Children get so excited about Christmas that they're just about ready to burst with joy. Sometimes you need to channel that enthusiasm into something useful so that you all make it through the weeks leading up to Christmas with your sanity intact.
Why not get the kids involved in counting down the days until Christmas? That way they'll be in the know as to just when Santa is coming (and they can stop asking you ten times a day!).
One fun way to involve the kids is to make an advent calendar. These are calendars with doors for each day until Christmas. Little holiday cookies are waiting behind each one.
You can purchase these from stores or online. Choose one that has fun things behind the door that bear each date. Some come with toy trains or vintage animals. Others come with tiny Christmas trees or ornaments. Still others have candy behind each door. This is by far the most popular for children whose anticipation level is already set on frenzy. They have something to enjoy while waiting for December 25th. Remind children that they are not allowed to peek and see what's behind the dates that haven't arrived yet.
Another way you can encourage children to participate in a Christmas day countdown is for all of you to do 25 good deeds for someone else. You can make a calendar with December 1st through 25th on it. Each day every member of the family does something special for someone else.
It could be that dad warms mom's car up in the morning before she leaves for work. Or it could be that your youngest fed the dog. Any deed either inside the home or out can count. Everyone writes their good turn on the calendar for everyone to see. You can also plan weekend deeds as a family such as working at a soup kitchen for the afternoon or visiting a nursing home to sing carols.
The personal involvement your children have in spreading the cheer will keep them diverted from agonizing over how many days they still have to wait for their presents. You may even find that they want to help others more than open a mound of their own presents. Doing good is contagious.
Your children will be as excited for the holidays as your home environment allows. You might try to keep the excitement going by baking a different batch of cookie each day and giving them out to police and rescue workers.
Or you can put a new ornament on the tree each day. You can give each other hand made holiday gifts each day or notes to say how special you are to each other.
Image by craftvisit collective on Flickr
Get everyone involved, even the older children who pretend they're too cool to care. They really do still want to be included even if they act nonchalant.
Your Christmas advent season will be filled with laughter, joy and maybe even cookies if you plan to celebrate each of the days until Christmas. Get out there as a family and do special things for others or just for fun. Your children will have delightful memories of the holidays and may even continue the new traditions with their own families one day.