The Christmas season is the most wonderful time of the year… for many Despite some of the stress involved with all the preparations and family gatherings (and family politics), the holidays are exciting for kids. They have no clue what’s involved in making Christmas special but that’s why we run around like mad the weeks leading up to the big day – to make it magical for them. Every family does what it needs to do to make this time a memorable one. Kids bring joy and a new perspective to the whole Christmas season which is why we try so hard (including getting sucked into the whole Elf on the Shelf shenanigans – or not) to make Christmas as wonderful and magical for them as we can.
Here are some ways you can make Christmas magical for your kids this year.
How to Make Christmas Magical for Your Kids
Build a snowman.
If you experience a good amount of snow where you live, start the holiday season by heading outdoors and building a snowman together with your kids. Dress them warmly, carry some decorations and help them create a cute snowman. The experience itself will be something you are going to relive the next year and you will have made a magical Christmas for the kids.
Go see Christmas lights.
There are some neighbourhoods that go all out with Christmas lights. Remember the Griswolds?!?! Take the kids for a drive in the areas where you know you’ll have a magical light show. Every house you come across will be twinkling and sparkling with beautiful lights and decorations that turn the whole neighbourhood into a beautiful art of bickering lights.
Visit a Christmas Market.
Carry on with the outdoor activities by taking the family to an outdoor Christmas market. Quaint shops, twinkling lights, hot chocolate and festive crowds will spark Yuletide joy all around! Here are some of the 50 best Christmas markets in the world. CNN also named their favourite 17 Christmas Markets and included the Toronto Christmas Market as one of the best in world. Canada’s Wonderland magically transforms into a Winter Wonderland full of enchantment and holiday cheer during WinterFest!
Engage the kids in Christmas decorations.
Kids love to decorate and this is the perfect time to let them take control of the Christmas decorations (to a point – little ones should likely stay away from glass ornaments!) Start a tradition of driving to a tree farm and choose your own fresh tree! Make it an afternoon with hot chocolate and Christmas carols. Go to the store together and shop for a new ornament to put up on the tree – make it an annual tradition. Or if you’re crafty, allow the kids to create their own fun Christmas ornaments.
Write a letter to Santa or go see him.
Prompt your kids’ creativity flow by having them write letters to Santa. Let them tell Santa what they have been up to the whole year and tell him what they would like to have for Christmas. You can keep these letters and present to them as a gift much later when they are all grown up. In addition, take them to visit your local Santa. Some families like to visit early in December and use their cute snaps as their family’s Christmas cards.
Bake cookies together.
Spread the Christmas cheer by letting the kids join you in baking some cookies. Sugar or Gingerbread cookies are a fabulous choice because they can use their creativity to decorate them all by themselves. Then, put together some care packages and let your kids deliver the cookies to their neighbours and friends/family. What a great opportunity to begin teaching them the joy spreading Christmas cheer to other people.
Wear matching pyjamas.
On Christmas Eve, dress the whole family in matching pyjamas and let the excitement settle in! Throw on a favourite Christmas movie – or a not-so-Christmas movie and snuggle with some hot chocolate. Make sure to snap some fun photos and videos as the kids await Santa Claus’s visit down the chimney.
Create homemade cards.
Instead of buying Christmas cards, you can let your kids showcase their creative side by creating DIY cards. These cards have a personal feel that will bring beautiful emotions to those who receive them. There are also some local charities that accept handmade Christmas cards to send to senior homes and those in the military – check your local legion or town hall for info.
Have a family photoshoot.
A family photoshoot every Christmas would be a lovely way to track your kids’ growth over the years and create a wonderful memento! Make the occasion even more enjoyable by dressing in ugly Christmas sweaters or standing in awkward poses.
Teach your kids the kindness of giving by bringing a smile to another child’s face this holiday season. Shop together for a new toy, and deliver it together to a local toy drive. Make this an annual tradition so they can grow to love giving back.
Go Skating outdoors.
Bundle the family up in snow pants, hats and mittens and visit a local pond or outdoor rink for a family skate! Skating outdoors at night under twinkling lights and Christmas music playing in the background will make the season more magical for kids. Top off the evening with hot chocolate with extra marshmallows!
See a Christmas musical or play.
The theatre is always a good idea any time of the year but during the month of December is much more magical! Book tickets to see a holiday-themed play at your local theatre, or a large musical production in the city. This month I took my mother and niece to see Bend it Like Beckham – The Musical in Toronto; not a seasonal show but the magic of live theatre still put us in the holiday spirit! The musical was fun and entertaining with feel-good dance numbers, moving songs and heart-warming family moments.