Prince William and Kate have an exciting christmas planned for George and Charlotte

By Emily Nash and Jane Dowdeswell

Like many families around the world, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are excitedly preparing for Christmas with exactly one month to go. Prince William and Kate are planning to pack their traditional festive season with fun and games for their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The royal couple will join the Queen at Sandringham for at least part of the celebrations. George, three, and 19-month-old Charlotte will be reunited with their little cousins Mia Tindall, who turns three in January, and Savannah and Isla Phillips, aged five and four. The children will have key roles in helping to decorate the tree on Christmas Eve and there are sure to be plenty of gifts for eager tiny hands to unwrap.

TAP TO VIEW GALLERYPrince George and Princess Charlotte will have key roles in helping to decorate the Christmas tree

Just last week, William spoke about the joy George and Charlotte have brought to his life and the gift of having a family of his own. The children will no doubt take centre stage at Christmas, with boisterous George relishing the seasonal fun.

"George is a right little rascal sometimes, he keeps me on my toes but he's a sweet boy," William has said. Of Charlotte, he added: "Bearing in mind I haven't had a sister, having a daughter is a very different dynamic. So I'm learning about having a daughter, having a girl in the family."

Cuddly toys for animal-loving Charlotte will be on the royal's Christmas list

On the royal siblings' Christmas lists will be a selection of their favourite toys – planes, trains, building blocks and helicopters for George and cuddly toys for his animal-loving sister.

But Christmas for the youngsters won't be all about gifts and festive food. Fresh air will be on the menu as they enjoy family walks on the Sandringham Estate and, weather permitting, even a chance to play in the snow.

Charlotte, no doubt, will have the chance to indulge her love of horses. Kate has revealed how her little girl has a passion for ponies and is already riding. With her great-grandmother the Queen's stables close by, and cousin Mia's equestrian mum Zara on hand, she will have plenty of encouragement.

The royals will attend the traditional Christmas Day service at Sandringham

In the run up to 25 December, the Cambridge children may enjoy some other family rituals. George made his first visit to Santa at the Thursford Christmas fair, near the family's country home Anmer Hall, two years ago. This year Charlotte will be ready to join her big brother at Santa's grotto.

The Cambridges will also celebrate with Kate's family over the festive period. The royal children will be reunited with their grandparents Carole and Michael Middleton, uncle James and auntie Pippa, who is preparing to wed her fiancé James Matthews in 2017.

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