Organised Christmas peeps - what do you do on Christmas Eve?

(55 Posts)
racingheart Sat 17-Nov-12 20:45:30

For the first time ever, I am so organised I've been wrapping presents as they arrive. Had a little dip today though, as I wrapped DCs stocking fillers. I love sitting up on Christmas Eve with a glass of champagne wrapping them.

What do you do on Christmas Eve if you're all already sorted? (Want some luxurious new ritual to look forward to.)

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Sat 17-Nov-12 20:52:35

Midnight Mass. We're not Catholic but I find the combination of candles, frosty moonlight and Christmas hymns a magical way to start Christmas.

This year we're also going on a Santa train smile

Durab Sat 17-Nov-12 21:00:34

A veg prepping party!!

Hosted at whichever house we'll be eating at on the day. Everyone told by the host what veg they need to bring and how much. All sit round the table with Christmas music, chocolate, lots of wine and our peelers. I know you think I'm mad, but honestly it's great, all the generations together having the kind of conversations you can only have when you're slightly tipsy and don't actually have to look at anyone because your hands and eyes are occupied.

And it gets a rotten job done quickly with everyone sharing the load.

PelvicFloorClenchReminder Sat 17-Nov-12 21:04:13

Pantomime, followed by blessing of the crib at church, then home to bag from the elves, into snuggly new pajamas with mince pies, hot chocolate and cringingly Christmassy TV before bed.

Bit of organising in the morning making up the beds for whoever is coming to stay - relatives usually arrive by lunchtime.

We have our main Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve. After having the DC we got sick of missing them open half their presents because of faffing about with the cooking, so now we do all the work Christmas Eve and eat it late afternoon/early evening. We've done it that way for a few years now and it really feels like Christmas starts when we all sit down together to eat by candlelight with Christmas music playing in the backround smile.

Afterwards we all veg in front of the TV and watch a Christmas film (Muppet Christmas Carol or Polar Express usually), then we get wrapped up and go outside in the garden with torches to sprinkle the reindeer food. Then it's PJs on & stockings up on the ends of the DCs beds. Once they're all (finally) settled down, the adults can get (slightly) sloshed and look forward to a lazy Christmas Day sitting on our bums and eating yummy cold cuts smile.

Ooh I feel festive now!

Durab I love the sound of that smile

We like to go for a long walk. Sometimes through the town where I grew up as it brings back happy memories. Sometimes through the local forest. Then we come home, relax, have loads of yummy picky food out and watch Christmas DVDs. Lazing around in pjs, eating delicious food is really fab smile

Last year though was stress city! I was still baking things to go in hampers really late at night, and started before 6am! Not this year though, I'm only doing things that can be frozen or stored in the cupboard, things that can be made in advance. This way, we get Christmas eve back smile

Merlotmonster Sun 18-Nov-12 09:17:47

Either a long ride or hunting (bloodhounds) so no foxes chased only people!... Then back to my sister for some proper stooge food...pie and mash or something simple.....lots of red wine by the fire and national lampoons Christmas vacation on DVD! Failing that...all down the local pub all night and get hammered.....hic

anja1cam Sun 18-Nov-12 09:25:30

Light lunch, long walk in the afternoon weather permitting, in the evening nice dinner to celebrate DH's birthday - so I do spend some time on the kitchen on the 24th. Kids put out food (it has to be a piece of birthday cake!) for Santa before bed and we spend a quiet evening chatting with any guests we might have or watching a nice film and eating more birthday cake. Before we had kids we'd also manage the odd trip to midnight mass which was always magical.

Durab what a brilliant idea, I can imagine it being great fun! I suppose I do do that in a smaller scale with MIL who's usually here...

LadyLetch Sun 18-Nov-12 09:41:57

We have a small Christmas eve gathering - either at ours, or we go to someone else.

In the afternoon, we'll watch muppets Christmas carol and drink hot choc (with Baileys for the adultsgrin), early evening we'll see friends or family, then the children get a small tree present (including pyjamas for the children), do the Santa stuff and bed!

