*The content in this post was written in-line with the Covid-19 restrictions at the time. Please follow the current Government guidelines relating to lockdown, social distancing and all relevant matters.*

It’s the most magical time of the year – and this December we’re planning on adding some extra sparkle to the festivities.

From homemade decorations to creative ways of welcoming Santa, we’ve found the best tips, tricks and inexpensive ideas that will make this Christmas even more memorable for all of the family. 

Creative Christmas crafts

The simplest and most traditional ‘make’ is to create your own decorations for the Christmas tree. Any wooden shape, a piece of ribbon or modelling clay can be used to make something totally unique. 

This is one to get the kids involved with, because they’ll love seeing their own handiwork alongside your usual baubles and tinsel – and every year when you get the decorations out of the attic, you can relive those treasured Christmas memories all over again. 

If you love baking, gingerbread has a million uses at Christmas time. Of course, gingerbread snowmen and women, gingerbread reindeer and gingerbread snowflakes are staples, and if you’re a little more advanced you can go for a gingerbread house or a nativity scene. But you may not have considered the simplicity of gingerbread tree decorations – they look (and taste) delicious.

When it comes to crafts, check out the free Christmas colouring pages available to download and print from Crayola. Or why not have a game of Christmas bingo with these free cards. There are lots of free printable baubles, games, cards and decorations available online too.

A letter, a zoom call or both?

Have you written a letter to Santa yet? This year, why not suggest a time that the family will be available for a Zoom call from the big man too. Obviously, he’ll be very busy at this time of the year but he should be able to find a gap in his schedule for a bit of Facetime from the North Pole. Maybe aunts, uncles and grandparents can help to organise those calls too.

Festive film-athon

Everyone has a favourite Christmas film – but which one is the ultimate festive treat? Does Christmas only feel like Christmas after you’ve watched Home Alone? Or are you on your tenth screening of Miracle on 34th Street already? This year why not make a list of your family’s favourite festive films and plan to watch them all in the build up to Christmas Day. 

Who has the best Christmas lights?

While Christmas light switch-on events may have been virtual this year, houses all across Cumbria are lighting up every night with the most fabulous twinkling displays.

Wrap up warm for a walk around your neighbourhood or take a flask of hot chocolate for a drive around your nearest towns and villages – this December there are so many amazing light displays that it will be tricky to pick a favourite.

A helping hand for Father Christmas

Not all homes have a chimney – but if Father Christmas has a magic key, then he can let himself in on Christmas Eve. 

This year make sure Santa knows how to get into your home by making your very own key, which can be placed in a safe space before bedtime. Perhaps he could post it back through the letterbox after he’s been. 

Santa might need instructions about what goes where in your home – glitter arrows will help guide him through the house or alert him to where the stockings are hanging this year.

Don’t forget to check the Official Santa Tracker, which has been charting his journey around the world for the past 65 years. 

And on Christmas morning…

The first thing to do on Christmas morning is check that Father Christmas was able to deliver his presents overnight. The only way to find out? His hot milk has been drunk, there are only crumbs left where the mince pie was and one of the reindeer has taken a bite out of the carrot.

If children love unwrapping presents, how would they feel if they have to unwrap the door to get into the room where their presents are? Or instead of finding all of the presents under the tree this year, how about a festive treasure hunt with lots of clues so the children can find their presents hidden around the house.
If breakfast comes before presents, how about tucking into one that originates from the North Pole? You’ll be happy to hear this can be helpfully prepared by the Christmas elves. Lay out places at the table ready for the morning, including festive tablecloths, mugs and crockery, and the menu is up to the elves.

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