Most of us remember our childhood Christmases as times of magic and innocence when we spent days writing letters to Santa, making wish lists and baking mince pies to leave out on Christmas Eve. These days, thanks to the rise of the internet and technology, things don’t work in quite the same way. So many children have tablets and smartphones that it can be difficult to maintain the magic of Christmas, especially with the truth about Santa lurking just around the corner of every web page.
The children of the digital age are smart and savvy, and would probably rather email their Christmas list to Santa than write it by hand and put it in a mailbox. Many of them know far more about technology than we do, which can sometimes make us feel as though the magic of Christmas is a thing of the past. However, there are plenty of things that we can do to regain that traditional festive feeling, even in an age where our children seem to be much more knowledgeable about the latest gadgets than we are.
Create a Winter WonderlandAlthough children now seem to be growing up faster than ever, they still enjoy the excitement and wonder of Christmas when it comes round. It’s a wonderful thing to see children forgetting about their tech devices and getting involved in activities such as making Christmas decorations and playing in the snow, and there are many opportunities for us to facilitate moments like this within our own homes.
One way to bring the magic of Christmas into your own home is to do a mini makeover and transform it into a stunning festive grotto. Younger children will particularly love this idea, but older ones can get involved too, with a bit of encouragement. To start off, you’ll need to create the ideal space for your winter wonderland, be it in a garden or a living room. If you want to create a larger space in your home, you could invest in internal bifolding doors to open up your living room and kitchen areas or consider simply rearranging your furniture.
When it comes to decorating, it’s vital that children get involved as much as possible. From making paper chains and snowflakes to decorating the tree and putting up stockings and fairy lights, there are so many things you can do to bring the magic of Christmas into your home. You could try painting mason jars with Christmas patterns, putting fairy lights in vases or making your own wreath. All of this will encourage children to spend more time away from their screens and to enjoy the true meaning of Christmas, which is, of course, spending time with family.
Use the TechnologyAlthough technology might be a little intimidating for some of us, it can be used to really engage young people and children in the festive season. It may seem counterintuitive to use mobile devices to recreate a traditional Christmas feel, but for the children of the digital age, it really can work. Although the internet might seem like a danger zone for young children who are still very much into Santa Claus, it actually has some excellent resources for parents who want to encourage the festive spirit.
As well as emailing Santa their Christmas list, children can have a video call with Santa via an app available for both Android and iOS devices. This will pretty much be proof of Santa’s existence for many children, especially those who really enjoy playing on tablets and smartphones. This excitement can then be harnessed and used in offline activities, such as making Christmas decorations and wrapping presents. If your children particularly enjoying arts and crafts, you could ask them to make advent calendars for each other or even create Christmas cards for their friends and family.
One thing that certainly won’t help children to come away from their screens and enjoy your homemade grotto is banning them from using tablets and smartphones. Of course, having a maximum amount of screen time for each day or week is an excellent rule all year round, but enforcing this for Christmas isn’t going to encourage them to enjoy the festive season. They’ll see family time as a punishment, rather than as something to be enjoyed, which is obviously not the desired result. Instead, try harnessing the power of technology and creating fun offline activities that children of all ages can enjoy. This will allow you to create a family Christmas fit for any digital native.