Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but there are some simple activities or preparations that will make the season unforgettable for your kids. These simple additions will make the season sparkle for your little ones. Try these 9 tips for a magical Christmas, and your kids will want to keep these traditions every year.
1. See the Christmas lights around town
Many towns have official Christmas trees in the town center and lighting ceremonies. These events are a great opportunity to take family pictures or to bring hot chocolate and sing holiday carols. If your town does not have a tree, then fire up the front-wheel-drive sleigh and tour the streets to see all of the brightly decorated neighborhood homes. Make it even more festive by listening to Christmas songs on the radio and telling stories from Christmases past.
2. Cut down your own tree
While having a fake tree is convenient, there is nothing more entertaining than picking your own live tree at a Christmas farm, local nursery, or an annual road-side display. There are many places to purchase trees and many have festive activities at their locations, but a Christmas tree farm will let you cut down your own. You just have to drive out and walk into the forest to cut down that special family tree — just don’t forget the saw!
3. Watch a Christmas movie
Every holiday season brings more and more movies about Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. These movies are great because they build anticipation for gift giving and also brings gravitas to the days events. Watch classic movies like A Christmas Story or silly movies like Elf to increase the joy of the day. Here are 5 more great Christmas movies to add to your watch list.
4. Write to Santa
Writing to Santa is a tradition for many kids. This yearly activity lets Santa know what kids want — as well as their parents. This activity can be made even more special when Santa writes back. You don’t need to use a special website or a letter-writing service to have Santa write back. These services sometimes cost money or may not be reliable. All you need for Santa to respond is a piece of parchment paper, the holiday spirit, a simple message and a little imagination! It’s nice when Santa uses the child’s name, but what is most important is when the letter itself looks old and worn. Parchment paper is an easy way to solve this. You also can send many letters up until the very night. It will keep a child’s anticipation through the roof.
5. Leave food for the reindeer
To make the legend of Santa real, leave some food for Santa along with the cookies and milk. If Santa eats the cookies, then so will the reindeer, so makes sure they take a bite out of one.
6. Visit Santa
The one activity that many kids look forward to is visiting Santa when he comes to a local mall, town square or other holiday destination. This tradition gives them an opportunity to tell him what they want directly to keep their hope alive for getting what they really want. Be sure to go as early in the season as possible. As the days move closer to Christmas, lines get much, much longer. But, the good news is that many locations have Christmas Eve visits, which can be a great opportunity to make the magic shine. Some of these events need a reservation or prepaid tickets, so be on the lookout — starting before Thanksgiving. It is extra effort, but it is well worth the look on a child’s face to meet Santa on Christmas Eve, then get gifts from him the next morning.
7. Go Ice Skating
Ice skating is one of the most popular festive family activities in the winter. Rinks all over the country are available in stunning locations, with an unbeatable atmosphere filled with Christmas music, twinkling lights and lashings of cheer. Heading out on the ice as a family will create fun memories you can revisit over the years.
8. Christmas Eve Box
Putting your kids to bed on Christmas Eve can be a difficult task. Why not make it a fun experience? Put together a Christmas Eve Box that contains a festive pair of PJs, a holiday movie, and carrots to leave the reindeer. Make going to sleep fun by having sleep be the ultimate activity.
9. Track Santa through NORAD
Nothing gets kids more excited than evidence of the legend. And there may be no better way to show he is real than tracking him on NORAD. Visit http://www.noradsanta.org to see where Santa is throughout the night (remember, he may start his journey up to 24 hours before he will arrive in your area) and how far away he is from your house.
Do you have a great Christmas Eve activity? Leave a post below or tell us your story.