Christmas is a magical time, especially when you have children. How about going that extra mile this year to put an even bigger smile on your kids’ faces on Christmas morning? Try one of these great ideas to make this Christmas one to remember and perhaps even start a new family tradition.
Post a letter to Father Christmas – and get a reply!
Every year thousands of children post their Christmas wish lists off to the North Pole so that the man in red knows what to deliver on December 25th. Royal Mail is helping to keep this decades-long tradition alive by sending children replies from Father Christmas. To surprise the kids all you need to do is write to Santa’s Grotto before Friday 8th December. Need more time? Donate £5 to the NSPCC before Saturday 16th December and your child will receive a personalised letter from Santa. You’ll also be helping to protect vulnerable children at Christmastime too.
Deck the halls
If the thought of decorating the Christmas tree with your little ones fills you with dread, leave the hanging of baubles to mum and dad and find other ways to get the kids involved. Many Christmas tree farms give you the option to choose and chop down their own tree which can be a fun and inexpensive day out for all the family. You could also dedicate an afternoon to Christmas crafting and get the kids to make their own decorations.
Elf on the shelf
If you haven’t already heard of the Elf on The Shelf phenomenon, the chances are you probably will soon. This relatively new Christmas ritual sees families adopting an adorable (albeit mischievous) elf whose job it is to report back on the children’s behaviour to the North Pole. Every day in December, once the kids are tucked up in bed, the elf is placed in different poses around the house for them to find in the morning. Last year parents posted pictures of their mischievous elves up to no good, with some of the more ingenious poses going viral – proving Elf on the Shelf is as much for the big kids as well as the little ones.
Christmas Eve Box
While it is tradition for some countries in Europe to gift presents on Christmas Eve, the concept is relatively new in the UK but one which is growing in popularity. Why not embrace the trend for ‘Christmas Eve boxes’ and give the kids something to occupy their minds as they eagerly await Father Christmas’ arrival on 24th December? A Christmas Eve box can be as simple as a cardboard box covered in Christmas paper or as elaborate as a hand-engraved wooden chest. Things commonly gifted inside include a set of pyjamas to wear to bed, hot chocolate and a Christmas story or DVD. The perfect way to help the children wind down for a good night’s sleep.
Build up a sense of anticipation by helping your children track Santa on his journey from the North Pole on Christmas Eve. The free site Norad Santa opens its doors on Friday 1st December and lets families track Santa’s progress as he visits the houses of the boys and girls on his nice list. It’s great fun for kids and adults too.
Gifts for Father Christmas (and don’t forget his reindeer!)
Before the kids head upstairs to bed, get them to leave out something for Father Christmas and his reindeers to eat and drink. They will have had a long and tiring journey after all! A glass of milk and mince pie for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph and his chums are sure to be gratefully received. If you want to earn yourself some last minute brownie points with the jolly fellow, why not make magical reindeer food by mixing oats with a generous helping of glitter? A handful thrown on the lawn will help Santa’s reindeer find your home. And, for all those, curious kids who ask how Santa will enter the house without a chimney – a magic key left outside is sure to help them rest easier.