Mrsrobertduvallsaysboo Sun 18-Nov-12 09:56:28

Dh plays golf all day.

We all go out for dinner in the evening,

Ragwort Sun 18-Nov-12 09:58:55

Walk/Church mumsnet/read/encourage force DH and DS to play board games - but I am the only one who really enjoys them grin.

McKayz Sun 18-Nov-12 10:09:17

We have my parents and brother round for dinner. We go to theirs on Christmas Day

shockers Sun 18-Nov-12 10:24:54

DH is usually working (he's in the entertainment industry). I take DS2 and DD to pick DS1 up from the station and the four of us go to watch 'It's a Wonderful Life' at our local independent cinema. It's on every year, everyone sniffs a bit at the sad bits, laugh raucously at the funny bits and then stand and clap at the end. Then we go out for dinner.

When the DCs go to bed, DS1 and me drink wine and catch up til DH gets home, then we creep about with stuffed stockings grin.

blue2 Sun 18-Nov-12 10:29:15

We usually uncork all the sloe gin that's been brewing since autumn, and set to decanting it into bottles.

Of course each lot has to be sampled, ad dropped into a glass of fizz.

No wonder I always feel so TIRED on Christmas morning!

TBH, we may start going to Midnight Mass as DS is now 14.

Clary Sun 18-Nov-12 10:35:22

I prepare all the food for the next day. Peel veg, make puddings, ice cake (oops!), etc.

Classic FM on and then carols from Kings at 3pm, crying at the chorister singing Once in Royal David's City.

All my family are out visiting DH's rellies 50 miles away, they have an inordinately long day and if I went too then Chr Day would be a nightmare of un-prepared food so I prefer to do it this way.

To break it up I usually bob out to get a loaf of bread and some milk; also do ALL the ironing and clean house etc as do none of that on Chr Day or Boxing Day smile

When kids get home they have new pyjamas and Night Before Christmas.

Clary Sun 18-Nov-12 10:37:11

Reading that back it sounds truly hideous and as tho I am the mum on that Asda ad (but I am much better at wrapping) but in fact I really like it.

All year I am so so busy with work and running round after my 3 children that I love a day of practical busyness with nothing much to worry about. It's very satisfying and genuinely relaxing.

evilhamster Sun 18-Nov-12 17:05:11

We give out our presents. I'm Icelandic, and like most other European countries actually, present giving is on Christmas Eve. Don't really know why. But I like doing it, and they get Santa's present (or for DD1, the main present) on Christmas because we live in the UK.

This year, I'll probably be sorting out the food, as in the food which can't be cooked next day. Again, not the normal food. It's mainly fishy. Last year, DS put 'a turkey not any fish' on his Christmas list. It's mainly herring because that seems to be Iceland's staple food. Little herring things everywhere, then stored etc;

We watch some Christmas films. Those really, really annoying, cheesy films which I actually love to watch. Then we'll be going down to the village church hall where they'll be having a little meet-up thing, a very small amount of people as its a hamlet in the middle of nowhere, and the DCs will be forced to play a party game or two and pull crackers before Christmas Day. Then they'll moan because they didn't get the little toy which they wanted.

Then we go home. I drink wine, DH drinks apple juice and the DCs drink hot chocolate.

All the time, try and make sure my family are feeling happy. Also try to make sure my 87yr old DGM isn't speaking Icelandic to the poor pub owner who usually gives her some non-alcoholic drink to be on the safe side and then I have to rush out to pay him because DGM only has kroner in her purse.

That up there ^^ probably isn't a tradition you want to start though.

By that time, it's about 6:30. We open the Christmas pyjamas for DS, and we take him up to bed. Then we all take a turn to read a line of his new Christmas book, which can be a problem for DGM who doesn't read or understand English, and will be more of a problem because this year we've bought him a book in Welsh, so the whole family but for us (DH's family are Israeli) will find it hard to read. So usually it ends up with our family reading it and them watching.

