Keeping the Magic of Christmas Alive

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My children are 9,7 and 3 and I want to try and keep the magic of Christmas alive for them for as long as possible. My 9 year old informed me that she will always believe in Father Christmas and I hope she keeps the magic for a good while yet.

Christmas for children should be a magical time of the year, it should be about those moments that make their eyes light up and a smile spread widely across their face. Last year my youngest child was just too young to understand what was happening but this year he is fully embracing Christmas and he even asks to tell Father Christmas what he would like him to bring on Christmas day.

We have little traditions we do each year to make Christmas that little bit more magical. We start on Christmas eve. A few days before I will check to see what time the International Space station will be visible above our house. This appears as a bright white light moving quickly in an arc shape across the sky. The children believe we are looking at the sleigh flying across the sky and it begins the magic of Christmas.

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Once we have spotted the sleigh fly over the sky we sprinkle porridge oats on the garden to leave a path for the reindeers to follow so they know to come to our house. Heading back inside we have hot chocolate in our Christmas mugs and watch a Christmas film to get us ready for bed.

Like many houses, we do not have a chimney for Father Christmas instead we place by the front door a magic key for him to use. The traditional mince pies, carrot and a glass of milk are then left on the table. After Christmas stories, the children all settle into bed and it is time for the hard work to begin.

Milk is drunk, leaving an empty glass, the mince pie is eaten making sure we leave some crumbs on the plate and a knife is used to cut teeth marks into the carrot to look like a reindeer has eaten it. Part of the carrot is then placed in the garden as if the reindeer dropped it as he left, it all adds to the magic. Some years we have made snowy footprints from the front door to the presents, this is easily achieved using flour and glitter however we do not do this every year as some years the kids have been too excited and not fallen asleep leaving us enough time to do so.

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My absolute favourite is to make it look like we caught Father Christmas leaving the presents. There are two ways to do this, the first is to simply take a photo of the presents and then using a photo editing program add Father Christmas to it. The other is to download one of the many apps available which do the above for you. Whichever method you choose you then have a photo to show your children in the morning of Father Christmas leaving their presents. My children absolutely loved it the first year we did it. My top tip though is to delete the app, if you use it from your phone, just in case the children discover it and then the whole illusion would be blown.

There are so many little things that can be done to make Christmas just that little bit more magical and keep the belief in Father Christmas alive. Do you have any other top ideas?

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