Keeping Kids Busy At Christmas - How to Entertain Children At Christmas

Dear Santa-Please, Please Nice

Santa has delighted children of all ages since 1600 AD. If you have little ones at home then they are probably getting excited about the approaching visit expected from that round bellied jovial old soul so warmly referred to as, "Santa Claus!"

I will never forget the morning of Christmas day when our granddaughter loudly screamed her way down the hallway to jump up and down excitedly at our bedroom door at 5 am, and with her four-year-old fists beating heavily on our door screaming the whole time in a high-pitched noise that only a very little girl can make, "Gamma!, Gampa!, Gamma!, Gampa!, Gamma!, Santa!, Santa!, Ohhh, Looook! Santa! Santa! Santa! HURREEEE!"

Of course we had gotten to bed after midnight on Christmas Eve after putting together bikes and doll houses and eaten cookies and drank milk left out for Santa that night. With much ceremony and trips to the bathroom, bedtime stories, and pleas to stay up for snacks, our granddaughter had finally gone to bed with mom and fallen asleep that night, so we could get started. With blurry eyes we donned our morning robes and went to the door to let her begin the magic of Christmas for us all. Seeing through the eyes of a child brought tears to my eyes that morning and I watched with glee when Kimberly got her first ride on the new tricycle Santa had brought her.

St. Nicholas

Answer ALL Santa Questions-Especially The Ones About Being Good

The kids had been at our house for two weeks by then so we got a great big dose of Santa the entire time they were there. That was the first time they had been at our house for that long a time over Christmas. We didn't know what to expect, so we filled up the time by telling stories, playing games and answering questions about the North Pole, elves, where elves live, what kind of beds they sleep in, how they know what toys and how many toys to make, how they get their toy list, what things are bad enough to get you on Santa's bad list, do lies count, what kind of lies . . . , making Christmas lists, shopping, baking cookies and visiting relatives and friends.

If you find yourself trying to keep a young child entertained over the holiday and need some ideas then these things are what we did to pass the time at home when she was hard to calm down.  Because little ones are most excited by the tree, the lights, presents, specially baked cookies and pies, Christmas carols and Christmas decorations.

The attention span of a young child when they are excited is about as long as it takes to tie your shoes, so daytime movies didn't really do much good.  Because she would either talk through the whole thing or be up and running around, getting into things. So we gave up on movies during the day and only watched them at night after dinner when she was more prone to want to curl up in our lap and relax.

During the day we kept her busy by telling her about the history of Christmas and Santa Claus and Jesus. Books with big pictures worked really well and activity books were especially useful. There are now printouts on the internet that kids love and those have a Christmas theme too. The older kids can get in snowball fights on the internet by guessing the correct answer to math problems. They get one snowball for every right answer. That keeps them busy for hours and they really don't care that they are learning something too.

The Story of the First Christmas:

Santa Facts Children Will Understand

Here are some Santa facts to keep handy for this time of year when you may need them to entertain a child with:

  • In 1600 speaking the name of St. Nichols was against the law - Have a day that they go to 'jail' whenever they say the name, "Santa." Make sure it's fun and not punishment, though or you'll have a whole lot of explaining to do afterward! Tell them that to get out of jail that they have to do one good deed for someone else, much like they did in olden times when masters traded places with their slaves for the day in a gesture of festive goodwill and to bring them good luck in battle.
  • By the 17th Century speaking the name of St. Nicholas was no longer a criminal offense and festive activities, caroling, and gift-giving traditions were once again celebrated.
  • Dutch Immigrants named their saint Sinter Klaas, but Santa was originally named by the media in 1773 as St. A. Claus.
  • Santa was also originally portrayed as coming into town on a horse.
  • Later renditions of Santa have him riding over trees in a wagon.
  • Santeclaus donned his red suit and sleigh pulled by one reindeer in 1821.
  • By 1822, Santa had gained the other reindeer in the famous book, "Twas the Night Before Christmas." by the dentist, Clement C Moore.

Twas The Night Before Christmas

Over 100 Years Ago

  • In 1897, you might remember the Famous, "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus," letter that was answered by Francis P. Church, Editor of the Daily Herald.

 

Yes, Virginia, There Is A santa Claus

Children Believe That Which They Cannot See

  • Since the 1920's Santa has been depicted as an over-weight man with a beard and a jolly laugh who dressed in a red suit with white trim.
  • Since that time on a series of drawings, poems and illustrations have been created by local and national artists and media representatives to portray an image of Christmas that spans the world.
  • Santa had become a media and advertising ploy to encourage buying practices at the end of the year to help store keepers with excess inventory.
  • Some of the most famous, vivid, colorful and imaginative drawings of Santa were done for Harper's Magazine, A Famous drink product and Even Abraham Lincoln.

But one thing still rings true in our house. When you stop believing in Santa Claus, you stop getting presents. So, I don't know about you, but I STILL Believe.

Our Heartfelt Christmas Wish For You

Imagine all the things that are unseen and un-seeable in this world.

From our house to yours,

We wish you a Merry Christmas

And a Happy New Year!

And For The Troops Standing Watch Over Us We Wish you A Safe Return And Time With Your Loved Ones. 

