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Signs of Santa

There comes a time when, in spite of the tell-tale bite out of the cookie, every little child begins to wonder if Santa, that jolly old elf, is actually real. If you have a child who needs a little more convincing, don't panic.

Studio 5 Contributor Kiersten Blanchard shares a few fun signs that Santa has visited to keep the magic alive.

Set the Stage

A couple days before Christmas, give your child a letter from Santa that has "arrived with the mail." Remember, Santa has own special stationary and pen (gold, silver, or red) that should never be found lying around your house. To prepare the letter ask a friend to write it for you so that Santa's handwriting doesn't look anything like yours. You may also want to mention specifics from that child's letter to Santa and something specific from the past couple of weeks to show that Santa has been watching to see if your child has been naughty or nice. Santa can sign off saying that he has to go pack the sleigh, but that he'll be visiting soon!

Jolly Santa Claus Stationary (Office Max - 80 sheets/$9.99)
North Pole Postage Rubber Stamp (Hobby Lobby - $7.99)
North Pole Cling Stamp Set (Michael's - $4.99 on sale)

Santa's Steps

Santa's is in such a hurry, he often forgets to wipe his snowy boots after coming down the chimney. All you need is some powder sugar, a sieve, and a footprint stencil. Create your own stencil or click here for a pattern. Simply print it on cardstock and cut it out with and Xacto knife. (I laminated my cardstock before it cut it out so that Santa can leave his prints for years to come.) You may want to lay a large doormat/bathmat at the hearth so that Santa can leave his footprints as he emerges from the chimney without ruining your floor. Although his boots are really "snow"-covered for the first few prints, they'll likely fade after a few steps!

Slipping Sleigh

The idea for this comes from the children's favorite book The Polar Express. Although most kids won't get a silver jingle bell directly from Santa, now they can get a jingle bell that fell from his sleigh. Setup can be done from the roof, or the ground. It's best if there is snow, but you'll also have to be very careful. You are setting the scene for a sloppy sleigh landing. (After all, landing a sleigh led by nine flying reindeer can't be that easy.) If you have hung Christmas lights, knock off a few of the clips so the lights are hanging down. Create a small pile of snow (as if it slid off the roof) just below the lights. Leave a loose jingle bell or two that have fallen from the reindeers' harness on top of the pile. Just be sure after all that work that the kids actually see it!

Hungry Reindeer

Along with cookies for Santa, let your child leave some carrots for the reindeer. Be warned: the reindeer will make quite a mess, so it's best to leave the carrots over flooring that can be wiped off (e.g. tile or hardwood). Leave lots of nibbled carrot bits. Santa may wish to leave a note (on his special stationary) explaining that the reindeer were thirsty. The note should be accompanied by several shallow bowls with the remains of milk in them. Of course Santa's not the only one who leaves prints. Using a large potato cut in half, carve out the "stamp" of a reindeer footprint*. Create some mud by mixing baking cocoa and water. Dip the potato stamp in the cocoa mud and place the reindeer prints around the remains of their midnight snack. *When creating the print, I only carved the two crescent shapes, as the little back lines probably wouldn't show up on a hard surface.

Picture Perfect Proof

Short of seeing the jolly old elf in person, you can't get any more convincing than a picture…in your own home. Santa is pretty quick, but this year you can set up a camera and catch him in action. We have the Santa. You just need to take a background picture by the tree or stockings and drop Santa in. Open your picture in a Word document and choose a Santa to add to your picture. Remember to bring the Santa picture to the front and format his position so that he is "in front of text." Resize him as needed and crop any overhanging edges. Print it out for your kids for a picture they'll never forget!

Send a Postcard

After Santa's big night, he (and most likely you) will need a vacation. Visit the website to send your child a follow-up postcard postmarked from Florida where Santa is taking his vacation or create one of your own. ( The postcard will be mailed around January 15th and has the added bonus of reminding your child to remain on the Nice List through the rest of the year.

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