How to Plan the Perfect Christmas

By: Elisha Burberry

Kids are notoriously hard to please at Christmas. They spend days beforehand desperate to open their presents, and when finally the hour arrives, they unwrap them all in record time, and five minutes later they're bored again.

Sounds familiar? If it does, you'll be pleased to know there are some great ways to make the magic last a little longer this year. The key to making those gifts last is by dividing them up into groups without the kids knowing. Gifts for the family can also be done this way.

When you go shopping for your Christmas presents, think about size and weight as well as value. We all know kids like to get big expensive presents, but you should set an overall budget to stick to, and factor in some small gifts as well to balance things out. This will enable you to create a stocking for each child with at least half a dozen presents in it, as well as picking a couple of lighter items which can be wrapped separately and hidden in the Christmas tree, perhaps to be opened on Christmas night.

When you start looking for Christmas gifts for kids, think about what interests each child has and try and find small items which appeal to those interests. Jot down a list of ideas before you go shopping, and make a note of anything you see which would be ideal for a particular child.

Another great idea is to make your own Christmas crackers, and insert a small gift of your own into each one. Making three crackers for each child works extremely well, as they can have one on Christmas Eve, one on Christmas Day and one on Boxing Day. Small pocket money children's toys are ideal for this purpose, and they can often be picked up for less than a pound each. It's worth making up a cracker before you buy anything, so you can see how big the main cavity is for holding a present.

If you really want to spread out the magic, why not create a Boxing Day present box as well? Keep back some gifts so the kids don't get swamped on the big day itself, and hide a box for each one which contains half a dozen smaller presents. Small children's games are a good idea for these boxes, as they will help prevent the kids from getting bored on Boxing Day afternoon.

By spreading out the gifts in this way rather than giving them all out in one go, not only will Christmas seem to last longer, but the gifts themselves are likely to be appreciated more. It helps to prevent the kids from becoming overwhelmed and makes Boxing Day a day to look forward to as well.

Just remember to keep it all a secret.

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