. That's what we did last year. This can be a great way for kids using FamZoo to deploy the balances they have built up in their charitable accounts. When the kids buy charitable items with their own funds, it makes the experience that much more meaningful for them.