This holiday season, we need a little Christmas magic to keep our spirits alive.
With shorter daylight and colder months, it’s hard to adjust to the conditions. Those Hallmark movie marathons are working hard to keep us going. But fear not, there are plenty of ways to keep the Christmas magic alive for everyone and create a very merry Christmas.
Apps to Keep the Christmas Magic Alive
1. Catch a Character
Show your kids proof that Santa was in their home with Catch A Character — an app that allows parents to create free photos using images of their own home, along with stock images of Santa Claus.
Santa can be shown placing presents beneath the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, checking his list, or even looking shocked to be caught on camera. To help parents keep holiday magic going year-round, the app also offers similar photos of the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.
2. Message From Santa
“Portable North Pole” is also an awesome app where you can check out realistic and customizable messages. You can browse through many different themed videos and calls including, videos for Christmas eve, videos for multiple kids, birthday videos, congratulations calls, and much more! With this app, you can also customize information like your child’s name, age, and some of their favorite things to make the video more personable.
3. Follow a Santa Tracker
In 1955, a little girl accidentally called the unlisted number for the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, believing she was calling Santa Claus after seeing a promotion in a local newspaper. The commander on duty that night and assured the youngster that CONAD would guarantee Santa a safe journey from the North Pole. Thus a tradition was born that rolled over to NORAD when it was formed in 1958.
Each year since then, NORAD has dutifully reported Santa’s location on Dec. 24 to millions across the globe. Be sure to follow their website, or check it out on Facebook or Instagram! There are also plenty of similar apps like “Santa Tracker” that provide top-notch tracking.
Ideas for Christmas Magic Around the House
4. Elf on the Shelf
Okay, this one has been popular for a while. And not every parent is enthusiastic about it. But I really think this could be the year for this little character. Your elf may have some extra time in the evenings to brainstorm some mischief and mayhem to get into, but if not, check out our fun ideas for Elf on the Shelf!
5. Reindeer Food
We all know Santa gets cookies, milk, and maybe even hot chocolate. But don’t forget about his hoofed companions! You can go the sweet tooth route, with Chex, M&Ms, pretzels, peanut butter, chocolate, and powdered sugar or you could go the health-conscious and perhaps more realistic approach with big carrots or oats mixed with edible glitter.
You'll find yourself hoping that the reindeer don't eat it all, because you'll definitely want some of this sweet treat!
When I worked in a preschool, we would always find Santa’s boot print stenciled onto the ground. With a light coat of confectioner’s sugar as the “snow” that looks like snow that’s dropped off his boots (or maybe soot from the fireplace). You can also make tiny little footprints for Santa’s helpful little elves, or hoofprints for reindeer!
7. Have Santa Call on the Phone
Okay, I know we’re in the tech age, but when I was little, Santa called me on the phone a few days before Christmas and it was a magical experience. All it takes is a quick change of the contact name, a little help from a family friend, and you’ve got an unforgettable memory. There are plenty of services you can purchase to receive a personalized message from Santa, but if you’ve got a family friend with a deep voice who’s up to it, why not?
8. Deck the Halls With Christmas Magic
Do you remember that holiday scene in Elf when Buddy’s New York City family woke up and he’d turned the house into a Winter Wonderland? It was complete with paper snowflakes, a homemade rocking horse, and dangling utensils (This is one of my favorite details. The idea that Buddy the Elf was looking for something shiny and decided dangling forks and spoons from the ceiling with fishing wire was festive? Brilliant.
Watch for it during the dinner table scene). While you don’t have to hang utensils from the ceiling, stepping up your decorating gamecan be a great way to keep the spirit alive. Decorate at night after the kiddos go to bed one early December evening and they’ll get to wake up to a festive and magical Christmas atmosphere.
Keeping the Christmas Magic Alive
This holiday season, giving the gift of Christmas magic and holiday cheer may be one of the best you can give. Sometimes, even simple gestures or a family experience can provide a joyous diversion from the pressures of the world. Your kids will love the excitement and magical atmosphere and will make memories that will last a lifetime
Jayne is a Virginia Beach native who loves her local community. She’s a thrift store enthusiast, musical theater fan, amateur hiker, and lover of all things creative and artsy. You can often find her combing the racks at the local thrift store searching for a fun and unique outfit or spending time getting lost in a good book.