God Bless Us - Everyone! Poem by Michael Marks

What Fun Things Do You Do With Your Kids at Holiday Time? 18 comments

kowality profile image

kowality 6 years ago from Everywhere

Thank you, Mwatkins for mentioning the troops here! One thing we always did in our family was put on plays. Mom had a basket full of things we could dress up in and we were always entertained that way. It's also a great time to show kids what to do in case the lights go out, how to dial 9-1-1, those kinds of things. Great hub! Thanks!


mwatkins profile image

mwatkins 6 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC Author

HI Johnny - Thanks for the great tips! Imagination was and always has been fundamental to fun. Kids can be happy with a box and sticks. We used to put cardboard on a small hill in my grandparents yard and slide down it - laughing all that way! It was better than any slide - faster too! Thanks for the vote up, and for stopping by!


anne_with_an_e profile image

anne_with_an_e 6 years ago from here, there and everywhere

Great hub. I love the information about Santa. My kids will love it.


mwatkins profile image

mwatkins 6 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC Author

Thank you, Anne with an e! My brother phoned me to say that he didn't know a few of the facts about Santa and that he would use it to entertain his grandchildren with. Thanks for stopping by!


PhotoBabyInvites profile image

PhotoBabyInvites 5 years ago

Definitely best for Christmas!


anne_with_an_e profile image

anne_with_an_e 5 years ago from here, there and everywhere

THANKS for adding the link! What a compliment. I hope they enjoy as much as we do each year. I added a photo of my son's tree topper angel he made in preschool (he's 12 now). So cute, no?


mwatkins profile image

mwatkins 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC Author

Hi Photobabyinvites - Thank you very much!


mwatkins profile image

mwatkins 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC Author

Hi Anne - So glad you are happy! I really loved your tree decorating tradition! We have a Christmas 'fun' day full of crafts and baking and we are adding your idea to it too! He's 12! - Doesn't the time whiz by!


larryprice5372 profile image

larryprice5372 5 years ago from Long Beach, California

A very good article. It's Christmas time again.

Merry Christmas to you and your family, and have a Happy New year too.

I thought the article was awesome.

Good work here from someone who knows how to share.


mwatkins profile image

mwatkins 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC Author

Hi Larry Price - I enjoyed reading your hub introduction - I was touched by your sincerity about family time and how much it means to you. Thank you for stopping in and for your kind and generous words! Enjoy your Christmas memories for they are the only true thing that lasts generations. We are looking forward to a happy and fun Christmas and New Year as I am sure that you and your family are too - Thank you again! I wish everyone blessings in the New Year. Here's to YOU!


larryprice5372 profile image

larryprice5372 5 years ago from Long Beach, California

Thanks for your very kind remarks. They will inspire me to go furture with Hub Building.

I was blessed to have a father who shared himself and his hobbies with all of us six kid's. Wouldn't you know, he is from Washington State. He had a father who shared the outdoors with him throughout his young life. Young children will always remember the special times they spend with parents. It is special, and all activities are not the same. Challenge and learnig are key.

I have pasted a link on another story I have here on Hubpages. I've written several more about family. Most eveerything I have written for Ezine Articles involves family hobby and involvement. You might enjoy reading those articles too.

Again, thanks for your input. I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New year once again.

http://hubpages.com/t/1c0f5f (Article on Sportfishing)

I plan to improve my hubs shortly. I need to embed links to my other Hubs. I'm just learning. New to all this!

Bey


mwatkins profile image

mwatkins 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC Author

HI Larry - I truly believe that you are doing a really good job in not only giving people well thought out ideas for family time - but tested and proven ones that work, too! I did enjoy your hubs - very much! I hope others will take a gander over and see what you are "up to!" I remain very impressed! Thank you!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Mischelle, what a fun hub of Santa facts. There are some very interesting activities around Christmas time all over the world and it might be fun to do some of them with the kids and explain the different customs and how it relates to the coming of Christ. Thank you for a very informative and entertaining hub. =:)


mwatkins profile image

mwatkins 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC Author

Hi Winsome - I love your suggestion here! And I have 363 shopping days before Christmas comes around again to do some research! Thank you for your brilliant suggestion and fun idea! Christmas is my favorite holiday of all because it is the one time of the year that I feel like it's Ok to act like a kid again (and again . . . and again)! Plus - BONUS - All the old Carols play on the radio for a WHOLE month! Love it! Thanks again! ;-)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, even though it is over, I can still feel the magic just by reading this hub! I used to love Christmas when I was small, and this brought back so many memories, thanks nell


mwatkins profile image

mwatkins 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC Author

Hi Nell - Thank you! Christmas is my all time favorite time of the year! I love all that goes with it! My mom and grandma were big on Christmas so I absorbed their enthusiasm! So glad to see you here! Since they are gone now, it seems like each Christmas becomes more precious and I always long for the time when our family celebrates it yet once more!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

I really enjoyed reading this, even though I'm these days more than a little ambivalent about Christmas! Intersting facts about the Santa legend. Will show this to my daughter - she will enjoy it.

Thanks again.

Love and peace

Tony


mwatkins profile image

mwatkins 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC Author

Hi tonymac04 - I completely understand your feelings. My immediate family had all passed by the time I was 37 - except for my brother and his sons, and daughter, who now are parents with small families. It has really never been the same without parents and grandparents, but we make the most of it by creating new memories. I'm not real keen on the "gimmee" concept of Christmas, either and would love to see families go back to home made gifts, thoughtful expressions of love and sharing a great big meal that has everyone sacked out on the couch or floor until dessert! That's what I remember - Plus setting an extra plate at dinner in case someone extra showed up! But then again , I grew up in a time when chewing gum in class meant a trip to the office, too - Times have certainly changed! Thanks for stopping! ;-)

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