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Having a few special Christmas traditions will make it extra-fun for your little one – and they’ll always remember them. Why not take inspiration from these real parents and create your own?

We throw a party on Boxing Day

“Every year we spend at least one afternoon baking biscuits and making cakes, and then decorating them ready for Christmas. My mum usually joins us. We put some Christmas carols on the radio while we work, and it’s really cosy and festive. We also throw a party for friends and neighbours on Boxing Day morning – everyone looks forward to it.”
Ian Smith, dad to Jennifer, two

An extra surprise from Father Christmas

“Get someone to dress up as Father Christmas and put in an appearance on the day. We’ve done it for the past three years, and the children’s faces are just incredible. You can swap with neighbours, and take it in turns to arrive at each other’s houses with a sack and a couple of gifts Father Christmas had ‘forgotten’!”
Anne Figgins, mum to Callum, four, and Cara, two

We enjoy a cosy family night in

“When school breaks up for the holidays we start making our own Christmas decorations – the combination of children and glitter always makes things feel Christmassy! Then on Christmas Eve, after putting up our decorations, we have a tradition where the whole family sits down to watch a festive film by candlelight, with hot chocolate and marshmallows, before going to bed.”
Mandie Kirby, mum to Bethany, seven, Toby, two, and Victoria, nine months

Leaving treats for Santa

“We hang a special magic key on the front door so Father Christmas can let himself in (we don’t have a chimney!). We sprinkle ‘reindeer food’ (oats and glitter) on the doorstep and leave a mince pie and a drink for Santa, and for the reindeer a carrot. And Santa always leaves behind a sleigh bell…”
Melanie Gamble, mum to Grace, five, and Lily, 18 months

New pyjamas and a bedtime story

“We like to buy Freddie a new pair of pyjamas for Christmas Eve. Then we listen to a bedtime story. We always read him The Night Before Christmas. My family always used to read this, and it’s a tradition I’ve loved passing on.”
Sally Wainwright, mum to Freddie, three

They each have their own little tree

“When the kids get up on Christmas morning, they each have a small present under their own little tree in their bedroom. This present is wrapped in paper and colour-coded to match their other presents downstairs, so the kids don’t get their gifts mixed up!”
Natalie Adlington, mum to Jasmine, 11, twins Lucas and Willow, seven, Poppy, four, and one-year-old twins Logan and Rowan

We look for reindeer on Christmas morning

“On Christmas morning, before the children wake, I go downstairs and scatter oats mixed with glitter on the porch, around the house and up the stairs, so it looks like Santa’s been in. My husband leaves half-eaten pieces of carrot lying around too! Then we do a big hunt to see if we can find the reindeer. My son loves it that much, he’s been known to walk straight past the tree and presents in his eagerness to find Santa and Rudolph!”
Katherine Vivan, mum to Joshua, three, and Erin, 14 months

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