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

Updated on June 16, 2016

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


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