How to make Christmas as magical as when you were a child

It’s hard to admit to ourselves, but we know we’ve kinda…*whispers*…grown out of Christmas a little.

Once you get over the age of (enter whatever age you stopped believing that Father Christmas was real, no judgment) the whole festive period just seems that bit less magical.

Once you’re attempting to be an adult, boring life things – like having to save up for presents and fend off questions from distant relatives about when you’re going to settle down – seem to take over.

But, there are ways to restore that Christmas spirit and release your inner elf. You’ve just got to embrace that magical feeling, OK?

Leslie Knope GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY

Here are a few things you can do to get the magic back.

Follow a Santa tracker

Santa GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY

If you’re scoffing at the thought of checking on Santa’s travels, take a moment to make sure you’re really ready to embrace this article.

If you’re trying to make Christmas as magical as when you were a child, Father Christmas and his sleigh quite simply needs to be involved, and Google has it covered.

Post a letter to Santa

South Park GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY

Look, you wanted to know how to make Christmas magical, and if this won’t do it, nothing will.

Visit a Santa’s grotto

Santa GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY

We don’t necessarily recommend sitting on Santa’s knee because, well, that could get weird and we don’t want to be responsible for that. But you’re guaranteed to see fake snow, there *will* be Christmas songs playing and elves will be present. What more do you need?

Go to a carol service

If you haven’t sung carols since you were at school, it’s time to make that return trip to your local carol service.

Extra ways to increase the levels of festive magic include going to a service that’s held outside so you have to warm up with a mulled wine, and really belting Silent Night out – you know, like when you used to try and sing louder than all your friends.

Buy more than one piece of xmas clothing

Cat GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY

We’re not just talking your standard jumper. Take your pick from a simple but effective Santa hat, ridiculously fun elf ears, or slightly sophisticated Xmas-themed earrings.

Just wear whatever you choose with pride, and no taking it off at any point throughout Christmas Day. Going for a lunchtime walk with the family? Keep the Xmas clothing on. There’s nothing wrong with a Santa hat in public.

Do a mini nativity with all your friends

nativity scene
(Jonathan Pow/PA)


Hear us out, OK? We just don’t think nativities should just be confined to primary schools.

How hilare to get the gang together and do a bit of improv? Also a great opportunity to be Mary if you were always cast as a shepherd when you were a child. Yes, that is something we connect with on a personal level.

Also, add some gin and you just know this will be fun…

Leave a mince pie out for Santa on Christmas Eve

mince pie left out for santa with a note


OK, this might be going too far and we apologise for that. But remember how wonderful it used to be when you bounded downstairs on Christmas morning and saw those little nibbles from, ahem, Rudolph on the end of the carrot?

Oh, to be a child again.

Do stockings for your family…

Hallmark eCards GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY

…And hope you get one in return. The thing is, you know you’re an adult when giving people presents is (almost) as fun as receiving them. And it’s also totally OK to admit how much you want a stocking. It’s just so fun fishing out all the little presents, amiright.

Avoid having a hangover on Christmas Day

Ex On The Beach GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY

It’s too easy to make the festive period all about booze. But if you peak too early, go all out on Christmas Eve and end up dancing on the tables to Fairytale of New York, there ain’t no way Christmas Day is going to feel as magical as when you were a child.

Unless you call struggling to keep your brussel sprouts down magical, that is.

Wake up early and wake your family up

Reaction GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY

You’re not allowed to blame us if this doesn’t go down well, OK?

Pay a visit to some younger relatives

Love Actually GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY

If you’re really struggling to restore that Christmas magic spirit, we promise spending time with children in your family, and them being all excited about Santa, will help.

Unless you didn’t avoid that Christmas hangover and they’re really noisy. Then it, well, might not.

Watch a pantomime

David Hasselhoff and Barbara Windsor, enjoy 'Walking in a Winter Wonderland' at the Piccadilly Theatre
(Geoff Caddick/PA)


Between Christmas and New Year, find your nearest panto, take a giant bag of sweets, and get involved with the shouts of “He’s behind you!” – you know it will bring back all the mems.

Have an outing to pet reindeers before the year is out

Reindeer GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY

You might get some weird looks but hey, adults can love Rudolph too.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access