Growing up, my mom did a really incredible job of making Christmas feel magical. My most distinct memories were the personal visits from Santa himself (from the real Santa, not the mall Santa) that she’d orchestrate. My sister and I would be totally surprised, entranced, and feel so, so, so special. A brief visit from the man himself worked wonders to confirm and enhance the magic we felt around us during the holidays.
The “source” of all Christmas magic for kids, the man in red, only needs to make a brief appearance in your kid’s life to get them truly stroked. And it doesn’t even have to be IRL. With the magic of the interwebs, Santa can be brought to you whenever it’s most convenient for you. Use one of these Christmas magic hacks to do a little something extra to bring a bit of the North Pole home this year.
Stage an elf visit
One ding dong ditch from an elf totally beats surreptitiously shifting around an elf on the shelf every single day. If gifting Christmas pajamas are in your arsenal of Christmas Eve traditions, make the surprise even better – have them delivered by an “elf.” Wrap the gift and ask a neighbor to ding dong ditch your house, leaving the gift (from Santa and his elves) outside your front door, with a personal message.
Visit NORAD’s Santa Tracker
With up-to-the-second internet capabilities, Santa’s journey around the globe be now be checked on all month long, on Twitter (you don’t need an account to follow along.) This family-friendly program created by the North American Aerospace Defense Command tracks Santa’s journey around the world using military sensors and technology. (… And magic, of course.)
Download the “Letters to Santa” app
So, there’s a time and place for snail mail – hand writing a letter to the North Pole is a Christmas classic, but why not get more than one letter this year? The $.99 Letter To Santa app let’s kids email a letter to Santa, and a few hours later he’ll send back a response. Or, check out the free Letters from Santa Clause site to create your own personalized letter in 2 minutes to print out, or you can have it emailed to you.
Put Santa in a photo
If your kids are tiny conspiracy theorists and suspect this whole Santa thing is crap, surprise the contrarian out of them with capturethemagic.com. This site lets you upload a photo, drag, drop, and resize one of hundreds of Santa images in various poses into it, and then immediately download and print the picture. That’ll be one to frame.
Show evidence of Santa’s visit
After Christmas morning has come and gone and the presents have been unwrapped, keep the surprises coming – lead your kids outside to reveal the chewed up carrots sprayed out on the lawn. Or, glitter (magic dust) that’s been sprinkled on the snow. Maybe you find Santa’s license under the tree? The list of possibilities for showing evidence of his visit goes on…
For more ways to make Christmas magic leading up to the big event, check out these ways to count down as a family throughout the month of December.