Build up the excitement of the big day by organising Christmas activities throughout December. The main thing many kids will be looking forward to is opening presents, but it's important to help children understand that there are more important reasons why we choose to celebrate the holiday. The run-up to the big day is the perfect chance to tell them the story of Christmas, to meet close friends that you won't see on the 25th, go to a Pantomime show or even help out in your local community. Head out to see the Christmas lights being turned on in your high street or visit a Santa's grotto in your local garden centre for a touch of community spirit.
At home, start sprucing up with all sorts of traditional decorations like tinsel, fairy lights and candles. Tie a string over the top of your doorways and use it to hang the Christmas cards you've received. Get the children to write a letter to Santa (to give you extra time to seek out their presents online) and explain they have to behave if they want to get presents.
Sweet treats are a big part of the festive season. Get kids involved in the kitchen baking cookies the shape of Christmas trees or snowmen, then let them get creative decorating with icing sugar. Advent calendars are another way to inject sweetness into the build-up to the 25th – or opt for small toys for a healthier version.