The holidays are contagious fun for even the most cynical. As the temperature drops and the nights draw near, Christmas gets all the attention for spreading warmth and love among family and friends. In fact, this year will be more difficult than many, thanks to the important tightening of the purse strings across the country.

As the magician of your family, you probably have the thankless job of making Christmas special for everyone around you – and making it more special than ever for your children. If you’ve come up with budget-friendly ideas to keep the family happy this Christmas, there’s a great idea that can bring everyone together: build a Christmas grotto in your backyard or garage car. But how do you create a magical space for family and friends?

The essentials of the cave

First, there are a few key points to creating the cave you want. The quintessential grotto experience, of course, includes your kids sitting on Santa’s lap for a photo op and perhaps receiving a pre-Christmas gift. As such, you’ll need the right throne for your Santa – and the right volunteer for Santa’s duties!

It follows that you will need a Santa suit and some helper suits for any adults who are not visiting to help out on the day of the experience. You’ll also want to organize a goodie bag and some appropriate decorations – speaking of which…

Set the scene

Getting your modern air is devilishly easy, especially with tricks. The snow of the Arctic Circle can be made white, cleverly gathered in the corners and around Santa’s throne. Old Amazon boxes can be tied together as fake gifts and piled around, to make Santa look more at home. Garland and other garlands can be used effectively to fully introduce the cave to the winter country.

Get out of the cave

To sell your modern experience on your own, you have to be careful with the outdoor area – and the route for you and your family’s little ones. There are tons of fun and creative ways to do it that require little more than an afternoon of DIY.

Fake snow is important and can be recreated with effects. Outdoor Christmas lights can lead your driveway or even create their own path to your grotto. You can create your own sign pointing to the cave, with statements like “no deer pass here” or “Lapland this way” to set the scene even further. A good idea would be to put candy canes on the signs, or even on the trees in the garden between the paths and caves! It will add to the magic, being Willy-Wonka’s advice as children see something special.

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