Christmas is all about making magic out of the ordinary and bringing the family together. For kids, the Christmas season is a whole month when your whole town transforms into a white, green and red winter wonderland, all-leading up to one day of family, togetherness, and of course, presents. Keeping the magic is essential to maintaining that holiday spirit!
What’s more magical than Santa Claus? A child’s belief in Santa Claus can be a little tricky. We’re sure that you can think back and remember the sad day when you learned that Santa wasn’t real. Some kid told you on the swing set at recess or passed it to you in a note in class or your parents decided that you were simply too old to believe. Losing your belief in Santa Claus can be a bit heartbreaking.
If you want to keep Santa’s magic alive for you little one, when they ask for confirmation of that nasty playground rumor, we’ve got some tips to help you! As we know, kids are some of the greatest detectives on earth, searching for clues or confirmation and always picking up on little details in their everyday that they check against all of their previously accumulated evidence.
Consistency Is Key
Try to go to the same Santa every year if you can. The moments of meeting Santa Claus and telling him a Christmas list are one of the most special and anticipated of any kid’s year. If he or she sits on one man’s lap one year, another the next, and yet another after that, they’ll start putting the pieces together and connecting the dots that maybe not all Santas are created equal. Try to go to the same Santa in the same shopping mall, or the same Christmas party. Also, set a family tradition. Whether you do the 12 days of Christmas or visit to Santa Claus on the first Saturday of December or have a family day of sitting down to write a letter to the Big Guy in Red, make sure that you do these things every year in order to help your child connect memory to present, affirming their suspicions about Santa’s reality.
Drop Hints Santa Is Coming
Once you have a routine set, dropping in little surprise hints from day to day can add to those little clues that your tiny detective is always collecting. Maybe a requested gift, earlier in December as a surprise at breakfast could raise questions, but also give an air of mystery and anticipation. If your little one only told Santa about this small gift in his letter to Santa, or whispered it in his ear along with a litany of other present requests and suddenly one is at breakfast before school just randomly? That must mean that Santa is on his way with more well deserved presents in tow.
Nine Clever Ideas On How To Keep Santa Real
Here’s a list of nine ideas to help maintain consistency in your holiday season, create new traditions, and drop little hints in order to keep the magic alive for you little one for as long as you can!
- Have that early gift shipped right to your house so that your child’s suspicion of parental involvement is absolved! Surely if the mailman is bringing this present to the house wrapped and ready, Mom didn’t wrap it herself! Putting a step in between you and Santa Clause is a great way to reaffirm that parents and St. Nick are not one in the same. Visit packagefromsanta.com and have a little bit of magic delivered to your home in three easy steps. You can put the package under the tree and have your child wait in curiosity or have them open it to bring a little bit of early joy!
- Confirmation bias is a powerful tool for kids. The smallest things can become big evidence as long as their suspicions are confirmed and this is more than easy to routinely dream up. An easy and fun one for maintaining Holiday Magic? A special mug and plate that ONLY Santa uses. Keep it with your holiday decorations and make sure that when you’re unpacking it from year to year, you point out that it’s the plate that Santa and only Santa uses every year when he gets his cookies and milk from your house. If it’s got his name on it and it’s only used once a year then it must be special, right? Then, when the cookies and milk are gone in the morning, Mom or Dad couldn’t have eaten them because, well, they were on Santa’s special ceramic! But even more, you can make these yourself as a fun craft for mom and kid to bond over the holiday season. Here’s some cute DIY mug ideas from Tatertots and Jello.
- If you’re having a Santa Claus Christmas Party with your friends, family and neighbors, a simple trick is to tell everyone to hide a gift in the car before they leave for the party. When you’re walking in, have one parent pretend that they forgot their cell phone in the car and they have to double back to get it before going inside–can’t risk not getting those pictures of the little one with the Big Man in Red! Then, have someone from the party stash the gift in the trunk of a pre-agreed upon car before going into the party. Have your party Santa pick them up from the trunk before he comes in, and when he visits the party to listen to Christmas wishes, Mom didn’t bring the present so Santa must have had it when he came!
