How to have a Magical Christmas

I really enjoy Christmas and over the years I have done what I can to make it as magical as I can for my kids.   
Christmas day is slow release. Stocking's first thing, a little Christmas telly, a big present or two, then lunch.

After lunch, we open our presents, slowly. Sometimes we play a board game or two or watch a Christmas film and in between another present, so the kids can appreciate each one.

Now my parents are gone and my in-laws are in Ireland, it’s just us. 

It is a very chilled out day, we go to church the day before, it’s nice to sing a carol at Christmas, and although I’m not a believer my husband is and it’s important to him.

When I was little, the stockings would be in my Mum and Dads room, my brother and I would wait for as long as we could bear and then head to their room and open the stockings on the bed with them. I never questioned why Santa brought the stockings to their room, never. Now I know it was just to get another half hour in bed like an idiot I didn’t do this and my kid's stockings are downstairs by the fireplace – doh. 

Below is a bit of Cine film from my 2nd Christmas - I'm the baby

Our stockings were old school,  there would be a chocolate orange, a tangerine, some chocolate money, some nuts and maybe a little toy. They were the best thing and made me so happy, pulling the things out one by one, each one a surprise.
My children have dozens of things in their stockings, the tangerine and nuts are gone, but there is usually chocolate money and a chocolate orange, I have to keep up some traditions.

I could talk about how Christmas has become commercialised and people getting in debt, but I’m not going to (much), I do think there is a lot of pressure for people to spend a fortune at Christmas, but there are other ways, I made all my friends scarfs last year, and my children made their friends hot chocolate in a jar with a marshmallow snowman, my scarfs worked out at under a fiver each and the kids presents less than a pound. You just have to be careful not to get drawn in by all the advertising and nonsense, contemplate what it means to you and then go from there.

I never told my kids Santa wasn't. What I told my children is that I believe in the magic that is Santa, I believe he comes every year and fills the world with a little bit of magic, without him doing that how do you explain all the joy?

Similarly, I love the nativity story (and what a story it is) a baby born in a stable and visited by shepherds, kings and angels following a star, lovely, magical.

Ahhh... the smells, cloves, cinnamon and orange, all together. I usually make bread sauce on Christmas Eve, it’s the only time I do it as I’m the only one in the house that likes it, but it fills the house with the smell of cloves and bay leaves, for me, that’s Christmas.

I have scented candles throughout the Christmas period, for the kids, this means it is Christmas if your house smells right the rest will follow.

Of course, now there is 'she who must not be named' Alexa, and so we start the day by saying 'turn on Christmas' sadly we have to ask her to turn it off at bedtime.

When I was a child we would drive around Shropshire dropping off presents at various second cousins and aunties and always stop for tea and cake, it would be a long and protracted affair, where time was taken at each place for a catch on news and food was shared.

As a child some places were more fun than others, some Aunties more accommodating to kids, than others, but it was lovely, Christmassy and everyone had a smile when we saw them.

So yes, I love Christmas, nothing you do or say could ever change that, let your child inside celebrate it as a time to give thanks and share love, because really, that’s what it’s all about.

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