It's a magical time when your kids still believe in Santa and most of us don't want it to end. So we've rounded up 10 ideas to help keep the magic alive for another year...
Getting your kids to write a letter to Santa is a great way to get them believing there really is someone in the North Pole. Make it extra special by writing one back! Whether it's from the elves picking up busy Santa's post, or from the big man himself, kids will be delighted to receive their very own letter from Santa.
Go one better, and arrange for Santa to email your child a personalised video for free! PNP (Portable North Pole) offers a magical video message which will have lots of personal info all about your child.
Santa's gone digital! The man himself is ho ho ho-ing his way around Twitter, where you can follow him @Santa. Plus, the US military get involved every year and track where he is around the world on their website (Norad Santa). It opens on December 1st so you can see where Rudolph and the gang are and when they'll be heading to the UK – so you know exactly when to send the kids off to bed.
Get your kids to choose what they think Santa would like (hinting at the big chocolate cake in the kitchen is optional!) before leaving a little plate out for him. Make it a fun event for Christmas Eve by baking something for him, like cookies or brownies. And don't forget the reindeer – they need fuel for their journey too. Sprinkle some food outside for them (they like museli, or so we're told) or leave a carrot out that you can nibble on later to look like Rudolph stopped for a quick bite. Leaving a note from Santa to say how much he enjoyed the food will really bring a smile to their faces – especially if you say it was the best food he had all night!
As kids get older they'll get wiser to your tricks. Try as you might, convincing your children that Santa fits through your letter box, electric fire or tiny chimney probably isn't going to work. Instead, mock up a fake key for Santa and hang it on the back door. That way there's a believable answer to the 'how does he get in' conundrum.
Santa wouldn't have the same wrapping paper as mum and dad, so make sure presents from Santa have their own special paper. Little tags with Santa's signature will make children feel extra special. Gold or glittery writing will give it that extra feeling of authenticity.
This one requires a bit of pre-Christmas Day groundwork. Drop hints to your children that you don't think you're going to be able to get the doll/game/DVD they desperately want because it's sold out. Then on Christmas day see their faces light up when they realise Santa has managed to find it. Pop a little note in with this one too saying something about how hard it was to find (or make) so they feel really important that Santa went to all that trouble.
Boot marks near the front door or chimney are a really easy way of making kids believe Santa stopped by – just remember to do this with something that won't stain your carpet! Buying fake snow is another quick trick – sprinkle it around the door or fireplace, or even near their presents to show them that Santa really did deliver them.
Leave a camera somewhere in the house on Christmas Eve and take photos of Santa leaving gifts under the tree. This idea takes a bit more work, but a Santa hat, a big red jacket and black boots along with a helpful friend or partner will do the trick and you'll have some fun mocking up the pics too!
If children think they've got something that's really Santa's they'll be delighted! Perhaps Santa could accidentally leave part of his naughty or nice list behind (make sure your kids' names are on the nice list!) or even a glove. Follow this with a letter arriving from Santa asking them to keep it safe until next year. This way your kids will know that Santa thinks about them all year (plus they'll know he's definitely coming back next Christmas!).
A couple of weeks after Christmas send a postcard from somewhere nice and warm such as Hawaii, signed by Santa. You can use this as a good opportunity for Santa to tell the kids to be good all year and listen to mum and also to thank them for keeping him well fed on Christmas Eve. Kids love knowing where Santa is if he's not at the North Pole. Do you have any other tips? Let us know below...
If you have a loft conversion and Velux windows - you can sprinkle glitter on the outside to show that the sleigh has flown over!
i made a email from Santa a few days ago, my son loved it, he couldnt stop smiling and was so chuffed that santa new his name
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