Preparing for Christmas with the Smalls
Up until this year, neither of my kids have really been old enough to grasp Christmas. Tori sort of got into it last year and they both know who Santa is but they didn’t mind if we mostly ignored it (which we did).
This year however, Tori is learning Christmas songs at school and talking about tinsel and Arthur keeps saying he wants to ask Santa for a pet – there is no getting away with ignoring the festivities until a week before the day this time.
Which suddenly means I have 24 days of build up to fill with Christmassy fun and magic – erk!
I wasn’t very well prepared if I’m honest – December seemed to creep up on me all of a sudden and I realised I needed to get my thinking cap on.
Last Saturday the Smalls and I helped out at our church’s Christmas Market with my Mum. It was a lovely way to kick off the festive season – the church looked lovely with Christmas bunting and tree up and there were all sorts of stalls with everything from homemade jams to birdfeeders, knitted goodies, pretty jewellery and the most ridiculously huge display of cakes and biscuits you have ever seen.
The Smalls enjoyed being able to go spend their shiny 50p pieces on whatever they wanted and Arthur particularly enjoyed it when the church choir got up to sing carols – he came up to me after every one to say something like ‘pretty songing Mummy!’
We came home with lots of cake, a pretty necklace for Tori and a knitted toy Santa for Arthur and much more Christmas spirit than we arrived with.
There are all sorts of ways to bring a little bit of Christmas into every day for the little people in your life – we got given these brilliant Bunting Kits which make pretty decorations and kept the kids quiet for ages gluing and colouring.
You can get all sorts of craft kits from the shops – even better you can pick them up super cheap in January and save them for the next year! Of course, you could probably make most of these things yourself without buying the kits if you are more artistically inclined than I am. I’m afraid I rely on shop bought things because everything I attempt to draw looks mostly like a blob.
One thing I am doing is giving the Smalls a little thing to do each day that will build together to make a final product. For example they are colouring in one piece of a nativity mobile each day – a bit like an interactive Advent calendar.
Decorate-your-own-biscuit/cake kits are great too and reasonably cheap. The kids love eating and sharing things they have helped to make and they make great gifts for friends and family too. If you enjoy baking then you could always bake your own rather than buying the kits – there are all sorts of cookie cutters and cake moulds out there to experiment with. My favourite biscuit recipe is this one from Recipe Binder which holds its shape whilst it cooks so you don’t end up with blobby biscuits!
There are also hundreds of beautiful Christmas books out there for story time and bedtime. From cute stories about Santa and his elves and reindeer to traditional stories of the Nativity there are books with glitter, books with flaps, pop-up books with intricate detail, books that make noises, books with flashy lights – you name it, there is one somewhere.
Nothing quite captures the magic of Christmas like a book in my opinion so having a good selection is vital. We have been given a lovely one this year that is all about writing your letter to Santa and it includes paper and envelopes in the back for your kids to write their letters on when you have finished reading it. Such a simple idea but so clever, I am really looking forward to sharing that one with Tori and Arthur later this week.
Putting up the tree and decorations is another fun way to share Christmas – we haven’t got ours up yet but I’m sure we will have soon!
Then there are Christmas parties, carol singing evenings, wintry walks on frosty mornings and going for a walk or drive around your town to look at everyone’s twinkly lights.
You don’t have to go far or spend a fortune to make Christmas special for your littlies – it’s amazing what you can do with a bit of glitter and a gluestick!
What do you do at Christmas with the kids?
Do you have any suggestions for us to try too?