What to do during the day on Christmas Eve

(46 Posts)
cheekycherryza Fri 13-Sep-13 17:03:55

Hi all,

Now that DD is old enough and won't be teething this Christmas - thank God for that! I have no idea what to do with her during the day on Christmas Eve.

We are doing Elf on the shelf this year so our Elf hamper will be left out at some point during the day (any ideas when?) and hopefully DH will be able to get the day's leave.

I have plans to do as much forward planning for food prep as possible. The past two years, cooking on Christmas day from scratch with a teething baby and useless hung over husband is not my idea of fun - anymore at least! So, yes, I won't be running around prepping food etc on Christmas eve day for that evening or Christmas day itself.

Usually on Christmas eve past we have a sort of canape nibbles dinner, watch a christmassy film maybe. but now DD is 3 I want her to have a fantastic time filled with family traditions and enjoyment.

So what can we possibly do that will waste the day and get DD completely tired out and ready for a quiet family evening and then into bed by about 8:30?

What do you all do during the day and how does your evening progress?

aftereight Fri 13-Sep-13 17:08:08

For the last couple of years we have taken the DCs to big park for a long (cold) walk, with a flask of hot chocolate, then home to change and a local Christingle church service and evening meal at a local cosy restaurant.

We do panto in the afternoon but not sure if your DD will enjoy that at 3??

Popping out mid afternoon for a walk/play at the park and then some food is good to break the day up.

We've done bowling too one year but again depends on age and what they like.

Labootin Fri 13-Sep-13 17:15:17

I spend the day gnashing my teeth at how hopelessly disorganised I am, yell at everyone within a 100 metre radius, lose the Sellotape , rip the crappy market stall wrapping paper that dh bought ten rolls of about 5 years ago , lose the will to live, attempt to get in the Christmas mood with some carols on my iPod Christmas playlist, decide I bloody hate Christmas carols, ff to Slade and start drinking whiskey and ginger wine then I get sloppy drunk and prank call random abcs on my contact list and pass out on the sofa having sworn undying love to Carol from accounts and booty called Clive the plumber.

Dh sorts out the Christmas stockings and the kids put themselves to bed with much eye rolling.

ShowOfHands Fri 13-Sep-13 17:17:49

I spend Christmas Eve wearing out the dc so that they go to bed and sleep well. We get up in the morning and light the fire. We spend a wee while at home with the dc making truffles and cookies while I steam the Christmas pudding and make starters for Christmas Day. I also make some mulled wine. The food/drink and fire combination makes the house smell lovely. I also put something in the slow cooker for dinner later on. Nearly always minted lamb casserole or beef stew depending on who decides.

Once the children have baked and everything is done or on steaming/slow cooking/mulling, we go out into the town, visit a few people and drop in truffles and cookies. We go to the bakery and buy nice bread to last us while the bakery's closed, plus some treats for the dc and then we meander round and look at the Christmas lights, scenes in shop windows etc. Then home to make lunch. We make bacon sandwiches or similar and pack them up along with a flask of drink and the bakery treats and we head off for a v long walk and picnic on the beach or in the local woods. Lots of chasing and playing and we tell the dc the same Christmas stories (how stockings were invented, Russian folk tales, Baboushka, Jack Frost etc). We picnic and then walk/run (sometimes geocaching too) until it's getting dark and then we tell the dc we need to hurry home as Father Christmas will be setting out. We call in at the church on the way back to light a candle and DD often stays for the carol service with MIL while we drop in on friends for a cup of tea.

Then home and the Christmas hamper will have been delivered. We have friends call round usually for mulled wine and lots bring their instruments so we have a sing song and play games and then when they're gone, lamb casserole/beef stew, bath with the hamper bubble bath, new pjs on, watch a Christmas film with the dc. Then stockings up, sprinkle reindeer food, leave out milk and a mince pie and then chase up to bed for stories (including The Night Before Christmas) and then DH and I watch some of the video footage we have of the children's Christmases so far, we get out nibbles and drinks and watch a good film.

Parisbanana Fri 13-Sep-13 17:25:52

When the children were smaller we would spend the afternoon in London Zoo (we had membership so could go for just a couple of hours or so) For me, out of all the many many times we have visited there over the years, our Christmas Eve visits felt really magical. It was very quiet, you felt it was a privilege to be there, and the kids loved going and saying happy Christmas to all the animals.
Afterwards we would go to the children's carol service in church, then walk home glowing with anticipation, for food, and the evening rituals.

Gosh make the most of it! Although Christmas is still lovely of course, there is nothing like the magic of having small children smile

RhondaJean Fri 13-Sep-13 17:30:43

Hot chocolate out, we always go to the cinema, sometimes bowling though your dd is a little small for that, then go out for a meal. Just walking through town on christmas eve is lovely.

I love the eve more than the day itself.

RhondaJean Fri 13-Sep-13 17:31:05

Oh and I would love to do London zoo envy

siblingrevelry Fri 13-Sep-13 17:37:50

showofhands

I think there's been a mix-up somewhere-somehow you've been given the Xmas eve I should be having!

