Tuesday, 20 February 2018
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Christmas & New Year 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, a time for families to create their own special traditions and memories. Here’s a few of our favourite ideas to make your Christmas even more magical...

Take Photos To Treasure

It’s an obvious one, but don’t forget in all the excitement to take lots of family pics to create an album of your special Christmas together. Or customise your favourite festive snap into something special. We love the helpful elves at Capture The Magic who can turn a simple photo into a memorable keepsake with a few easy- to-follow steps. You can even take a photo of your room as it will look on Christmas Eve and then capture Santa dropping off the presents to show the kids in the morning. Find at capturethemagic.com

Let It Snow

According to the MET Office it’s been seven years since the last widespread white Christmas. We don’t know what the forecast is for this year, however if your child is dreaming of a snowball fight, or even building a mini Olaf from Frozen, you can make their wish come true by buying or making your own snow. We tried out Insta-Snow, a winner in the Science Toy Awards 2017. You simply add water to the powder and, like magic, it expands in front of your eyes to create fluffy snow. It doesn’t melt or dissolve and lasts for ages. When dry, it returns to a powder that can be used as snow again with just a little more water. Insta-Snow is available in a handy single tube (RRP £3.99) or a large 100g jar (RRP £7.99) creating a huge pile of snow! Find at trendsuk.co.uk or Amazon.

You can also make your own fake snow for a Christmas themed playtime. Empty a 500g box of baking soda into a large bowl and slowly mix in up to half a can of shaving foam (avoid heavily fragranced products). Give your snow a magical sparkle by adding some iridescent white glitter. Store in the fridge to make it icy cold just like real snow!

Make a Christmas Eve Box

The night before Christmas is already an exciting time for kids, thinking about Santa getting his sleigh and reindeer ready to deliver presents to children all over the world. One new tradition we’ll definitely be indulging in this year is a Christmas Eve Box, which is really just a cute way of bringing together a few little treats as an extra surprise before the big day arrives. It’s thought the idea was inspired from countries like Germany, where presents are opened on Christmas Eve. Traditional contents include; slippers, a new pair of pyjamas or nightwear to wake up in on Christmas day; a book, perhaps a Christmas story for bedtime? A favourite Christmas movie DVD for everyone to snuggle up and enjoy. Add a few tasty treats – the ingredients to make a luxury hot chocolate, popcorn, a gingerbread man or chocolate coins – and the final flourish, don’t forget the magic reindeer food* to sprinkle outside to guide Rudolph and his friends to your home. The box itself could become a family tradition too. Buy a plain white box for your child to create their own special Christmas scene on, or invest in something sturdy and personalised which can be used for many years to come.

Make Your Own Reindeer Food

Just mix porridge oats with glitter, or keep it bird-friendly by using coloured sugar instead so the robins can enjoy it too.

Turn A Room Into A Christmas Winter Wonderland

This requires a little bit of effort and, depending on the size of the wall, it’s not the cheapest way to create some magic, however there’s no denying the impact this would make as the kids bounce down the stairs on December 25 to discover the Christmas tree in front of one of these stunning scenes. From snowy birch trees and reindeer to illustrated folklore patterns and mystical landscapes, you can choose from a vast range of beautiful images and bring the magic of Christmas to your home. Whether you’re looking to create Santa’s grotto for the children or are hosting a family get together, these removable Christmas murals are a perfect temporary solution for creating festive décor that will impress. Prices start from £26/m2. Available to order on removable peel and stick wallpaper from wallsauce.com

Receive A Letter, Email Or Video Message From Santa

Even though he’s preparing for his busiest day of the year, Santa’s never so busy that he doesn’t have time to write a letter or video message to every child. To receive a reply from Santa via Royal Mail, post your letter with a first class stamp to: Father Christmas, Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ by no later than Friday 8 December and don’t forget to include your name and full postal address. Lots of charities offer to deliver your special letter from Santa for a small donation of around £5. That way, not only does your child have the delight of receiving a letter, but your donation will help other vulnerable children too. Visit nspcc.org.uk/santa. To help blind and partially sighted children. Santa will also reply by email. Email Santa@rnib.org.uk by Friday 15 December.

At Ni4kids HQ we think a video message from Santa is something that makes Christmas even more magical. The PNP site allows you to create a free personalised video message for your child by uploading photos and telling Santa the names of family and friends and just what special gifts they are hoping for this Christmas. Plus, find out the long-anticipated Santa’s Verdict that lets your loved one know if they are on Santa’s Naughty or Nice list! For a small cost you can choose the premium option to receive extra personalisation content and more scenes. See how the elves use their magic door, the magic wrapping machine... you can even get a call on Christmas Eve from Santa’s sleigh. And if you still believe in the magic of Christmas, there’s a special message just for grown-ups too. Find at PortableNorthPole.com

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