*Be sure there are no little ones near your computer while you are reading this.
Only a few more sleeps until Christmas - a time for dreams and magic, elves and flying reindeer.
“There are two ways to believe in Santa Claus,” according to Rick Epstein, author of the book Rookie Dad Adventures in Fatherhood. “One way is to believe in him, the other is to help little children believe in him.”
For those trying to help the little ones believe, here are some ideas to light the magic in your child's eyes:
• leave Santa's footprints (in soot by the fireplace or in the snow at the front door)
• just before your child falls asleep, ring jingle bells outside their bedroom window
• leave a puddle of melted snow by the tree or the fireplace.
• take a bite of the cookie and a drink from the milk (and nibbles from carrots for the reindeer)
• leave a thank you note from Santa for the cookies and the milk; and a hoof print from Rudolph for the yummy carrots.
If you still have a couple of children left on your Christmas list, here are some last minute sure-fire hits, courtesy of Claire Klug, Co-author of Claire¹s Journal.
Create a Rainy Day Basket
Add crayons, paints, brushes, coloring books, storybooks, paper, hair bands, barrettes, sticker books, scissors, play dough. . . you get the idea.
Create a Box of Treasures
This gift will encourage a child¹s imagination and can be hours of fun. Take a large cardboard box, decorate the outside with scraps of wrapping paper, wall paper, or magazine pictures. Fill with wool ends, strings, glue scissors, empty thread spools, fabric scraps, coloring books and a small stapler. Fill up the box, wrap it and please the parents as well as the child.
Dress up Treasure Chest
A child’s imagination takes them from being clowns one minute to monsters the next. Make ‘dress-up’ fun for them with a kit full of make believe accessories. Use a tackle box, so that everything can be carted around and fill it with ‘let’s pretend goodies’ A mirror is a must after that fill the box with whatever catches your fancy. Wigs, false noses, jewellery, a moustache, hats, makeup sticks and so on.
A tape recording of the book they love - in your own voice. Play soft appropriate back ground music as you read or tell the story. Label and decorate the box.
Christmas is a wonderful time of year. It represents a chance for new beginnings, the chance to express your love and friendship to others, family gatherings, wonderful decorations and of course the food. It¹s also a wonderful time to start a new tradition - no matter the size of your family.
Here are some of our favorites - have fun creating yours.
• make one gift instead of buying all of them
• go carolling in your neighborbood and return home for hot chocolate and cookies
• do something as a family for the poor such as contributing to the food bank.
• give your child a Christmas ornament each year, so they grow up with a collection of their own.
• Don't forget the real meaning of Christmas, go to a candlelight Christmas Eve service.
And most of all, have a wonderful Merry Christmas with your family and friends.
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