The enchantment of waking up on Christmas morning is something children remember forever. But with modern tech surrounding us at all times, it can be tricky to keep some of the old, simple traditions alive.
Canny parents and grandparents can still maintain the wonder of Christmas though. All it takes is wishing upon a star, a sprinkle of fairy dust and a little bit of Christmas magic. Santa Claus is coming to town...
"Cookies and milk is a popular choice for Santa, as is a glass of sherry or even a beer. And don’t forget a carrot or two for Rudolph and the other reindeer."
Write a letter to Father Christmas
Have they been naughty or nice? Getting children to compose a letter to Santa helps them to remember the goings-on of the year and lets you know what they would really like to discover under the tree. It has the added bonus of putting their literacy skills into practise - homework without the grumbling!
Put out treats on Christmas Eve
A long-held tradition and one children love. Putting out refreshments for Santa and his reindeer on Christmas Eve will have even the most cynical young mind on board, even if it’s just because they want to sample one of the biscuits. Cookies and milk is a popular choice for Santa, as is a glass of Sherry or Port. And don’t forget a carrot or two for Rudolph and the other reindeer. Make sure you take a sufficient swig or bites out of any snacks to maintain authenticity.
Elves on the shelf
A delightful range of toy elves are available at elfontheshelf.co.uk. The idea is that children adopt an elf and their parents then perch the toy in different parts of the house each morning on the lead up to Christmas day. A hardbound book that is included with the toy explains to children that the elf magically travels to the North Pole each night while they are asleep, reports to Santa, and returns the next day, hence their different locations throughout the house each morning.
Need help in keeping their belief in St Nick alive that little bit longer? The NORAD Santa Tracker is designed to look as though it’s tracking Santa across the globe on Christmas Eve. It becomes officially active each year from 1 December.
See the turning on of the Christmas lights
Wrap the kids up and go and watch one of the beautiful festive light displays dotted all around the UK. In London, the huge tree in Trafalgar Square will be lit on 1 December at 6pm, but there will be similar events taking place up and down the country. Alternatively, you can make an occasion of putting up your tree at home. Hang the stockings, light candles, nibble mince pies, pour some hot drinks and crank up those Christmas tunes!
Have you got any little fun, festive traditions to spark the Christmas magic in your house? Why not let us know on Twitter at @TSB.