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Keeping the Holidays Magical for Non-Believers

5 out of 5 - seems to be the ratio of believers to non-believers in our house this year.  

Our youngest is 9 years old. I feel like, when we were younger, the magic of believing lasted well beyond double digits. I blame this whole Elf on the Shelf movement for the reason for younger realization. I mean, it's one thing to believe in a jolly man in a red suit coming down your fireplace, but asking kids to buy into a stuffed toy that flies back to the North Pole each night {well, if I'm being honest--most nights}?   

Yesterday, while at a family party, one of Santa's helpers made an appearance, and when my oldest got his name called to come up and get his gift, the look on his face was purely mortifying. If Santa called my name and said to come sit on his lap to get a gift, I'd have no problem giving in to the magic of it all. It got me to wondering why that magic is lost once kids stop believing because, to me, the entire season is magical.  

Here are a few things that you can do this week to make sure your non-believers still experience the magic of the season:

1. Watch Christmas movies together
Kick off your shoes, grab a bowl of popcorn and snuggle up with your kids. Once kids are older, movies like Home Alone or National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation can be really appreciated on a different level!

2. Look through old Christmas morning pictures together
Reminisce through memories of Christmases past, and see if they can remember what their "big" gifts were that they couldn't wait for Santa to bring. Ask them to describe to you their excitement and look through pictures or videos to remember those moments.

3. Let them "Elf" their friends
Run to your local dollar store and grab a few inexpensive items and candy for your kids to make gift packages for their friends. Then, print off a silly message like the one below and hop in the car. Allow them to run up to their friend's house, tape the message to the door, and leave the bag of treats for their friends to find in the morning.  

 4. Prep "Magical Reindeer Food" packets and donate to little kids
Allowing older kids to take part in making sure youngers ones are excited about the season is a great way to feel the magic. Have them combine oatmeal and glitter into snack-size ziplock bags and print off a cute tag, then hand deliver them to a local preschool class.

5. Be enthusiastic about the magic yourself and they will follow
Think your 10 year old is too mature for things like visiting Norad's Santa Tracker? Try downloading the Santa Spy Cam app or sign them up for Texts from Santa. Speaking from personal experience--my 12 year old is currently receiving texts from Santa and I've played it off quite well that I have no clue who is sending them to him. He literally gets giddy when he gets a new text, and even though he insists it's a friend playing a joke on him or his big brother who set is up, there is a twinkle in his eye that I know makes him feel good deep down.  

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