After last Christmas I didn’t think my little toddler could get any more excited about Christmas, but it turns out my now 3yr old can! As little traditions, familiarities, treats and consumerism get more and more ingrained in him each year, I guess it’s inevitable! So with it being December and the first advent doors now open, we’re beginning to get all Christmassy chez Parker, and I’m looking forward to rolling out a series of little activities with Louis over the festive period. All of these I hope will be form part of our annual family traditions.
Starting with writing ‘The List’… the other day Louis came home from preschool all a bit anxious, he’d been asked to draw a list for Father Christmas, so they could post off their letters on a festive walk they have planned. However Louis told me that he didn’t do it, because he “didn’t know how to draw a ‘Hatchimal’ or a ‘Shopkin’…”, but instead of trying, he drew nothing. We had a chat and I explained that Father Christmas would know exactly what he meant, so it didn’t matter and perhaps he could try again on Monday…and that’s when an idea sprung to mind!
He loves flicking through those toy catalogues (didn’t we all as a kid!), he’s worried about not being able to draw or write what he wants – we’ll obviously still encourage him to try – and he loves cutting and sticking! Sorted!
Prior to starting the activity I researched into some of these strangely named things he’d been asking for online and suss out the availability and pricing (this list was getting quite extensive!). It turns out that all these little figurine toys he loves, can range from anything from £5 to £75, honestly I’m not paying £75 for a hatching cuddly toy that he’ll play with for 5 mins!! However you can get pocket money priced versions of these too. So using Amazon lists, I created a list of available, reasonably priced and age appropriate items and proceeded to print out little thumbnail pics of each of them.
When it came to the task, I set the scene, reminded him why we were doing it and presented him with a few catalogues that had come through the door recently, and of course the print out of these things he’d asked for.
We wrote the intro together, discussing what to write and then encouraged him to join the dots of his name, so Father Christmas would know who it was from! He then stuck some festive stickers over the page around the toys we’d cut and stuck on the page, and coloured in a few stars I’d helped him by drawing.
He was so proud of himself and it was so lovely to do together on a cold, sunny afternoon. Ok, so massively endorsing the consumer side of Christmas, but there are also many other activities we plan to do which aren’t, and after all presents are part of the magic too.
And when it comes to presents, we plan to get him involved in the giving side too – wrapping and helping write cards for grandparents and acting as ‘postman’ on Christmas Day. This is a tradition from my childhood, which is where the youngest one(s) take on the job of handing out presents, one by one, watching the recipient unwrap it with everyone else, and therefore waiting before another can be chosen and handed out.
We are also having him help by giving to our local church, where we donate food bank items and gifts, and this year we’ve volunteered to distribute parish cards along our street – which he’ll be coming along for! I’m not sure he fully understands this concept yet, but we’ve been reading ‘The Christmas Story’ which explains why we give and receive gifts at this festive time, so hopefully he soon will.
And speaking of childhood traditions, we used to leave our lists by the chimney for elves to collect, but seeing as we don’t have one in our house, it’s being left under his tree in his bedroom for the elves to collect.
I love hearing about other people’s Christmas traditions, it’s such a special time of year, please do comment with yours or let me know on Instagram.
Please share yours with me to.