Monday, 17 September 2018

11 ways to still have a magical Christmas when your children are too old for Santa

Visiting Father Christmas has always been such a big part of Christmas for us and it's something I always look forward to. So what happens when your children out-grow this tradition? Nothing really prepares you for it and it just kind of happens. You never visit Father Christmas and think at the time 'this may be our last time'. As a warning to other parents, I feel this happens when your children reach the age of 9/10. Harry is almost 12 now and he didn't visit Father Christmas at intu Metrocentre with us last year and I this year I've booked to visit Father Christmas at Alnwick Garden without him. If it wasn't for the fact that Heidi and Jack have a little cousin to enjoy this experience with now, I reckon they'd not be far behind Harry.

11 ways to still have a magical Christmas when your children are too old for Santa

Just because my children are older now does not mean that I want to lose the magic of Christmas. I still really love this time of year and I'm keen to make lots of memories and add a sprinkle of magic to our December. Today, I've decided to share a few ways in which you can still have a magical Christmas, even when you're children are too old to visit Santa.

1 - Visit your local Panto at night

Heading into town when it's dark to watch a Christmas Panto always feels exciting to me. Harry, Heidi and Jack's panto of choice would always be at Newcastle's Theatre Royal as this is the one they've watched every year with school and it holds lots of special memories for them (plus they have so much love for Danny Adams). I also think this panto is one of the more grown-up options and something they won't feel is too babyish for them. I think as my children grow into teens, visiting a panto each December is most definitely going to still be on the cards and its a tradition we'll continue to enjoy.

2 - Hot chocolate dates

I don't know many children who don't see a trip to the local cafe to indulge in a hot chocolate as a treat. This year's trend seems to be unicorn hot chocolates and I'm looking forward to sharing a treat like this with the kids in December.

11 ways to still have a magical Christmas when your children are too old for Santa  - starbucks christmas hot chocolate

3 - Ice skating

Personally, I'm not a fan of ice skating and neither is Jack. Steve and Heidi are pros though and Harry likes to give it a good go too. Now that the kids are older, they can skate on proper outdoor ice rinks (none of this fake ice malarky) and they absolutely love it. We visited the Centre for Life's outdoor rink last year and will probably do the same this year.

4 - Christmas movie night with friends

You're never too old for a Christmas Movie night (see here for 24 Christmas Movie Ideas). Classics such as Gremlins, Elf and Home Alone are perfect for older kids. I shared a few ideas to make a Christmas movie party special in this post but generally, hot dogs, a popcorn stand and hot chocolate station will go down well.

5 - Reverse advent calendar

Part of the magic of Christmas is feeling the pleasure in giving a gift and doing something for others and a fantastic way to do this is to get the kids involved in a reverse advent calendar. Ask them to give up some of their usual treats (or raid the cupboards) and pop them in a box and then at the end of the month take your box to a local food bank.

6 - Visit a Christmas Market

The twinkling lights, sounds and smells of Christmas Markets are always special and tweens and teens will generally be tempted by some chocolate coated churros, roast chestnuts or a ride on the ferris wheel. It's a bit of a tradition that we always buy churros from Newcastle's International Market and it's a sweet treat that feels extra special when bought from a Christmas Market. This year we're also torn between taking the kids to Edinburgh or London markets for the day - let me know which one you prefer.

7 - Festive Afternoon Tea 

A few years ago, we enjoyed festive afternoon tea as a family at Wynyard Hall and it was wonderful. There was a real sense of occasion about the day and the food was exquisite. It was a real chance to enjoy some quality time together. I'm not against taking smaller children for afternoon tea but as a parent, I find it so much less stressful now that the kids are older. I have my eye on this Festive Afternoon Tea Experience at The Ritz. It's super pricey at £80 per adult and £50 per child but I bet it's incredible. I'm thinking about saving up and booking this next year as a treat. Each adult receives a glass of Ritz Champagne and each child receives a special Ritz teddy bear.

8 - Christmas Eve Boxes

You're never too old for a Christmas Eve box in my opinion and I think I'll still put these together for my children until the day they leave home. Tweens and Teens will still appreciate new PJs, a bath bomb, hot chocolate sachets and a few sweet treats.

9 - Santa Run 

Santa Runs are charity fun runs taking place up and down the country across the festive season. Runners generally dress up as Santa and it's a sight to behold! Most Santa Runs accept teenage runners and it's a fun way to raise a few £ for a good cause (see here for your nearest run and full details),

10 - Christmas Light Switch On and Late Night Shopping

Christmas lights are often switched on by a z-list celebrity you'll have no idea which you have no idea who they are but your tween/teen will love. It's difficult not to get swept up in the excitement of a light switch on and the event is the perfect excuse to make a start on your shopping too.

11 - Christmas Tree Shopping 

We've bought a real Christmas Tree for the past couple of years and it's a tradition we love. Last year the kids got involved with picking the right tree for us and it was a real family occasion. I *even* let them help with the decorations these days - we like to make our own gingerbread decorations.

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11 ways to still have a magical Christmas when your children are too old for Santa


1 comment

  1. I would totally recommend a trip upto Edinburgh for older children. The market is fab, I took my 2 a couple of years ago when they were 8 and 9 and they loved it. The decorations are fab and we had lunch at the dome


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