4 Easy Ways to Create Holiday Magic for Your Kids
Twinkling holiday lights, intriguing tales of Santa Claus, and mysteries wrapped in festive paper fill the season with wonder for children. This season, spark their curiosity and create holiday magic. These four ideas will make your Christmas or Hanukkah celebrations extra enchanting.
1. Leave Clues From Santa
The youngest of children will delight in finding little clues that Santa Claus has visited their home. If you plan to set out a plate of Christmas cookies, be sure to remove a few and leave a bite mark in one before morning. If it’s a white Christmas, use a pair of work boots to create Santa’s footprints outside, near the side of the house by the chimney or front porch. Live in an apartment? Leave a dog collar with a jingle bell and name tag identifying one of the reindeer at the base of the tree. The kids will think Santa’s crew accidentally left behind a little token of their visit!
Making Christmas cookies together for Santa can become a cherished childhood memory.
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2. Light the Menorah With Singing
Does your family light a nine-branch menorah during Hanukkah? Instead of making this a mindless routine, turn it into a celebration that includes the children. Each day as a new candle is lit, sing a traditional Jewish song as a family, such as Ma’oz Tzur (Rock of Ages) or Light One Candle. If you have multiple children, focus on one child per candle lighting ceremony. Finish with hugs and kisses and tell them how they’ve contributed by lighting another candle for the family.
3. Read the Christmas Story Together and Act It Out
Sit down one evening and read the biblical story of Christmas to your children, then let the magic begin. Ask each person to pretend they’re someone from the story and encourage them to be creative and act out a scene. Is the family dog a donkey? Is a newborn sibling baby Jesus? Let the children scour the kitchen pantry for three gifts from the wise men. As long as the children are having fun and absorbing aspects of the story, the evening will be a success.
4. Eat Special Holiday Foods
Mix up the usual morning routine by surprising your kids with a holiday breakfast that honors their Jewish heritage. It’s customary to enjoy foods cooked in oil to represent the jar of oil that lasts eight days. The most popular foods are latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts). Prepare a platter of the two and indulge in the treats as a family before starting a busy day.
Keep jelly donuts from your local bakery in your kitchen during the holidays to celebrate the occasion and teach kids tradition.
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Whether you’re celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, it only takes a little extra planning to make the holiday season feel magical. Go beyond watching movies and playing games on digital devices. Create a little holiday magic for your kids this season and be sure to keep the camera handy. You will want these memories to last a lifetime!
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