I am more excited for Christmas this year than I have been for any other since I was a child, as my eldest, Master H, being 3 years old, is finally old enough to know the magic of Christmas.
The trees, lights, decorations, carols – everything is new and exciting to him, especially the idea of Santa.
I have been able to take such joy in him discovering all these things that I decided this year was the year to start some of our own family traditions.
I love the idea of having a Christmas Eve box. These are generally filled with a Christmas movie and snacks. The idea is that you open it up on Christmas Eve and have a family celebration. It is something I will be starting in years to come when my boys get old enough to stay up late enough to fit in a movie before bed, but also develop attention spans that last that long!
Christmas Advent Calendars are another fun Christmas tradition. I did start a special advent calendar for my boys this year. I saw the idea on Pinterest where you take 24 Christmas books (they don’t have to be new, mine were a mix of old and new) and you wrap each one individually and put them out in a stack. Open one each day and when you reach the end of the pile, that means Santa will be coming that night. I thought this was a great way to explain the concept of time to my little ones, and also keep the excitement going for the whole month. They love getting up each morning and opening their new Christmas book and seeing what it will be that day.
But by far the best tradition we have started is Elf on the Shelf. These cute little scout elves have exploded in Australia this year and are only going to get bigger.
Christmas Elf on the Shelf
The idea is Santa sends the elf to homes to watch over boys and girls and report back if they have been naughty or nice. Each night he uses his Christmas magic to go back to Santa and give him the daily report. Santa’s elves are known to be a bit cheeky and get up to fun mischief in the house while everyone is sleeping – think playing with the other toys or getting into tricky spots.
Our elf, Tink, has been a huge hit this year. It only took two nights for Master H to get the idea that Tink is found in a new place each day. As soon as he is up he goes on the hunt to find where Tink has ended up. Master H also proudly takes anyone who comes by to see our “friendly little elf” and and he also understands that Tink will report to Santa. Many times over the past two weeks, he has delighted in telling us that Tink will tell Santa about his good behaviour and that Santa will be so happy with him.
The best thing about this tradition is that Tink will grow with our boys. With the boys being so little, our elf is up high where they can’t touch him (he will lose his Christmas magic if they do!) and I have kept it really simple just moving him from room to room.
As they get older I can start doing more fun things with Tink, and make him more interactive in the antics he gets up to. When they are old enough to be past the Santa stage, there is even a whole stack of “adult only” ideas out there to give everyone a laugh. I love that this tradition I am starting with them now will be something they will be able to enjoy their whole lives.
Because to me, that is part of what Christmas is about – the sense of family, enjoying one another and making wonderful memories.