Christmas is rapidly approaching. Your little ones will have sent a list off to Santa so you should have a pretty good idea what they want. But what about the element of surprise. Your little one’s face lighting up when they open up something brilliant that they completely weren’t expecting will add that extra special something to both your day and their day.
Plan Pre-Christmas Trips
Who said that everything has to wait until the big day? Make the build up to Christmas just as fun as the day itself.
There will be plenty of grottos to visit as Christmas approaches. In garden centres, shopping centres and large chain stores. Take your kids along. See Santa’s little helpers guide them into the grotto. Take a picture as your child sits on Santa’s lap and tells him what they’d like for Christmas this year. They’ll light up as he “ho ho ho”s. Most grottos will give your child a parting gift on their way out too. A little taster of what’s to come on the 25th.
Get in the Christmas spirit with a little active exercise. Find your local ice rink, wrap up warm and take your kids for a spin on the rink. You can hire boots for the day and circle the ice for a few hours. Remember to be careful and that you are capable of supervising all of your kids at once. Teach them the basics as they first step onto the ice and avoid visiting at peak times. This means that there won’t be crowds about for your kids to get lost in or knocked over by.
Go To A Show
Around Christmas, there are all sorts of brilliantly entertaining shows on. From beautiful ballet performances, such as the Nutcracker, to family-friendly Pantomimes. Treat yourself and your family to a lovely night out. Remember to wrap up warm though, it’ll be a little chilly when you leave.
Build A Gingerbread House
This sounds easier than it turns out to be. So rather than making a gingerbread house from scratch, you might want to try out a gingerbread house kit. This will have the gingerbread all ready for you to assemble and ice. For an extra special end result, add extra chocolate drops, gumdrops and different coloured icing.
Visit A Christmas Market
Most cities will have one. A vibrant market with stalls, food and music. Wrap up warm and visit in the evening for the full effect. It will be dark and the decorations and lights will sparkle in their full beauty. Have a mug of hot chocolate or a pint of traditional beer. Buy a few gifts from the independent stalls. Eat some warm, freshly roasted nuts or strawberries coated in melted chocolate.
Prepare Stocking Fillers
Stockings are great. If your child doesn’t have one, get one as soon as possible. Once you’ve got them to leave out Santa’s cookies, mince pies and milk and Rudolph’s carrot, tuck them up in bed. Tell them to remember to leave their empty stocking down the bottom. When they’re sound asleep, sneak in and fill their stocking full of little treats and gifts for when they wake up. Remember, stockings are generally for small, novelty gifts. There doesn’t have to be anything too big and flashy in there.
Remote Control Toys
Kids will love these. Not only will they marvel at how the rc’s fly, but they will also be able to control them for themselves. Check out a wide selection through remote control toys from The Flyzone. You can get little ones that will slip into stockings or large ones that will serve as a great big present. Always supervise your child while they’re playing with these kinds of toys. They can easily become tangled in hair or knock down ornaments.
Kids love gunge. There’s something about sticking their hands into a pot of goo that they just can’t resist.
A card game will never go amiss on Christmas day. Put a deck of snap cards or standard playing cards in your little one’s stocking.
From sticker sheets for decorating letters and cards, to stick on moustaches and eyebrows. Stickers are a great novelty that your little ones will love.
These are small wooden boxes with a contraption inside that will play a beautiful tune when the handle is turned. They’re surprisingly cheap and can generally fit into the palm of your hand. Usually they will play well-known tunes such as the theme from plays or ballets (for example Swan Lake or the Phantom of the Opera). Other common tunes are lullabies or songs from musicals (for example, Hush Little Baby or Edelweiss).
Chocolates and Sweets
It’s always great to start Christmas day with sweets. Buy miniature tubes of chocolates or sweets to slip into your child’s stocking. You could always leave a selection pack at the bottom of your child’s bed too.
Tangerines, Nuts and Shiny Coins
This is just traditional. So keep the tradition going. Pop some tangerines, shiny coins and nuts such as walnuts or hazelnuts in your child’s stocking. You can always give nuts a miss if your child is allergic or hasn’t eaten them before.
Do The Big Food Shop
Make a list and check it twice. You’re bound to forget something food-related for Christmas, just make sure it’s nothing vital like the turkey or the Christmas pudding.
Pre-order your turkey. We cannot place enough importance on this. You don’t want to be running around like a (ahem) headless chicken on the 24th trying to source a decent turkey for the next day’s dinner.
Vegetarians and Vegans
If you have any vegetarians or vegans dining with you, there are all sorts of delicious alternatives to the turkey centrepiece. Nut roasts are fairly popular. But there are also vegetarian faux turkey roasts, vegetarian wellingtons and various other options.
An absolute Christmas essential. Don’t forget to stock up before the shelves are rampaged by last minute shoppers.
Crackers are available at most supermarkets. We’re not talking the maize based snack. We’re talking about the type that you pull. The ones that reward you with a terrible joke and novelty toy. Make sure there are enough for everyone to pull one before dinner.