Make the festive season even more magical with these Christmassy ideas:

Start a new tradition

Christmas is a great opportunity to start new traditions. Quirky and unusual traditions definitely make the festive season more special – for big and little kids alike! If you’re stuck for some ideas, try new Christmas PJs for the whole family on Christmas Eve; an ice skating outing, followed by hot chocolate; opening presents in bed on Christmas morning; a drive on Christmas Eve/Boxing Day to look at Christmas lights on local houses.

Elf on the Shelf

Who is this Elf on the Shelf we hear you cry? Well, it’s a tradition from the USA which is not only a great way of making Christmas more magical but will also – hopefully – help the kids behave!

The story goes that Santa is too busy to keep an eye on all the children so sends an elf out to each house to see which children have been naughty – or nice. The elf reports back to Santa each night. Each morning before the children awake the elf has used its Christmas Magic to fly back to a new spot for the day to watch over the children.

[Read more: What is Elf on the Shelf? All you need to know about the Christmas craze]

It’s fun for everyone - the kids love searching for their adopted elf every morning, while the adults can have a real laugh hiding it in obscure places.  

Leave signs of Santa's visit

Sometimes kids need a little bit of help believing in Father Christmas but there are lots of things you can do to help fuel their imagination – aside from putting out a mince pie and a carrot.

The night before Christmas, you can sprinkle reindeer food outside. It’s simple to make –just mix some porridge oats with glitter. 

Once the kids have gone to bed, it’s time to get creative. First up, you need to show evidence that Santa has paid a visit. Munch on the mince pie and carrot but don’t forget to leave some magic footsteps as well. As it’s Santa, these should be white and frosty so draw out a shape of a shoe and then shift some icing sugar around it. It’s a bit messy but nothing a hoover can’t sort out in the morning.

Remember it’s also the little touches that the kids notice. Don’t wrap pressies from Santa in the same wrapping paper as all the other gifts, and if you’re going to leave a note from Santa, make sure someone else writes it – kids are very good at identifying their parent’s writing, however much you try and disguise it.

Create a Christmas treasure hunt

Presents under the tree are boring! Why not create a special treasure hunt for all the family instead?

Hide the presents in various places around (and outside) your house and then give special clues as to where they may be hidden. Leave the first clue in an envelope under the tree and then subsequent clues with each present.

Not only is it great fun, but it keeps the present opening going on for that bit longer – and hopefully tires the kids out in the process.

Teach kids the joy of giving

While the commercialism of Christmas is unavoidable, the festive season is also a great time of year to teach the kids a thing or two about giving.

Nominate a day as an Act of Kindness day and get the kids out and about and giving.

You could visit an old people’s home and sing carols, take flowers to a hospital ward, leave out some mince pies for your postman or put some change near a vending machine.

Your random kind acts don’t have to cost much, but when the kids see the reaction they get, they’ll understand the true meaning of Christmas.

Get crafting

Christmas crafts are not only great at keeping the kids busy in the run-up to the big day, but getting crafty is also a fun way to create unique gifts and decorations.

You can buy lots of DIY craft kits that are super fun to make. Check out Hobbycraft for a great range especially for the kids.