Posted on 19. December 2016 by
When our children are small, one of the very best parts of the holiday season is seeing the wonder on those little faces as they imagine Father Christmas in his sleigh, coming to leave special gifts under the tree just for them! If your family loves to celebrate the Christmas legend, here are a few creative ways you can make the season even more magical for your little ones:
- Start a Christmas Eve tradition. Some families don new Christmas Pjs and leave milk and biscuits or mince pies for Santa, others scatter “reindeer food” (i.e. glitter and oats) on the lawn. You could also have a new Christmas bedtime storybook on hand, to send them off to sleep with visions of sugarplums...
- Create some “Santa footprints” to make them wonder. This works best with slightly older children, and of course is best of all if you have a fireplace! Place the largest boots you can find (or you can use a paper stencil) next to the hearth, then use a sieve to dust a small amount of flour around them to make footprints in the ‘snow’ leading toward the tree. (If you don’t have a hearth, you can hang a special “Santa key” on your front door the night before, and dust the flour in front of the door instead!)
- Keep track of the old boy’s progress online. This is a more modern tradition, but kids love it – and the story behind it is truly heartwarming. In 1955, a misprint in an American newspaper ad accidentally listed the number of a secret military hotline at NORAD as “Santa’s phone number” - but when the Air Force colonel who answered the phone realised what had happened, instead of changing the number he decided to play along. These days, NORAD’s Track Santa website is one of the most popular spots on the Internet on Christmas Eve – so why not have a look with your children before bed to see where Santa is on his route?
- Try a treasure hunt. This works particularly well for presents that would be too large or awkward to fit under the tree, and it’s a great way to draw out the fun of gift-opening, especially for older children. Wrap up the first clue inside a box, then lead your kids on a merry chase through the house (or even outside, if you’re very brave) to track down the rest of the clues and find their special gift!
- Do a bit of special decorating. If your little ones are worried Father Christmas might not know where they live, why not save up some glass jars and pop in tealights, then use them to make a “runway” in the garden for Rudolph and the lads to use on Christmas Eve? You could even use your used HiPP jars!
What are your family’s special Christmas traditions? We’re trading all our best holiday-season tips over on the Facebook page – come and join the discussion, you might even spot a good idea or two for your own holiday fun!