- Set aside a day where you and your child sit down and write Santa Claus a letter. This is a nice, fun exercise and depending on your child’s age, could help them with their handwriting and letter skills–after all, they wouldn’t want to mess up a word or spelling in case Santa or the elves might misinterpret the present! You can buy special stationery, turn it into a craft to make your own, or find a template that you like to help you little one write what they want with clarity. For younger kids, it certainly helps to make a sheet that they can fill in, rather than having to draft an entire letter to St. Nick! This is a big moment, so they’ll feel a certain amount of pressure and you’ll want to alleviate that as much as possible. Sit down and make a sheet that they can fill in with “My name is ___”, “I am ____ years old”, “I have been naughty/nice this year” (have them circle one), and extra lines so that they can enumerate all of the things that they want for the holiday. Then, send it via USPS!
- While fun and classic, handwritten letters are a little old school and are easy for kids to outthink. So make sure that you have a more modern backup plan with this cool keepsake video from Santa Claus, personalized and recorded just for your little guy! We all know that there is nothing that makes evidence concrete quite like a video record. If it’s on tape then, well, how could it NOT be real? Visit here to make your own video evidence that even the finest little detective won’t be able to refute! A plus: if Santa is speaking directly to your child, they are WAY more likely to take that authority figure seriously and go out of their way to qualify for the Nice List that year.
- That’s right, the Nice List! What is the Santa Claus tradition without the requirement that your kiddo be well behaved enough to actually receive these presents in the first place! This time honored tradition has its roots in hundreds of years of (quite frankly, a little scary) history from all across the world. While we don’t suggest that you introduce Krampus into your family holiday routine, there are a plethora of ways that you can positively encourage the kids to be polite so that they deserve their haul on Christmas morning. Having a Nice List around as a constant reminder of how to behave is a great way to do this. You can always make your own by writing it out on butcher paper and hanging it on the wall and decorating it yourself, and we always encourage crafts. But, you may want the list to be a little more official looking to make it slightly more convincing, like it came from the office of the Man Himself. You can visit here to make that list, including a picture of your child so that they know that Santa wrote this nice list with them specifically in mind!
- Calling in reinforcements to help your kiddo believe is a great way to make sure that he or she maintains good behavior and also keeps the magic alive. Yes, we literally mean calling! You can visit Package From Santa to download the app and have personalized calls from the North Pole sent right to your phone, and who needs more proof than that! If you’re caught in a tight spot or just need to cool off a tantrum quickly, nothing is quite like hearing Santa and the elves as a reminder that the Nice List exists for a reason.
- A big part of the North Pole narrative is keeping that story streamlined and consistent, and nothing says “official” quite like a government website. Of course, we’re talking about the NORAD Santa Tracker, a great website to get your child involved in watching the magic of Christmas unfold along with thousands of kids across the country. And of course, it’s a great way to get them to bed on Christmas Eve! If you know when St. Nicholas is approaching, well then they’d better be tucked in and asleep by that time or else he won’t come visit! And it seems like every year they’re updating their program to make their website just a little bit cooler and a little more accurate. Tune into the magic on Christmas Eve at NORAD.
- Christmas Eve traditions help relieve the worry that Santa might not make it this year, which is one of the worst fears of all! Having a tradition for guiding the Big Man in Red to your house on the night before Christmas is a great way to soothe the fears of your little guy and, again, prove that Santa is real. If he’s showing up because you flipped your Christmas lights on and off three times as a signal to the skies before going to bed, then it’s the ritual that made him show up in the first place. There are tons of adorable craft ideas that we love, but one of our favorites incorporates those thirteen favorite animals: The Reindeer. Make a mix of biodegradable glitter and oats and sprinkle it on your lawn with your kiddo before they go inside for bed. The reindeer will be drawn to your house by the sparkle and the smell of yummy oats, so your home won’t go unnoticed! Reindeer food can also be packaged up and handed out at Christmas parties as a gift to your guests! Visit here for ideas on some recipes and packaging that we adore.
Everyone loves magic and Santa Claus is one of the best ways to keep the holiday spirit alive and vibrant throughout the fall and winter. The memories of coming down the stairs to find presents under the tree and the magic that it took to get them there are often some of the most treasured in any household. Enjoy this Christmas season with your little one, and keep your season magical! For more holiday tips and ideas, check out our other articles on Ultimate Mom. We have tons of great ideas for holiday recipes, crafts, and activities you can enjoy with your kids.