Tips for Making Your Kids’ Christmas Holidays Magical
The holiday season is one of the most exciting times of the year. From tasty treats and festive music to bright lights and fun activities, there are so many reasons that both kids and adults alike get excited for the holidays.
But the holidays aren’t just about overindulging in treats and presents. The true meaning of the Christmas holiday is about family, sharing, good times, and much more that you can’t put a price on.
So, this year, get your kids excited about the magic of the holidays and make meaningful holiday memories with the following kids’ Christmas ideas.
SET THE TONE FOR THE SEASON
Once the holiday season starts, it’s time to set the tone and celebrate by building up the excitement for your kids.
Advent calendars are a fun way to count down the days to Christmas, and they give kids something to look forward to each day.
Another fun way to count down to Christmas is by making a handmade paper Christmas chain in Christmas colours, adding a new chain link each day leading up to Christmas.
Play Christmas Music
Nothing sets the tone for the holiday season like Christmas music. While it might be overplayed in stores starting way too early in the year, consider playing Christmas music at home throughout December, and especially while doing festive activities, such as decorating the tree.
LEAVE SIGNS OF SANTA’S VISIT
Santa’s visit is probably the most exciting thing about Christmas for young children. So help keep the excitement alive by leaving signs that show Santa stopped by for his annual gift delivery.
You can drink the milk and eat one or two of the cookies your kids left out for Santa. You can also eat the carrot and celery sticks left for Santa’s reindeer to help keep you going as you stuff stockings and finish wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve.
Other signs of Santa’s visit include:
- Writing a thank-you note from Santa (preferably with disguised handwriting)
- Leaving a piece of red felt near the Christmas tree, fireplace, or window
- Leaving footprints in the snow outside
GIVE HANDMADE GIFTS
While getting gifts is probably the greatest part of the holidays for kids, you can help teach your kids about the gift of giving, as well.
Since the holidays are about sharing and giving, it’s never too early to start instilling this spirit in your children. To do so, help your kids make handmade gifts for friends and family, such as:
- Christmas cards
- Picture frames
- Holly, poinsettia, snowflakes, and other holiday decorations
Your kids may not remember all the gifts they got for Christmas each year, but they will likely remember the meaningful memories you make with them. So take time during the holidays to get the whole family together and enjoy family activities, such as:
Staying cozy and relaxing indoors on a cold winter day is a favourite pastime for families, especially during the busy holidays. So take some time to unwind with your family without any added holiday pressure, and spend a day watching your favourite holiday movies.
During the holidays, consider spending one day cooking or baking with the kids. They can help you choose recipes, read the recipes step-by-step, and even help with some of the food prep if they are old enough.
Baking cookies and building gingerbread houses are fun kitchen activities to do with the kids during the holidays, as well.
There are plenty of fun physical activities to enjoy both indoors and out in winter. You can build snowmen and go tobogganing, snowshoeing, or skating.
And if the weather is too cold to play outdoors, you can have a dance party indoors or play indoor games that get the kids moving and laughing.
GET THE KIDS INVOLVED
When tackling your to-do list during the holidays, get your kids to help out and ease the pressure. There are plenty of fun things they can help out with, including:
- Decorating the house
- Decorating the Christmas tree
- Wrapping gifts
- Setting the table for dinner and dinner parties
Family traditions make the holidays even more special. There are so many ways you can make the holidays unique to your home. So come up with traditions you and your family will enjoy, such as:
- Create tree ornaments
- Sing Christmas carols
- Attend a Christmas parade
- Attend a tree-lighting ceremony
- Drive around town admiring the Christmas lights
- Build a gingerbread house
- Watch a favourite holiday movie
- Attend a holiday concert
- Go to a movie theatre
- Read holiday books
- Spend one night sleeping around the Christmas tree
- Eat special foods and drink hot chocolate on Christmas Eve
- Open a gift (or all gifts) on Christmas Eve
- Spend Christmas day in your pyjamas
- Welcome any friends or family who want to visit on Christmas day (especially those who are alone on Christmas) instead of hosting a big formal dinner
Add to the wonder and excitement of Christmas with a surprise for your kids. You could hide their biggest gift and have them search for it in a scavenger hunt.
You could also plan for a visit from Santa, with a friend or family member dressing up as the jolly man in red.
CULTIVATE GRATITUDE & GIVE BACK
The spirit of Christmas includes being grateful for the good things in life and taking the time to show that gratitude to those we love.
Showing gratitude comes in many forms. So encourage your kids to show gratitude in any way you see fit. This can include verbally thanking others, talking about what they’re grateful for at the dinner table, and writing thank-you cards to those who have helped them out in some way, such as a teacher, caregiver, babysitter, or friend.
The spirit of Christmas also involves helping those who are less fortunate. You can instill this generosity in your kids by encouraging them to give back to the community during the holidays. They could:
- Participate in a local toy drive by donating their gently-used toys
- Help you volunteer at a local food bank, serve meals, or visit the sick or elderly
- Help you shop for and wrap gifts for families in need
- Help you deliver gifts and Christmas hampers to families in need
- Help you choose a charity to donate to
BEND THE RULES
To help make the holidays even more special, bend some of the rules and allow your kids to let loose. There will be plenty of moments when your kids will be expected to be on their best behaviour during the holiday season, especially if you travel with your kids to visit family.
So make a point to let them off the hook with a special privilege, such as:
- Not worrying about making a mess while baking cookies or doing crafts
- Listening to loud music, singing loudly, dancing around the house and jumping on the couch or bed
- Making as much noise as they want by banging on a big pot on New Year’s Eve
Christmas means more than getting presents. And as your kids grow up, it will be the memories of the holidays that stick with them, not the memories of all the gifts they received.
So help teach your kids the true meaning of the holiday season with these tips and evoke the excitement, magic, and spirit of Christmastime that will stick with your kids for many years to come.