Then we go downstairs after that, having watched him put his stocking up (he gets stocking presents for tomorrow too) and tidy away his presents into his toy box or whatever. Then we usually play a board game or something similar, and at around 7, we'll take DD1, 2 and the other children out around the village to look at the Christmas lights up.

By the time we walk back, it's about 8:30, and DD2 and most of my nieces and nephews go to bed at that time, so they open their Christmas pyjamas, and go up to bed with their stockings.

Then it's only DD1, DNiece and the adults, so usually we just eat some more and stick presents on the tree for tomorrow too. Then DD1 and DNiece might open a few more presents, and at around 12pm we'll go to midnight mass. We aren't actually religious, but my parents are, and the church hall has food and things after and before, and everyone in our hamlet/village will come if they can stay awake for it, so we feel we have to.

Oh, and when we wake up, we have the yearly tradition of chasing DD2 as she tries to put an elf hat on one of the dog's heads. Or attempts to give our rats a nibble of a mince pie.

evilhamster Sun 18-Nov-12 17:05:50

Now I look at that, I realise I don't come under the 'organised' people you want. blush

racingheart Sun 18-Nov-12 17:10:06

Oh. I get it. You all have FUN on Christmas Eve. I love the idea of that. We could go to the panto, and a carol service or have a few friends round for drinks. Love these ideas. Thank you.

MmeLindor Sun 18-Nov-12 17:14:44

We go out for the day. Last few years it has been sledging in the mountains, but the lack of Alps within an hour's drive may scupper that tradition.

Mulled wine, bratwurst and sauerkraut, a reading of a German poem will be new additions this year.

Later DH goes upstairs with the DC to give them their bath. While they are in their bath the Christkind sneaks in (German tradition instead of Santa) and leaves presents in the living room and new PJs on their beds.

DD set up her iPod to try and catch the Christkind last year, but I lobbed the pressies under the tree from the office.

knackeredmother Sun 18-Nov-12 17:15:36

Work! Does no one else in MN work? Christmas Eve is a Monday isn't it? I thought normal working day for most, certainly in the NHS for me. I wish I was off though all these traditions sound lovely.

MmeLindor Sun 18-Nov-12 17:20:15

knackered
just thought of that while I was posting. It will be our first UK Xmas. In Germany and Switzerland most people work till lunchtime, if at all.

knackeredmother Sun 18-Nov-12 17:25:04

How lovely mmelindor! I hope you enjoy your first Xmas here.

Bunnygotwhacked Sun 18-Nov-12 17:35:06

DP has Christmas eve off this year so the plan is to get up change beds spend some time in the morning decorating the gingerbread houses am doing a small one each so we will have a little village of them.
Then will probably skype relatives so the dc's can have a natter in their hyper excited state then after lunch go out for a walk along the river providing its not flooded or into town to see the lights. Come home to ham that has been bubbling in coke all day.
After dinner it gets really christmasy will bring out the hamper everyone can go take a bath and get snuggled into new pj's am setting up a hot choc station and sit down with lights off except tree lights to watch Elf never seen it before have told dp mumsnet promises it's good.
Then dc's off to bed having sprinkled reindeer food and left mince pie and milk, got stockings and hot water bottles into dc3 bed to have christmas story then off to their own to sleep pah who am I kidding Of course all presents will already be wrapped hmm and I don't have any prep this year as I am instead doing everyone's favorite meal Dd goulash ds1 pasta with pancetta ds2 pizza it seems daft to spend a fortune on a huge roast that only me and dp enjoy.

Aw sad Knackeredmother

Ten years or so ago DH and I worked Christmas Eve - but we're both lucky enough to have jobs that mean we never work Christmas Eve any more - and are on holiday right through till after New Year. Years ago we both worked in retail, which meant working up till late on Christmas Eve then going back to work Boxing Day sad.

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