Join Julie and the Team as they sit down with a mince pie and a hot cuppa to chat about how they create the Magic of Christmas with their families and prepare for the special day.
Setting the scene
Helping your little one to enjoy the countdown to Christmas and creating some magical traditions of your own is a lovely way to have fun right through the Christmas period. It doesn’t have to cost a lot. Reusing keepsake decorations and making the most of what is on locally helps to create magical memories. “Is it really Christmas without your Mum and Dad taking you for a drive round the village to look at everyone’s Christmas lights!” giggles Katie.
“Absolutely! Christmas doesn’t start until we have been to the Crib Service on Christmas Eve!” Julie replies. “It’s always gorgeous!”
“It’s the little memories and traditions that make it special,” Kirsty adds. “As a child, we used to have this advent calendar that was like a puzzle. Each day through advent, you had to take a piece from around the side and place it in the centre to build a scene. I loved it!”
“Now we have a Nativity Scene and all the characters start at different places around the house. Each day the children move the characters a little closer to the stable. Then on Christmas Eve, they all arrive!”
The Christmas Food
Part of the Magic of Christmas can come from the food we share at this special time of year. Here in the Toy Shop we love a good mince pie! In fact, we have a little known secret, our Mince Pie Chart, to rate all the different ones we sample! Shhhhh! Don’t tell…
Baking your own Christmas delicacies is great fun with children and can even be turned into homemade gifts to share. “We make chocolate Christmas Trees every year,” says Heather. “The kids enjoy them with Christmas Eve boxes and a new pair of pj’s for Christmas morning.”
“We like decorating a gingerbread house together as a family,” adds Emily, “Then leaving out a carrot and a mince pie. Make sure to buy mince pies before Julie has had them all! (Ha ha! Very funny Emily!) I like to make sure we give to our local Food Bank at Christmas too. We like to choose some Christmas themed items to share like stuffing mixes and gravy.”
One way to keep your little one busy in the run up to Christmas is to enjoy a Christmas Craft or two. We love a good excuse to get the crafts out and have fun making something. They can be used as gifts too and a lovely keepsake for years to come.
Katie from Wiggle, Shake and Make at the Rainbow Room suggests keeping things simple yet effective. “I have found over the years that the things the children remember and treasure the most are the simpler things, like lighting a fire in the hearth and playing a game together. We still love Orchard Toys in our house.”
“Another tradition we have is that the Kindness Elves come and visit. They suggest acts of kindness the children can do.” What a lovely way to spread some festive smiles.
It can feel rather stressful trying to pick out the perfect gift at Christmas. And with special offers and deals advertised all around us, it can all too easily become a bit bewildering. We are often asked in the shop, “I need a gift but I haven’t a clue what to get!”
It’s worth remembering that any gift chosen or made with love is going to be a great choice. We’ve put together our favourites here. Choose something that you would like to play or do with the child. Or select a gift that brings back your own childhood memories. Chances are, if they see you having fun with that toy, book or game, then they will cherish it too. It’s often a little thing, a stocking filler or similar, that makes the biggest impression on Christmas morning. Ultimately, it’s the fun of playing and spending time together that will create the Magic of Christmas and the lasting memories.
Tell us your traditions and childhood memories…
How do you make The Magic of Christmas? What are your childhood memories or top tips for getting organised? Share them with us in the comments below.
Thank you and a very Merry Christmas to All!