Would you like to make Christmas more magical? Follow these simple tips so that Christmas can once again be the most wonderful time of the year!
It doesn’t seem that long ago that Christmas was the most magical thing in the world. It seemed to take forever just to get here and only lasted for a second, but that second was long enough to make you dream about the next time around!
As we get older, Christmas loses some of that magical appeal. We all get caught up in the rush and the need to keep up with what everybody else on social media is doing. I totally get it. Even those who truly believe in what the season is all about, tend to forget that we don’t have to spend all of our time competing with everyone else’s celebrations.
Today, I’m sharing some ways to keep that Christmas magic alive and thriving. Try one or try them all. Just remember that in the end, it’s all about the memories you make!
All Month Long:
Concentrate on experiences instead of gifts. Make a Christmas Bucket List and actually do it! Spend time with people you really want to spend time with. Do silly things like making your own ugly Christmas sweater or breaking into a random caroling session in the mall. Have a decorating party or a holiday craft party or any kind of party at all! Go to concerts at local schools and churches. Visit a live Nativity. Visit people you haven’t seen in a long time. And when you do give gifts, please give from the heart.
Play Christmas music. A lot! We are a big music family and Christmas music is pretty popular around here. Some of us even listen to it whenever the mood strikes–no matter the season! Christmas music puts you in a certain spirit, so listen to it and listen often. : )
Make an Advent calendar. There are so many variations of these–gifts, scripture, books, movies, experiences–or you could do a combination of all of the above! We had an Advent wall-hanging with pockets. I would fill it with candy and treats and the kids got to take turns moving the little fabric candy cane to the next day. Honestly, they liked moving the candy cane as much as they did getting the candy! (You can find some great Advent ideas in this post.)
Have a family date night. Bundle up. Drive around and look at Christmas lights. Come home and drink hot chocolate while you watch Christmas movies. No stress and no pressure.
Participate in Random Acts of Christmas. Pick nice things to do for others every day. This could even become your Advent. Random Acts could be anything–making a meal or treats for neighbors, delivering snacks to the local police/fire department, giving thank you cards to your favorite waitress, leaving small surprises for random people, visiting with nursing home patients, singing Christmas carols to people who walk by you on the street! It really doesn’t matter what it is and you don’t have to spend any money at all if you are creative enough. It really is the thought that counts!
Have a manger next to the tree or in a prominent place. A manger is a reminder of the gift God gave us when he sent Jesus. I read about one blogger who had an empty manger and the rest of the Nativity characters got moved closer to it every day. On Christmas morning, they were all beside the manger and Baby Jesus was in it. I thought that was the absolute sweetest thing!
Make Magic Reindeer food. Magic Reindeer food is just quick cook oatmeal (don’t cook it—leave it dry!) mixed with lots of glitter. The kids get to sprinkle it on the ground on Christmas Eve and the reindeer see the glitter shine and fly down to have a little snack! They do make edible glitter if the thought of throwing it on the ground concerns anyone. We live in the country and it’s never been an issue. The critters eat the oatmeal and the glitter is usually gone with it.
Put out a Santa key. Our kids received an old-fashioned looking key as a gift years ago. It was a Magic Santa key and its purpose was to unlock the door for Santa when there was no chimney to use. One of our traditions became to hang it on the outside of the door every Christmas Eve. It kind of broke my heart when they stopped worrying about hanging the key.
Leave Santa clues. There are plenty of tutorials online that will show you how to leave Santa “footprints.” Use your imagination and leave behind things that Santa might carry–a pair of glasses, a naughty/nice list, etc. Or buy one of those really cute kits like the one from Mud Pie. It’s all there for you and that means less work!
Read the Nativity Story and have a Happy Birthday Jesus cake. We’ve done this several times in the past–usually on Christmas Eve. It is Jesus’ birthday celebration after all!
Have a treasure hunt. One of my favorite childhood Christmas memories was the year my Momma sent us on a treasure hunt. My sister and I sometimes shared a gift and there were clues that sent us scrambling around looking for this big present. Our search led us to an electronic keyboard that made all kinds of cool sounds (this was a big thing in the 80’s). My sister actually played it. I just “played” with it! The actual search was the very best part of the whole thing in my opinion.
Another Christmas, my great-grandfather bought a bunch of stuff from the thrift shop and hid it behind the couch. We had to follow a big long ribbon until we reach the end and found our gifts. I remember a set of Barbie furniture, a gold lame purse, and some really sparkly earrings. It was all used and I seriously doubt any of it was what I had asked for, but I couldn’t tell you a single thing that was under our tree from my parents that year. I remember all of the other because of the excitement of finding out what was at the end of that string!
We’ve kept this same tradition alive with our children. We’ve had them follow clues and they’ve opened boxes with notes inside a couple of times.
Put a few things out after the kiddies go to sleep. Our kids always got toys and games from Santa and clothes/shoes/educational things from Mom & Dad. Our presents got wrapped and put under the tree. Stockings and anything from Santa got put out after the kids went to bed. We always spend Christmas Eve with my side of the family, so this has led to some pretty late night Santa sessions. Four a.m. comes awfully early when you didn’t get into bed until almost three!! The look on their faces was always worth it though.
This tradition actually helped our oldest hold on to Santa for one more year. He woke up to go to the bathroom before we had put any toys out. He said he knew there was a Santa because “when I woke up at two there were no presents and when I got back up later, there they all were”!! I’m still not sure how he didn’t pass me in the hall at some point.
Remember, it’s still about Jesus. Although we may not know His exact birthday, the Christmas season is still about celebrating Jesus’ birth. Share that excitement. Appreciate the Gift. And be joyful!!
In the end, it’s all about the memories you make!
There are so many ways to make Christmas more enjoyable. One of easiest things is to remember that Christmas shouldn’t be hurried–it should be savored. It should bring joy and wonder and the kind of excitement you get when you know something big is coming. Christmas should be a time of love and giving, of celebration, of kindness. And Christmas should be a time of magic. Not the abracadabra kind, but the kind that comes in the thrill of seeing old friends, the comfort of hugging your loved ones, the excitement of taking a trip, or the mere possibility that something amazing is about to happen.
A magical Christmas is more about how you feel than what you get. Try some of these things and see how much more magical Christmas feels to you this year.