Sounds wonderful x

Patosshades Fri 13-Sep-13 17:57:41

We spent last christmas eve at the zoo. It was perfect, Christmas tunes belting out, no crowds and the legs walked off the little ones just to make them tired enough to sleep. Will be doing it again this year.

Mine will be 14 and 11.6 this year.
(last year DH was working on the 24th )
Usually:
Wake up, breakfast (toast or croissants with nice jam for DC and I. Coffee and orange juice. DH has scrambled eggs on toast. ) Breakfast at the table.

Wash, dress, out for a walk (park) used to go to feed reindeer and when they were younger, geese.

Lunch :
fishfingers (for DC) vegetable grills for DH and I, chips, salad
Trifle for us, ice-cream for DC

(We used to do the walk after lunch but it's swapped round now)

Film last year, really nice (Return of the Guardians last year)

Christmas Eve Hamper is delivered when we go out for our walk .
Later the DC have their bath (DD takes forever ) new PJs, drink, read annual.
TV or a film. at home.
Candles in jars to make a runway for the sleigh to land

Track on NORAD online

DD still does the tray for Father Christmas.
Late night buffet and guinea pigs cuddling . Get the DC and the guinea pigs off to bed.
Put the presents out.
Set the table for breakfast (Christmas Day breakfast is minimal)
Wrapping paper across the lounge door to burst through.

DH and I watch a spooky fillum or similar
Put the stockings in DD room (DS is forced to sleep in DD room on Christmas Eve ) grin

insancerre Fri 13-Sep-13 18:48:42

I am usually working sad
I work in a nursery and have to look after everyone else's children while they do their last minute christmas shopping, baking and planning

pensandpaperclips Fri 13-Sep-13 18:51:32

good use of copy & paste ShowofHands grin

minidipper Fri 13-Sep-13 18:58:01

When they were small we just spent the day opening each present one by one and letting them play with it.

We took favourite presents out for a walk. Both DSs were umbilically attached to Thunderbird toys one Christmas. We have cute pics of them walking up a frosty hill hugging them as if they were bears.

Ring granny and grandpa and chat to them.

Watch a Christmas dvd.

Buy special bath toys (soap crayons, foam pictures, boats of squirty animals) so that bath time is extra fun too.

ChestyNut Fri 13-Sep-13 18:59:56

Festive hot chocolate usually at Starbucks.
Followed by visiting family and delivering presents. Am hoping to make some sweets to deliver as well this year.
Home, christmas hamper, bath, takeaway tea and DVD smile

ChestyNut Fri 13-Sep-13 19:00:40

Oops forgot Chestydogs brisk walk in the park in the morning!

derektheladyhamster Fri 13-Sep-13 19:01:52

Both I and Dh are usually working sad

CMOTDibbler Fri 13-Sep-13 19:02:26

We go to the 11am panto, then for hot choc after, then onto christingle at a very lovely little church.

TurnOffTheTv Fri 13-Sep-13 20:16:51

Run around like a lunatic ALL DAY. Go to the carol service at Durham cathedral. Drink too much champagne. Regret it immediately at 2am when we have to get up in three hours.

minidipper Fri 13-Sep-13 21:19:40

oh duh. I read your Op as Christmas day.

We did lots of preparation on Christmas Eve when DC were small: making chocolate logs, hanging up stockings, putting out food for reindeer, carol service etc.

Now they're older we go into London, have lunch in a favourite place and then go to something Christmassy like a show or Winter Wonderland.

cheekycherryza Sat 14-Sep-13 08:09:53

thanks for all the ideas everyone. I think im going to work backwards from christmas eve bedtime writing down everything. Will also check out whats on locally. was going to drop off presents to friends on 23rd but will do 24th now and maybe a nice lunch out.

Cezzy Sat 14-Sep-13 08:13:44

The kids help me bake then we used to track Santa on the Norad site before bed. The girls would look out the window for him and I would hide and rattle some beads that sounded a bit like sleigh bells, they would yell that they could see him, though it was usually some star. Innocent fun but so sweet.

Flossiechops Sat 14-Sep-13 08:17:02

showofhands my goodness I'm very jealous - that sounds like the most perfect Christmas Eve scene I've ever heard of!

Guitargirl Sat 14-Sep-13 08:25:54

Oooo, the zoo - I hadn't thought of that as a Christmas Eve activity.

The Elf brings our DCs their hamper as his parting gift and leaves it in the morning for when they wake up. Then usually, we go the cinema to see whatever Christmassy film is on, have lunch out and come back to make whatever we will be leaving out for Santa - last year we made gingerbread men, have made cakes and decorated a gingerbread house before, I think we will do that one again this year from one of those kits. I love Christmas Eve - it's my favourite day.

Delayingtactic Sat 14-Sep-13 08:39:39

showofhands that's it. I feel like the laziest mother ever. I'm also going to ring my mother and tell her off. Where on earth do you find the energy?!

Right off to tell husband our plans for Christmas Eve. Which is basically your plan.

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