Friday, October 9, 2009

Inexpensive Ways To Make Christmas Special

Let's face it, although Christmas is a wonderful time of year, it can also be stressful. The truth is that some people are more depressed during the holiday season than any other time of the year. This is sometimes due to loneliness but many other times it is related to feelings of powerlessness or complete failure when one is not able to provide the gifts or the Christmas that they feel their family deserves.

The good news is that the focus of Christmas doesn't have to be on gifts at all - instead, it can be placed on a nice tradition of getting together with family and loved ones. Just enjoying time together, having a nice meal and conversation can be a very nice way to celebrate the holidays.

As for the children, that can be very easy. Begin with fun things like doing simple craft projects. My family has always used Thanksgiving to mark the beginning of the Christmas holiday season. After our traditional dinner, the children gather around the table and write their first letters of the season to Santa. I say first because they usually end up writing two or sometimes three.

You know how that goes - the kids change their minds as time goes on and they worry that they will be on Santa's Naughty List because of some bad behavior so they write another letter to explain it away.

Another wonderful tradition is decorating our home. Once again the kids get in on the action. They enjoy making ornaments and other items to adorn the house. They proudly point out to visitors the things they have created.

By instilling these basic traditions in our children at an early age we are teaching them that there is more to Christmas than simply what is under the tree. In fact, one of our traditions is for the kids to make Christmas cards out of construction paper for the residents of a local nursing home.

We draw names for each of us in the family and the idea is that we have to 'make' the gift that we give. This has been a lot of fun for everyone - and even though the gifts are simple and sometimes, lacking the expertise needed to make them what they should be - they are extremely special because they were handcrafted just for us.

We also play silly games on Christmas Eve where the winners get a prize from the 99 cent store. It's good family fun.

By using your imagination and creativity you can find ways of making Christmas special. How about having your children receive a genuine letter from Santa direct from the North Pole? This inexpensive gift will become a treasured keepsake and you will cherish the delight on the kids' faces as they read the letters again and again.

I will be posting more ideas as time goes by so keep checking in!

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"7 Simple Techniques for Keeping Your Child Believing in Santa Claus”

Many parents love to see the joy and excitement Santa Claus can bring to their child. For many people, their childhood memories of Santa Claus are the best Christmas memories they have. Keeping your child believing in Santa, however, can be a daunting task. Children are smart these days, and some of the old Santa tricks just don’t get by them anymore. Many children are perpetually plagued with the question, “Is there a Santa Claus?”

Every family may have slightly different Christmas traditions with regards to Santa Claus, but there are some very easy things any person can do to keep the belief in Santa at an all time high. The following 7 techniques will keep your child believing in the magic and wonderment of Santa Claus and you don’t have to be familiar with the history of Santa Claus to apply them.

1) Have your child write a Santa Letter. This can be a simple letter that your child can write to Santa Claus. Children absolutely love to write a letter to Santa, but they occasionally need a little parental guidance to pull it off.

Help your child include a special list of gifts they desire for Christmas into the Santa letter. Many children enjoy getting more creative by drawing or cutting out pictures that represent the gifts they want.

Once the child’s Santa letter is finished, simply mail it to the North Pole. Mail it to the following Santa Claus address: Santa Claus, 1 Candy Cane Lane, North Pole 00001. Don’t bother using a return address, you wouldn’t want it to return as ‘undeliverable’ for any reason.

2) Write a Letter from Santa and have your child receive it in the mail. Create a personalized letter from Santa by directly mentioning your child’s name and certain information about your child in the text. This will make for a much more believable Santa letter. Be sure to make these letters from Santa different for each child in the same household. The child will have no doubt that Santa Claus is coming to town after they receive their personalized letter from Santa!

“I can honestly state as a parent that the personalized letter from Santa has single handedly restored my son’s belief! The look of shock and amazement on his face when he got an ‘authentic letter from Santa’ quickly abolished any doubt he previously had about Santa Claus.”

