best christmas books for kids

Why we start the Christmas magic in November….

christmas at home

If you start to blast out Christmas songs in November, invariably you get someone within minutes telling you ‘it’s too early’ and ‘you shouldn’t even be thinking about Christmas until December” and other varying phrases at different levels on the grumpy “don’t say the ‘C’ word yet!

But for us, as soon as the last sparkler goes out on Bonfire night, then it’s time for Mulled Wine, mince pies, Christmas music and movies!! And why not? Especially if you have kids.

I worked out that for each child, if you assume they are into the full on Christmas magic for 10 years (which obviously might be more or less depending on the child). And discounting the first year as they obviously would rather rip up a cardboard box and likely cling to you and howl if you try and get them to meet the Big Man; that means you have on average 9 Christmas’s to really feel the magic with your child. To put it bluntly. If you don’t start getting excited with your nippers until December, then you only have a total of 27 weeks of singing Christmas songs, or put another way; just 189 days of festive magic with your under 10!!!

Of course my wish if for my kids to continue to watch Nativity, Elf and listen to Slade with me until we can then do the same with their children!! But being realistic about it, once they turn into teenagers, you can’t always do exactly the same magical stuff you can do when they are little.

Of course if you have more than one child and depending on how spread out they are, you may have many more days than this. I am lucky to have 9 years between my eldest and youngest and so I double the numbers here in terms of magical Christmas days!

But that’s why I want to double them again!! Ultimately what’s the harm in the excitement starting in November? I don’t put our tree up until Dec 1st, mainly because it would be thread bear and looking very sorry for itself by Dec 25th! But there is nothing wrong with a good Christmas movie, sing song or Christmas story in November.

And to those Scrooges who mutter about commercialism and companies being greedy and all that jazz; they clearly fail to see the benefits to the economy that a bit of Christmas excitement brings to the country. If a company is doing well selling products or magical Christmas experiences, food or drink, then they in turn plough that back into the economy, which provides jobs and income, resulting in money being spent all year round and ultimately families therefore being able to have a happier Christmas!

So, for me; Christmas has many far reaching benefits; doing magical experiences together with our family has far reaching benefits for the community and ultimately and fundamentally magical time with our kids has far reaching benefits for our family. So we want to make the most of that!!

So come on get the Christmas songs on the speaker, make some mince pies and enjoy some quality time together. Life is short and childhood is ever more fleeting so let’s relish in the magic while we can. Let’s also reclaim some of the magic of our past and see how good it is for our soul! I know singing loudly to ‘Feed the World’ reminds me of what is important and nourishes my soul!!

buddy the elf

Here are 5 great Christmas activities to do with the kids in November:

1/Make mince meat. Unless you are one of those super organised types who does it in January (do they exist?!) chances are you won’t have done this. And if you have never made your own mince pies before preferring to fall back on shop bought ones; but believe me they are so much nicer. And making mince-meat is so easy and non-accurate that it’s a brilliant cooking activity that the kids can get really involved in – and who doesn’t love a good old mix?!!

2/ Plan the Christmas dinner together– still on food (let’s face it, it’s one of the best things about Christmas!) getting the kids involved in planning the Christmas feast is something that they love and also is a lot of fun, plus it actually is helpful to get ahead! As we all know once December starts its such mayhem, time for planning is few and far between. So actually some time leafing through glossy Christmas magazines and recipes and getting the kids to cut out and make a montage of their favourite pictures and tastiest ideas if a great way to get them on board with food education and appreciation too!

3/ Santa letters! Everyone knows that Santa appreciates being given some time! After all he can’t make everyone’s toys in one month! So the earlier the kids do their letters the easier it makes it for the Big Man!

4/ Christmas movies!! You can’t beat an Autumn Sunday afternoon snuggled on the sofa with a movie and hot chocolate. And if you leave it until December, chances are all your weekends will be jammed packed and you’ll realise you haven’t watched any of the Christmas movies that you wanted to. So why not start now! Let’s be honest you can’t beat a good Christmas movie so make the most of them from now! Our favourites for watching in November are Nativity (and any of the sequels!), Home Alone and Elf!

5/ Christmas stories!! There are so many great Christmas books and stories if you wait until December to start reading them all you don’t get enough time to read them all! So start reading the Christmas stories with the kids in November and they will love it (as will you!)

To make the most of the festive season then join Santa’s Elf Club; an amazing family festive activity with Elves from the North Pole 

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