Christmas has traditionally been a magical time for the young and young at heart. Parents treasure seeing the excitement in the eyes of their little ones. But as they grow, that special spark tends to dim. Keeping the enchantment of Christmas alive with teens can be a challenge. It can be difficult to penetrate that “I’m too cool for this anymore” attitude that can pervade the early teen years. Here are some ideas for engaging your know-everything, impressed-by-nothing teenagers to keep the spirit of the season alive in them.
Plan something ahead, place it on the family calendar and highlight a countdown leading to that day to maximize the anticipation. A series of small gifts or edible treats leading up to the big event could heighten the excitement.
While the rest of the family can still remain enthralled by classic Christmas movies and those produced for the youngest audience members, the favorites list for teenagers is bound to be quite different. Nevertheless, a Christmas-themed movie night can still be a hit. So let your teens choose the featured movie for the evening. And since for teenagers, their circle of friends are of paramount importance, let them invite some of their friends to share this evening.
Those family cooking sessions with your little ones can continue into their teen years. As their capabilities increase, they can make something more substantial than basic cookies. You could hold a cook-off with a competitive flair, awarding the winner their own cooking tools or utensils. A cooking challenge would be excellent training to equip them with skills that will come in handy when they head off to college or out into the world on their own.
They’re not wide-eyed tots anymore, so it can take more to engage them. Most holiday events are designed for the youngest family members. If driving past Christmas light displays no longer holds the fascination it once did, perhaps your teens would enjoy a skating or tobogganing party. Older teens might even prefer a more sophisticated outing, like an escape room or paintball game. If there’s an active theatre in your town, perhaps taking them to see a thought-provoking play will stimulate the emerging grown-up mind.
No one ever outgrows the love of being surprised. It may be very easy to surprise a young child, but your teens are more worldly now, and they may even have the attitude that there’s nothing left in the world that can catch them off guard. A cheerful holiday surprise could be just the thing. A series of small gifts leading up to Christmas might work. Or it could be a well-chosen gift that stretches their thinking, like a book on a challenging subject, or a musical instrument, or a science kit—something they’ve never considered. So long as it isn’t too expensive, there’s little lost if they don’t warm up to the gift, as it might warm up someone else’s world if donated to a charity thrift shop. This is the time for giving, after all.
Perhaps this is the best time to instill the spirit of giving in your teens by organizing the whole family to donate food to a local charity that serves the needy. Or volunteer to work for an afternoon cleaning up a public park or helping at a nature preserve. There’s probably an environmental group in your area that would welcome a few more helping hands.
Sealed By Santa is an excellent source for gifts, activities and ways to keep the holidays alive in your home, no matter what ages your children are. Check out our line of interactive kits, which let your whole family get creative together, whether it’s to bake cookies, handmade fashion gifts, and even track Santa’s footsteps through your house. We even have Santa available to send an age-appropriate letter to your teenager! If you have any questions, call us at (561) 510-7227 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.