If you are like a lot of families, 'The 'Late Late Toy Show' at the end of November can mark when the Christmas Tree and sparkle goes up.
This means our homes are transformed into a veritable grotto for a possible four weeks before the schools close for the holidays. For us, the month before Christmas can disappear so quickly as we balance the planning, organising, and preparation for the festivities. For our kids, on the other hand, those four weeks can feel frustratingly long as they count down the days to the most exciting day of the year. So, how can we make the run-up to Christmas not only bearable but magical for our kids?
Start An Advent Calendar Tradition
An advent calendar is not only a fun thing to do for the whole family, but it helps to reign in the kids with the constant question of "how many days is it to Christmas?" We can forget that advent calendars don’t need to be the commercial count down they now seem to be with mini gifts, chocolates, or treats. We can make our own reusable advent calendar and incorporate elements of gratitude by encouraging kids to write Christmas letters to grandparents on one day, or donate toys on another day.
Okay, so we probably don’t need to build the anticipation since it’s already there, but keep it going by blasting those Christmas songs, reading the Christmas stories, and indulging in Christmas movies with hot chocolate.
Track Santa With NORAD
Incredibly the government agency North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has been tracking Santa on Christmas Eve for over 50 years. One of the most exciting things for this generation of technologically influenced kids is to watch video progress of Santa’s flight on their website (here) as he makes his way around the globe on Christmas Eve.
Bake, And Bake Some More
December is a big baking month in most of our kitchens and one of the easiest ways to keep kids happy, entertained, and fed with delicious treats is to practice baking those cookies for Santa, relatives, and friends (before baking the perfect lot of cookies on Christmas Eve). Baking with kids can be exhausting and messy, but it adds to the magic of preparing for Christmas.
Remember To See Christmas From The Eyes Of A Child
When thinking about how to make the run-up to Christmas magical for kids, remember to see the entire Christmas period from the eyes of a kid. What makes them excited and happy? It’s not always the presents, the expectation of Santa, or the mountain of treats, but rather the connection with the people they love most, being together, celebrating together, and sharing. So be present, and be a kid again!