The holidays are a rare time when children can let loose and just enjoy themselves. For some kids, the joy of Christmas comes from the myth of Santa Claus and mysteriously appearing presents. For others, it is the sights, sounds, and smells of the festive season. But a large part of it will be the quality time that they get to spend with you—their parents. Here are some ways to keep the holiday magic alive for your children.
Deck the Halls
Nothing makes the holidays feel more festive than decorations. Putting up a Christmas tree together is a time-honored tradition that lets parents and children bond. Invite your children to help you decorate the tree or let them take full control of the lower portion (if you dare!) Another idea is to give them a surprise by putting the decorations up overnight.
Should you have crafty kids, why not make a Christmas wreath to hang on the front door or over the fireplace? Your children can help to gather pinecones or fir boughs to weave into the wreath, and they will be proud to see their creations hanging in a prominent spot. You can also make your own Christmas tree ornaments with felt, paper, or clay.
Write a Wish List
Big kids and little kids all love wish lists. A big part of Christmas is presents because they give children something to look forward to. For younger kids, making a wish list is fun because they get to think about what to write about in their Santa letter. Even if your kids are too old to write Santa letters, they can still enjoy dreaming about receiving the items that they most desire.
Christmas is the season of giving. Another activity that will make Christmas special is to create a wish list for their friends or less fortunate children. Empathy and kindness toward others are important and valuable lessons for parents to teach their children. In addition, your children will better appreciate the toys that they do receive.
Surprise your child with Santa Letter
Santa’s existence is central to the myth of Christmas. Every kid knows that you leave milk and cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve, but you can make the tale more incredible by leaving a trail of cookie crumbs around the house. Similarly, a touch of soot on the gifts can have your kids speculating that Santa might have really come down the chimney.
Children these days grow up so fast and it can be lovely to help preserve a bit of their innocence and wonder. Receiving a personalized letter from Santa can make your child’s day and keep them believing in Christmas magic. These letters from Santa can even come with ‘Nice List’ certificates so that your kids feel appreciated and rewarded for their good behavior.
Make Holiday Food
Food is a major part of any holiday. If the holiday week is too busy, you can begin making goodies way before the holiday itself. Some items like Christmas cake, pudding, and cookies can be started weeks in advance. Baking is a wonderful way to get kids involved in the kitchen and they can help you with mixing batter, cutting up dried fruits, or spreading icing.
Holiday grocery shopping is another fun activity for the family. Children love to browse the aisles full of chocolates and candy. Give your kids a small budget and their own basket to fill with goodies and watch them brim with excitement. If you have a teenager who can chaperone the kids, this will keep them occupied while you grab the other essential groceries.
Enjoy the Lights
Wherever you live, there should be a public park or square that will be fully adorned with holiday lights. Colorful Christmas lights twinkling against the dark sky are not only beautiful but also otherworldly. Take your kids on a nighttime drive to these special places to admire the holiday lights and let them bask in the sense of ethereal wonder.
In certain regions, the malls may have more impressive displays than the public parks. Although you may have to queue for quite a while, the full Christmas windows featuring animated characters may be worth it. If that seems too commercial for you, why not take an evening walk with the kids around the neighborhood and rank your neighbors by their outdoor decorations?
Create a New Tradition
The best way to make Christmas truly special is to create a tradition that is unique to your family. When you have traditions that are created by your family, they can always remind your kids of the wonderful memories you had together. When they get older and have families of their own, these traditions can be handed down to future generations like an heirloom.
From donating to charity to sending a letter from Santa, many activities can make Christmas extra joyful for your children. Kids spend a lot of time being told what to do and how they should behave. There is plenty of time yet for them to grow up and be serious adults. Let’s keep Christmas magical for them as long as we can.