This year we are lucky enough to be celebrating the festive season with family in Queensland. We are all looking forward to this trip with immense pleasure, with constant talk of sun, surf and of course … Santa. For the first time since Miss E was a baby, we will be spending Christmas away from home. While this takes the pressure off cooking Christmas lunch, it does pose one very important question …
How do you travel with Santa?
For 5 year old Miss E, Santa is very real and I’m in no hurry to tell her otherwise. So how do you keep the magic of Christmas alive while travelling interstate, when Christmas needs to fit into your suitcase?
This got me thinking about what made Christmas magical for children. What were the essential ingredients? I remembered a conversation I once had with Miss L … my then 7 year old stepdaughter. Miss L was very concerned this particular year that Santa wouldn’t find me. I was spending Christmas away from home (with my mum and dad) and would be leaving my Christmas tree behind. She was greatly relieved when she learnt mum and dad had a tree of their own … Santa would find me!
Remembering this conversation … I was determined Miss E would have a Christmas tree this year no matter where we were.
Santa would be travelling with us this year!
So here are my golden rules …
- Christmas needs to fit into my suitcase
- Decorations must be fun and festive (but low cost)
- All presents are coming with us
- Importantly … inform Santa where we are
1. Christmas needs to fit into my suitcase
Everything required for Santa needed to fit into my suitcase. I wanted to arrive … unpack … and unwind. I had already battled my way through the Melbourne shopping centres – with all the Christmas crowds. I wasn’t about to spend Christmas Eve madly searching for a tree … in unknown shopping territory. This meant whatever I needed … including the tree … had to be small and lightweight to fit into my suitcase. I removed the Christmas tree from its box to fit into my suitcase.
2. Decorations must be fun and festive (but low cost)
I wanted to get into the festive spirit but I don’t want to carry the Christmas decorations home again (leaving room in my suitcase for a purchase or two while on holiday). So I looked for decorations which where lightweight and low cost … I found some great crafty Christmas decorations for kids to make in Kmart … paper chains, peg decorations and “Stop Here” signs for $2 each; and a Christmas tree for $5 – Perfect! Miss E has a creative spirit and making decorations would be a fun way to kick off our relaxing beach holiday.
3. All presents are coming with us
Needing to fit all our presents into a suitcase turned out to be a bit of a blessing. I decided this year Santa would bring 1 to 2 presents and no “stocking fillers”. Frozen dolls were the hot item this year from Santa, which means small dolls in a big box. While I managed to fit the box in my suitcase, if I was stuck for room I was planning to remove the dolls from the box and tell Miss E that Santa ran out of room in the sleigh. I even managed to fit Miss E’s Santa sack into the suitcase.
4. Importantly … inform Santa where we are
Leave a note behind for Santa and his reindeer. This is an important step – write a note to let Santa know where you have gone. Alternatively, if you forget (like we did!) … send him an email. We had a lot of reassuring to do Christmas Eve … we had put up the tree and written Santa a note … but what if that wasn’t enough! But if you truly believe in Santa he will find you. Do you believe Miss E? I do, I do, I do believe in Santa! Oh … and don’t forget to leave out milk and cookies for Santa … or in our case milk and grapes (apparently Santa needs to eat more fruit!).
What are your tips for “travelling with Santa”?
What makes Christmas magic for your little ones?