It’s the most wonderful time of the year… so why not throw yourself into the Christmas spirit? Create traditions and memories that your children will remember forever with these tips for finding the Christmas magic.
Elf on the Shelf
‘Elf on the Shelf’ – the flexible elf toy that has taken Christmas by storm – is more than just Santa’s little helper… it’s every parents dream come true! From the moment you unpackage your Elf on the Shelf, and give them a name that’s less of a mouthful, he or she will ensure your children are on their best behaviour right up until Christmas. If not, Santa will receive a special report indicating whether your child should be on the ‘Naughty’ or the ‘Nice’ list. Because isn’t that what Santa’s all about: helping you parent?
They’re something of a lost tradition, but the advent calendar used to be one of the highlights of the year when we were kids! Remember the excitement of breaking open one of the little doors and scoring the Christmas-themed chocolate that was inside? If you’re not a fan of giving your kids chocolate – the Christmas Crazies are bad enough already – opt for an advent calendar with non-edible treats, like this LEGO advent calendar, this Hatchimals advent calendar, this Twinkle & Shine stationery advent calendar or the Playmobil advent calendar. Options abound!
Do something for someone else
Christmas is a time of giving, but that doesn’t have to mean giving material gifts. Involving your children in volunteer work at an early age won’t just make them more grateful for what they have, but it will also help them to understand that not everyone has the same privileges they do! We’re not saying you should send your six-year-old to work in a soup kitchen (although, hello, free day care!) – there are plenty of ways you can help people right from home! Have your kids help you pick out canned goods from the pantry or their unwanted toys to give to those less fortunate, or put together care packages and activity boxes for sick or underprivileged children and their families.
See the lights
A string of fairy lights here and a blow-up Santa there might be the only effort you can muster to decorate your home this Christmas (don’t worry, we’re definitely not judging!), but in any given area, there are people who take it to the next level. If you’re not planning on turning your own home into a bright, sparkling Christmas wonderland, why not take a tour of the best homes in your area? A quick Google will reveal the top spots to see incredible Christmas decorations, but your local paper might also run a list of the must-see houses, too.
Have a Christmas movie marathon
If you’re looking for a way to get that warm, fuzzy holiday feeling, you can’t do much better than watching a Christmas movie – especially when Christmas is right around the corner. There are so many to choose from, too! Kids will always love ‘The Grinch’, the ‘Home Alone’ series and ‘The Santa Clause’ movies, while adults alike will get a kick out of movies like ‘The Polar Express’ and ‘Elf’. Then, when the kids have gone to bed, turn on ‘Love Actually’ for a side-splitting, heart-warming serving of Christmas spirit.
Make a Christmas playlist
It’s officially time to dust off that Michael Bublé Christmas album! Love them or loathe them, Christmas music is a fool-proof way to get into the holiday spirit and there are so many options to choose from. Go upbeat with Mariah, soft with Mr. Bublé, rock out with Rod Stewart or bop along to the Biebs – or, opt for a more classic selection of choral carols to give you major goosebumps. Best enjoyed while putting up the Christmas tree.
Make wrapping paper
Sure, you can easily purchase a few rolls of wrapping paper for a couple of bucks at Kmart or Target, but why not make something beautifully unique this year? Your loved ones will adore the extra effort, and you and your kids will have a great time making your bespoke wrapping paper – no matter how it turns out! Check out this blog post to find out how to use your FunBites Food Cutter to create fun artwork (click here to read it)
Go see the Christmas carols
Community Christmas carols have turned into quite the event – it’s no longer just about the singing! From fun kids’ activities to great food, some are even topped off with a fireworks display and, of course, plenty of classic Christmas carols. Check out these listings for Christmas carol events in some of the major cities (just hover over your city’s name and click!)
Write a letter to Santa… and have him write one back
If your kids don’t get time to sit on Santa’s lap at your local shopping centre – check out all of the places he’ll be popping up right here – or even if they do, having them sit down to write a letter to Santa won’t just help them get into the holiday spirit, but it will also give you some special keepsakes to remind them of during Christmases to come. Then, on Christmas Eve, have Santa write a lovely letter back – and maybe even leave some cookies out for him – for your kids to read when they open their presents in the morning.
… or, follow his journey!
It’s not Christmas without the big man in red, and there’s no better way to get excited about his arrival than to track his journey from the North Pole right to your Christmas tree – watching as he delivers toys to children all over the world along the way. Keep an eye on websites like www.santatracker.google.com or www.noradsanta.org to stay up to date with his journey.