Print the Santa letter on authentic looking letterhead, as this will help to reinforce the believability. Many different styles of paper can be found at your local office supply store.

You can add to the fun by getting your letter from Santa postmarked at the North Pole. Simply send your Santa letter inside another sealed, stamped envelope to: North Pole Christmas Cancellation, Postmaster, 5400 Mail Trail, Fairbanks, AK 99709-9999. (It needs to arrive by December 15th)

Many parents add a certificate for being on Santa’s “Nice List” along with the Santa Letter for added effect. Another great item to add with the Santa letter is a Santa Claus coloring sheet. Combining the personalized Santa letter, the nice certificate, and the Santa Claus coloring sheet is a sure fire method for keeping your child believing.

3) Have your child leave milk and cookies out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. This is simple enough to do with your child. It lets your child know YOU still believe, too. Make it a bonding experience for you and your child by baking the cookies together on Christmas Eve. Don’t underestimate how powerful this can be for creating joyful memories of Santa Claus, for both you and your child. Did you know that Santa’s favorite cookie recipe is Chocolate Chip?

Put the fresh cookies on a plate next to a glass of cold milk. You can even put a short letter to Santa Claus next to the cookies and milk. These tasty treats will give Santa the energy he needs to continue traveling to the millions of other households awaiting his arrival.

Don’t forget to leave some crumbs on the table Christmas morning. Your child will feel honored that Santa Claus ate the whole plate of cookies and drank all of the milk before rushing on his way.

4) On Christmas Eve, have your child sprinkle reindeer food on the lawn. Santa Claus gets milk and cookies on Christmas Eve, but what about Rudolph and the rest of the joyful gang? What do they eat? Well, reindeer food, of course!

You can make a batch of environmentally friendly reindeer food with common grocery items such as oats or granola. (Do not use potentially hazardous items, such as glitter in your reindeer food. Although this may make the reindeer food appear to be magical in some way, it can be extremely dangerous if ingested by small children, should they decide to ‘sample’ the reindeer food. It can also be potentially hazardous to the small animals outside such as rabbits, dogs, or cats that may eat the food.)

Once you have the reindeer food mixed up, walk outside with your child on Christmas Eve night and explain the importance of making sure Santa’s sleigh team stays fed. Sprinkle a small amount onto your yard near bushes or trees.

This healthy reindeer snack will give Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer the nourishment they need to continue flying Santa’s heavy sleigh into the night. Your child will be proud for helping Santa Claus on his journey, and is sure to raise the belief in Rudolph and the other reindeer as well.

5) Leave Santa Claus tracks in your house on Christmas Eve. Being sure to not stain your carpet, leave some dirty boot prints by the fireplace (or doorway). Be sure to draw attention to the Santa Claus footprints on Christmas morning. To a child, this is solid evidence that Santa had been to their house.

6) A month or so after Christmas, send your child a postcard from Santa Claus on vacation. This not only keeps your child believing, but reminds your child that Santa is in their hearts all year long. It also answers the common question posed by children after Christmas, “Where is Santa Claus now?”

Be sure to make the postcard from somewhere very warm and sunny. After all, Santa does need a break from all that North Pole snow.

7) Mail your child a birthday greeting from Santa Claus. This technique works in tandem with the personalized Santa Letter you mailed your child previously. Mailing your child a simple birthday card from Santa is an excellent way to keep your child’s belief high throughout the year. Your child will think, “Wow! Santa actually knows my birthday!” The shock on your child’s face will be priceless.

Parents that have extremely intelligent kids or kids that are getting slightly older will genuinely need to utilize all 7 techniques mentioned above to keep their child believing in Santa Claus.

These techniques will assure your child is one of the millions of children that write Santa Letters each and every holiday season… one of the millions of children that believe wholeheartedly in Santa Claus.

A reputable, inexpensive website that offers all of this as a service can be found here: www.PackageFromSanta.com