How to keep Christmas alive for older kids?
It’s easy to get into the Christmas spirit when your home is filled with small kids who believe in the magic of Santa and are genuinely interested in the whereabouts of that Elf on the Shelf. But once children stop believing in Santa Claus, it can be a bittersweet transition for parents as they try to throw some believable Christmas magic into their family celebrations.
But this newfound maturity does not need to lose the joy and magic of Christmas, instead, with a bit of encouragement, a new focus can keep it alive.
We’ve got some great ideas below of how to keep Christmas alive for older kids. And hopefully with a bit encouragement and a new focus, your older kids might even surprise you by bringing even more joy to your family’s celebrations!
Here’s How to Keep Christmas Alive for Older Kids…
- Enlist older kids to spread the magic to younger siblings and friends
So maybe now they know Santa is not real. Maybe they realise that you secretly wrap their gifts. However, this newfound knowledge gives your older child entry into a new SECRET CLUB reserved for those in-the-know….
Enlist your older child to be the one in charge of the “Elf on the Shelf” antics each night in December
Teach them the art of pretending to be Santa for their younger siblings
Encourage them to write ‘Fairy Letters’ for their younger siblings, secretly leaving them outside their fairy door. We are constantly surprised with how creative older kids can be ! They will write some fantastic fairy letters to keep the ‘magic’ of Christmas alive for the little ones.
Include them in the baking, wrapping and giving of Christmas cookies and treats for the neighbours.
Give them the responsibility of leaving the Milk & Cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve.
All of this teaches that Christmas is about giving. And by giving them a small responsibility of “thinking of others”, they in turn, will experience the warmth that ‘giving’ brings and help keep the magic of Christmas alive for the younger ones.
- Embrace the Spirit of Giving
Encourage your older child to get involved in community service, like helping the Salvation Army.
Suggest they clean out their wardrobe and give away what they don’t use anymore.
Maybe as a family, decide to purchase a gift to donate and then give the task of choosing it, wrapping it and placing it under the “Giving Tree” at Kmart or the Salvo’s, to your older child.
As a family, all volunteer at a soup kitchen together, deliver meals to those in need or gift wrap at the shops.
Encourage your older child to bake some Christmas biscuits, wrap them up and give them away ‘secretly’ to the neighbours or those in need.
All of these ideas (plus heaps more) are a wonderful way to encourage gratitude for what they have and to be outward focused to others more in need than themselves.
AND is also one of the quickest ways to fill a person with joy and the true spirit of Christmas!
- Encourage them to think of a new Christmas Tradition that your family can Adopt
Give your older child the responsibility to think about something your family can do each year that is a special family tradition. You might be surprise at the amazing ideas they come up with!
It could be something like organising a funny family Christmas photo each year, complete with outfits. And they are then responsible for making it happen!
Having a family tradition to look forward to and enjoy as a family, is a key to making this time of year extra special.
- Spend Time visiting the Christmas Lights Together
Even if your family may not decorate your house with lights, you can always enjoy the effort of others who do.
Some houses really are amazing and it’s a wonderful evening to go see these together. Especially when you stop off for a snack along the way!
- Enjoy Christmas yourself
We get it, Christmas time is hectic; however, getting into the spirit yourself will make your kids excited. They catch what you’ve got.
Make yourself and your older child, a cup of Hot Chocolate in a Christmas mug and spend 15 minutes relaxing together with it.
Make some old fashioned Christmas decorations together with your older child. One of my favourite decorations with my mum was making Christmas paper chains. Cut strips of coloured paper and then interlock them together to form a chain.
Christmas should not be about the best gifts or the nicest Christmas tree; it’s about family, giving and love. And these can occur anywhere.
Christmas magic is contagious, that’s what makes it so special. It seems to transcend whatever is going on in everyday life and bring a warm feeling of happiness, joy and wonder…. if we let it.
Our thanks to Leisa Papa, author of “Daniel and the Dummy Fairy” and founder of “Little Kids Business Marketplace” for the inspiration behind this post.
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