“Our kids are really into treasure hunts and adventures so my husband came up with the idea of an activity calendar instead of a chocolate advent calendar. Every day they’d have a little challenge or game to play when they got home from school, and then on Christmas morning we’d have a big treasure hunt to find their main presents.” – Jamie, 33
“My mum used to scrunch up tin foil and stick it to her wall. In the morning she’d tell me that the Christmas fairies had visited in the night and the foil was glitter that had fallen off when the fairies had bumped into the wall in the dark.” – Carolina, 27.
“It’s an obvious one but I always used to leave big Santa footprints and reindeer hoof-prints in the garden. It works better if there’s snow. My brother got hold of a little doll’s shoe from a charity shop and left it at the bottom of his daughter’s bed once. When she found it in the morning he told her it must be an elf’s shoe. She kept it on her bedside table until next Christmas, in case the elf wanted it back!” – Anne, 42
“I write my little girl a letter from Santa to read before she opens her presents on Christmas day. It’s a special little tradition and gives us time to make a cup of coffee whilst she reads it. I always mention the importance of family and being selfless at Christmas so that she doesn’t forget the meaning of the festive season.” – Lester, 36
“Every year we had issues with Christmas dinner- either being late or forgetting something important in all the madness, so now we invite the grandparents over on Christmas Eve and have a day of enjoying each other’s company and our big Christmas dinner. We always make enough for leftovers on Christmas day, and it means the day is left more open for the kids to play with their presents and the adults don’t have to stress out over whether the turkey’s done.” – Leigh-Anne, 39
“I like to spill glitter on the windowsill and let my kids’ imagination do the rest. The first time I did it they asked me what it was. When I shrugged and said I didn’t know my youngest immediately decided it must be fairy dust. They don’t bother to tell me when it happens anymore, but there’s always a sense of wonder on their faces.” – Matt, 32.
“Every year we have to get a real Christmas tree. It definitely makes Christmas feel more magical. We bake treats together on Christmas eve so that the house smells like sugar and cinnamon too.” – Laura, 30
“We set our Christmas traditions in place early so that even though the kids are all in their teens now we still have some traditions that make the day feel magical. Eggnog on Christmas Eve is a favourite (non-alcoholic for the underage) and we always have a nice breakfast before opening presents so that we can have some quiet time together before all the chaos.” – June, 46
“We’re very particular about tidiness in our house, so Christmas day is the one day a year where we make as much mess as we want. Starting with a fun obstacle course in the morning. We criss cross crepe paper across the bedroom doors so that the kids have to burst through it when they wake up, and we hide all the non-fragile presents amongst a pile of blown-up balloons so they have to dive through the balloons to find them. There is a lot of noise and excitement but it’s so much fun!” – David, 29
“My kids are all grown up now but we used to have a lot of fun buying presents for our pet dog and teddies. The dog would make us all laugh tearing the paper off his gift and the teddies always got something that could be shared with their best friend.” – Theia, 43
What are you doing this year to make Christmas magical?