- Sprinkle reindeer food (that’s oats and glitter to you and me) on the driveway or garden.
- Leave a special key out for Santa so he can get into the house (if you don’t have a chimney!).
- Christmas Elves leave new PJs for the children on the doorstep on Christmas Eve.
- Leave the tree undecorated for a while until the "Christmas Fairy" decides to decorate it. Each morning the children come downstairs with a sense of anticipation.
- Watch a classic Christmas movie whilst stringing popcorn for the tree.
- Make some edible Christmas decorations every year which the children can decorate, such as gingerbread stars.
- Put spikes of cloves into oranges and leave them all over the house.
- Leave a note for Santa on Christmas Eve which asks him a couple of questions. Make a potato printer in the shape of a reindeer hoof-print and using mud, stamp a print onto a reply note for the children to find on Christmas morning.
- Leave some of Santa’s beard (cotton wool) on the edge of the glass of drink you have left out for him.
- A French tradition is to leave slippers under the tree (rather than stockings) which are filled by Santa with chocolates and oranges.
- Keep an eye on Santa's journey on the Norad Santa Tracker.
- Walk past bedroom windows with sleigh bells.
- Let the children open one present each from under the tree on Christmas Eve.
- For a magical Christmas Eve movie, try ‘The Polar Express’ and for a magical Christmas Eve story, try ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’.
- If you put stockings on the end of the beds, let the children open those presents upstairs, perhaps all piled into your bed. Then go downstairs to open their Santa presents.
- To try to prevent Christmas morning "present fever" by letting each child take it in turns to open a present. The present opening takes longer, but everyone can watch the present being opened, and also gives you chance to keep a list of what everyone has been given, for thank you letters.
- Have a present ‘intermission’. Refill your glass of bubbly (!) while the children have some space between presents to play with the toys already opened.
- Leave some presents until after lunch, or for when other family members arrive.
Thank you to the following British Mummy Bloggers and Irish Mum Bloggers for sharing all their fab traditions with me: 20something mum, The Mad House, Violet Posy, Potty Mummy, Expat Mum, Cafe Bebe, Mum's Survival Guide, Perfectly Happy Mum, A Modern Mother, Fab Mums, The Rubbish Diet, Crystal Jigsaw, Muummmeeee, Jayne Howarth, Coding Mama, If I Could Escape, Fashionable Mama, Bernice Burnside.