Mince pies and Christmas puddings are fast-appearing in supermarkets up and down the nation, and your thoughts may be turning to the impending festive season and how you can make it extra-memorable this year, especially if you have children.
A Santa’s grotto at home is a fantastic way of creating excitement and magical memories for your little ones, and if you have a garden shed this could be the ideal location for converting into a winter wonderland in the run-up to the big day. Keep reading to find out how to prepare your outhouse for Father Christmas’s arrival.
Whether you have a shed, log cabin or summerhouses in your outdoor area, the building will need to be prepared to reflect the festive season, so spend some time de-cluttering the space and tidying up. Alternatively, click here if you’re thinking about expanding in to a new space. You may need to make a couple of trips to the tip to dispose of broken electrical items, disused garden equipment and refuse you’ve been storing in the shed, after which you might need to give the building a thorough dusting and sweep the floor to remove debris and cobwebs.
Give some thought to how best to lay out the space, such as where you’ll put Santa’s chair and box of gifts for the resident children, as well as whether you want anything else in the grotto like festive statues or a Christmas tree, for example.
Once you’ve cleaned up the area, you should have a relatively blank canvas on to which you can festoon your ideas. Spray-on snow can be effective on any windows in the shed, while a thick layer of hay or straw could be strewn across the floor of the shed if there isn’t already a covering. If there is a floor cover, a shaggy fleece rug or blanket can be soft and snugly if little ones want to spend a while inside.
You might not have mains power to your shed but want to light up the room, so take a look at battery or solar-powered fairy lights for the space. You could attach a net of lights to the ceiling or drape strings of lights around the edges of the room.
You can liven up the space with a decorated Christmas tree, dangling decorations overhead and winter animal scenes; wicker deer, rabbits and squirrels can be found at garden centres and DIY stores. Elf statues will also fit in well with the decor, although nothing beats a real-life elf…
Christmas is traditionally a time for the whole family to get together and celebrate, so you could involve your children in getting Santa’s grotto ready. They’re sure to love laying straw on the ground and decorating the Christmas tree in the shed, as well as making sure Father Christmas will be comfortable by putting a throw and some cushions on his chair.
You could encourage their creative sides by asking getting them to make decorations from salt dough and paint them, and they’ll also learn the value of teamwork as they see the collaborative effort netting visible results each day.
Before the kids are due to visit Santa, make sure there’s a path through the snow to the shed – think about lining it with tall candy canes to mark the way. Ensure Santa has his box of presents ready and, the night before Christmas Day, you could encourage the children to leave a drink and a snack in the grotto for Father Christmas.