If you have children in your family (particularly young ones) to make your Christmas extra special and exciting, then why not make Christmas extra special and exciting for them by creating your own winter wonderland at home.
A friend with children a similar age to my own little boy, asked me recently how she and her husband could make Christmas magical for them this year and wanted to know how she could create a winter wonderland at home, as she always loves the way that my home looks at Christmas?
Her children, just like my little boy, are still too young to properly understand the true meaning of Christmas but, in my experience, young children love all things magical and sparkly. This doesnít have to mean tacky though, so donít go ordering a ship load of foil streamers and all things musical and chiming!.........read on a bit first.......
Use lots of twinkling lights wherever you can Ė (and itís white, white, white all the way for me) Ė in clear vases, on your tree, in the centre piece of your dining table, swagged with drapes of soft voile up the staircase, in glass cupboards or on shelves in the kitchen (letís face it, us mums spend a lot of time in there at Christmas, so why not make it a special room too?) and of course, donít forget some in your little oneís rooms to make bedtime magical too over the Christmas period! The overall effect throughout the house is magical, mystical, welcoming and cosy; and this is one look that suits all homes, modern and traditional alike.
Include your children in the Christmas run up. Everything from buying the tree and the decorations to letting them help decorate it. If, like me however, your Christmas tree is your centre piece of the season and your pride and joy (little fingers keep off!) then buy them their own and let them decorate it themselves with their choice of items. It could be multi coloured baubles, colour co-ordinated ones to match their room, traditional red and green candy canes and tartan ribbon, or (my personal favourite) all things home made. Not only will your children have great fun making things such as cotton wool snowmen, paper-cut snowflakes and felt Santas, but if you keep them safe you'll be creating priceless keepsakes and family heirlooms of your children's Christmas memories.
Advent calendars are a good way of counting down the days (or sleeps) to Christmas, for excited little people. Invest in a re-useable one that you can have the pleasure of filling (and the extra pleasure of seeing your child opening) every year. All sorts of things are available these days from wooden trains with pull out drawers to fabric stockings with re-fill able pockets. Keep it tasteful and in-theme with your decorations to keep the winter wonderland theme going.
My personal favourite for exited little ones is an extra special touch for Christmas Eve. After we've left the mince pies and sherry for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph, we scatter the 'Magical Reindeer Dust'! This is simply a mix (from an adult's point of view) of porridge oats and gold or silver glitter tossed together in a little bag. But, from a child's point of view it's magical dust that you sprinkle on your lawn on Christmas Eve. The smell of the oats and the sparkle of the glitter, guide the reindeer to your house. Try it, the look on your little one's face will be priceless. Just remember to scatter it a little before the morning though, or to leave a hoof print in it!
I Believe - Whilst they are still believers, secret Santa tricks and magical little touches will help to personalise and fortify the magic and reality of Christmas in your little onesí minds. My personal favourites for exited little ones are reindeer dust and Santa footprints.
Reindeer Dust - An extra special touch for Christmas Eve, after youíve left the mince pies and sherry (or milk and cookies) for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph, is to go outside with your little one and scatter some ĎMagical Reindeer Dustí! To you and me this is simply a mix of porridge oats and glitter, tossed together in a little bag with a label on it. But, from a childís point of view, itís magical dust that you sprinkle on your lawn on Christmas Eve. The smell of the oats and the sparkle of the glitter, guides Santa and his reindeer to your house. Try it, itís good fun! Just remember to scatter it a little before the morning though, or to leave a hoof print in it for that extra convincing touch!!!
Santa Footprints Ė This one is truly amazing if you do it well. The look on your little believersí faces when they see these footprints is just priceless! Put a shoe down and sprinkle some powdered icing sugar or cornflour around it (anything that vacuums up again easily) to leave make believe footprints.Put a few on the hearth and a few on the carpet. For an extra special touch you could add some black and gold glitter to the powder first to represent a bit of soot & magical sparkle. This is particularly worth doing if youíve already done the reindeer dust thing outside, as it looks like Santa has actually landed where the reindeer dust was, walked through it and trampled it in to the house on his boots.
Magic moments! This is how precious memories are made so just make sure you have a camera on hand to capture them!