1. Teach the truth about Santa in a way they will always remember. Children never forget the Christmas during which they find out that Santa is not real. Don't leave it to an older sibling or a cousin to break the news - often the job is very unsatisfactorily done because the kiddie begins to cry uncontrollably and the sibling/cousin doesn't have the guts to go through with it. So, as a responsible parent, it's up to you to make sure the moment really is unforgettable. Follow these easy stages:
a) Put out the mince pie and sherry by the fireplace as usual just before bedtime, and don't forget the carrot for the reindeer. Get the kiddies really into it all - talk about the reindeers and their names, the elves, the sleigh. Don't hold back on detail. It will all help to create expectation.
b) With the children helping, hang up their stockings from the mantelpiece. Act excited and full of anticipation, just as the children are, building up the tension and suspense as much as you can, as this will again make the moment of revelation all the more striking.
c) Then, when the clock strikes midnight, and the kiddies are fast asleep in bed, push their bedroom door open so that it creaks. This wakes them a little and they will start wondering excitedly, 'Perhaps this is Santa!' and may even peep over the top of the bedclothes.
d) Then, for maximum effect, turn on their main bedroom light, shine a torch into their eyes at the same time, and shout, 'LOOK WHO IT IS! IT'S MUMMY AND DADDY, BRINGING IN YOUR PRESENTS! BECAUSE, GUESS WHAT, HONEYBUN! R.I.P. SANTA CLAUS! IT WAS ALL A CON!'
I guarantee that this technique will make sure that they will never forget the special way in which you introduced the truth to them about Father Christmas.
|Jonny was upset about the Santa thing, yes, but he thought it was a bit much for Mommy and Daddy to have replaced his garden swing with the monument just to mark the occasion|
2. Create an impressive pile of presents under the tree that will get them very excited. What children like more than anything is to see a tower of presents under the tree. The bigger the pile, the more thrilled theY get, and what's Christmas about if it's not to see the children shivering with anticipation? But obviously in times of economic difficulty, not everyone can afford lots of expensive gifts. So, I have some ideas for presents which will guarantee an enormous pile under the tree for little cost:
a) Individually wrapped balloons. Children love balloons and many parents do indeed give packets of balloons to them in their stockings, but what a wasted opportunity! Why not blow them up and wrap them individually? This will be a great start to your impressive pile of presents and may even help Christmas Day go with more of a bang than usual. And if your child is frightened of balloons, even better, because it means they will need an hour or so to get over each one before they unwrap the next, and this will make Christmas Day go SO quickly. Before you know it, you'll be tucking them up in bed again and can relax with your fourteenth glass of red wine and a turkey sandwich.
b) Cardboard boxes. I have mentioned how useful cardboard boxes are in a previous post, but this is surely the very best use for them. Secure all the edges and openings of the boxes with strong sticky tape before you wrap them in pretty paper, as this will make sure that the child's suspense and excitement lasts for as long as possible before they actually find the box is empty. There's nothing to entertain parents and grandparents and all the aunts and uncles more than seeing a child's face as they find out what is finally in the box after all that unwrapping. And, with all those people around, there will be plenty of people to comfort the child afterwards. Granny may even have a handkerchief up her sleeve to mop up all the tears. Sorted!
c) Industrial-size rolls of bubble wrap. Now, you can't tell me that there's a child in the world who doesn't love playing with bubble wrap! Not only that, it will keep him/her occupied for quite a few hours popping all the bubbles once it's all unwrapped on Christmas Day, especially if there is a promise of something to eat once all the bubbles are popped. Should the child be slow about this, there's no need for everyone else to be kept waiting, so sit them up at the table with the sheets of bubble wrap and they can happily pop away while you all make your way through the four courses. The child may, of course, complain, but as long as everyone assures them that they too would MUCH RATHER be popping the bubbles than eating crispy roast potatoes, there should be no more problem.
|'I'm not sure this is quite enough,' said Daddy, when he went shopping for the bubble wrap. 'I have a lot of beer to get through and could do with a few hours of peace and quiet.'|
See? My present ideas are so simple, and yet so effective, with no fuss about batteries or plugs or USB ports to spoil the day. Ask any of my children (they don't speak to me much, so you'll have to do this yourself ... aren't young people BUSY these days?!) I know they'll confirm that Christmas was one particular time of year that they remember. Let me know how you get on as I love to hear happy stories of seasonal family fun.