“Santa, Santa!” your little one screams and points out every Santa she finds. It’s a child’s ability to believe that one Santa can be in all those places at once. At a Christmas party, your child might have the opportunity to spend some quality time with Santa. With advanced planning, your Santa might keep her -- and any other children -- happily occupied with activities while the adults socialize.
Santa can keep the children engrossed in stories about the North Pole and what he does with the elves. The children’s questions provide a long list of topics he can cover, such as, “What does Rudolph do when he isn’t leading the sleigh?” “Do elf children go to school?” or "How does he get all those gifts in his sleigh?” He might tell other Christmas stories, such as the story of Jesus’ birth or how Saint Nicholas became Santa Claus. The children can act out one or more of the stories Santa tells.
Every child wants to tell Santa what to bring for Christmas. Allow each child a few uninterrupted minutes with Santa as he asks who has been naughty or nice. If Santa knows any of the children, let him reveal information to the children such as siblings, pets and favorite activities. This provides an opportunity to talk to the little ones about good habits, building character and choosing to be nice more often than naughty. It might not make a big difference, but it can’t hurt. If Santa brings a few elves, they can write out lists to Santa for the little ones or the children can draw items they want. Instruct Santa to provide personal letters to each of the children.
Crafts can keep the kiddos busy. Have Santa pass out the craft supplies and demonstrate how to create each craft item. Cardboard tubes transform into Santa using markers or paint, construction paper, glue and cotton balls. Kiddos can use craft sticks to make a Star of David, reindeer or snowman puppet. Provide pictures of each child with craft foam, scissors, ribbon and markers or paint to create a Christmas ornament with a picture of the child glued to the center of the ornament. Preschoolers can use ribbon and beads to make a necklace for mom. Dad’s gift can be a decorated picture frame embellished with acrylic gems, markers, glitter or paint. A digital camera and printer allows each child to insert a picture with Santa into the frame.
Kids could carol with Santa while riding in a bus decorated as a sleigh or on a horse-drawn trailer covered in hay, utilizing all the proper child safety precautions of course. Have Santa drive the sleigh or trailer where children can see Christmas lights through the neighborhood or where they can watch the sky looking for a star and angels. Stop at one of the neighborhood homes to enjoy Christmas treats, such as cocoa, cookies and fruit.