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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?

lizardqueenie Mon 16-Sep-13 08:49:47

Marking my place heregrin. Some wonderful ideas thanks to you all for sharing. My dd will also be 3 this year

BankerMommy2010 Mon 16-Sep-13 07:24:00

Continued... clicked on the post message button accidentally.

Ds will have his bath, using bubble bath from hamper amd will then put on his new christmas pjs (from hamper) will come downstairs for some nibbles milk & cookies, and lwave santa & reindeer treats, then bed and his new christmas book (from hamper)

Hubby & I will then do some organising for the lunch next day before having a yummy naughty food sesh a nice bottle of wine and baileys, a little rest then before we get too drunk and fall asleep, we'll set presents & stockings out... cant wait x

BankerMommy2010 Mon 16-Sep-13 07:18:02

I love Christmas eve smile

Last year we were all poorly with the flu, so this year were definitely making up for it, and as our ds is nearly 4 its tge first year hes fully understood the concept of santa etc..

Im not sure what were doing yet, but it will definitely include tiring our little man out, I think we'll have a morning of baking cookies & mince pies to leave out for santa, then head out for lunch somewhere, a nice long walk in the park then home to give our little boy a big bubble bath, his hamper from our elf will be waiting in his bedroom, when we go up for bath time, im going to put some twinkling battery powered fairy lights in the hamper so when he walks into his dark bedroom his hamper is twinkling waiting for him

davidtennantsmistress Mon 16-Sep-13 06:46:33

Oh and always new pjs flannel and a 'lush' fizzed bubble thingy as well.

davidtennantsmistress Mon 16-Sep-13 06:45:34

We have an elf box, it has a cooking thing inside colour book or crafty activity, a DVD packet of luxury hot choc and a few sweeties, we venture out in the morning for a walk and spend the afternoon with the heating on our hot choc in the oversized snow man mugs watching our Christmas dvd. However this year we will be at mil's and not sure if I have ds1 or not, so we will do the all and the box but not sure if we will do DVDs as they don't have the machine, will have to take the laptop wink

fakeblondie Sun 15-Sep-13 23:40:12

OOh my fav day of the year !
We always go into the village for hot chocolate
Always do a hamper for dc which is delivered while we're at the carols by candlelight .
here's my fav bit . . . DH lines the entire drive with empty jam jars each side, then pops a lit the alight into each one . It's a landing strip for Rudolph which is what the dc see out of their bedroom window at bedtime !
We also watch a Christmas film which is usually a new one in the hamper and toast marshmallows on open fire in new pjs before bed.
DH and I usually then open a bottle of champagne , and have a good romp in front of the fire as with 4 dc ranging from 17 to 3 it's the only night all year we can be absolutely certain they dare not come back down stairs !

serin Sun 15-Sep-13 23:33:27

We always used to go to the zoo or the Blue Planet aquarium on Christmas Eve, you have the place to yourselves and it helped to tire out the kids when they were little.

Ours are older now, we usually just take the dog for a walk and make mince pies. This will be the first year we go to midnight Mass.

theolddragon01876 Sun 15-Sep-13 21:33:08

WORK sad

lovelyredwine Sun 15-Sep-13 19:50:39

Christmas eve will be our Christmas day as I'm working Christmas day.

Our dd will be nearly 3 so will probably just think it's great that she gets 2 Christmas days. My DH will think it's shit as he will have to trawl around to her grandparents houses with an increasingly over-excited toddler on Christmas day with no alcohol to improve the situation!

minidipper Sun 15-Sep-13 19:42:21

What is this elf hamper thing? I never did this for my two and now they're too old. Never heard of it until I started lurking on MN a year ago. Is it instead of stockings or as well as?

Does anyone have any brilliant suggestions for what to do with DC on Christmas Eve once they are at secondary school? They love cooking so we always do that. Skating's no good as two of us have really bad balance and don't enjoy it. We live near London. Any ideas of great things to do? Been to Winter Wonderland before, but think they might have outgrown it.

PinkSippyCup Sun 15-Sep-13 09:47:38

I love this thread! I'm now feeling super excited smile

DD will only be 1 at Christmas, but I'm taking note of all your ideas for the years to come!

May go to the farm on Christmas Eve though. Ours is all Christmasy and has a 'Santa's Sleigh Ride', Christmas Turkeys etc.

Will then have a nice lunch and make mince pies (while DD naps).

Will then go and visit my parents/ in laws to pick-up and drop off presents.

Back home change DD into her Christmas PJs and take lots of pictures in front of the tree.

Then whilst DD is in bed me and DH will dance around to Christmas carols, eat mince pies and other nice nibbles while doing the last bit of wrapping.

Can't wait smile

jamtoast12 Sun 15-Sep-13 08:56:55

I love Christmas Eve...we tend to chill at home in the morning before going to a friends for a mini party from say 2-6pm. We return home to the ceh and settle down to enjoy treats and a movie. I don't like to tire them on Christmas eve as mine are older at 8&6 so the excitement will get them up early anyway and I want them fresh for the whole day. If over tired on Xmas eve, it'll just be worse by Xmas night!

mikkii Sat 14-Sep-13 22:49:58

We try to wear the DC out during the day. In past years we have gone ice skating at Hampton Court Palace or gone to an enormous soft play that is normally horrendously loud.

We also follow Santa on NORAD.

Then children's mass at 6pm. Normally the adults then have dinner and go to the pub, last year we had to leave DD2 at home as she had a temperature, but DS and DD1 came for a curry before aunty took them home.

Then new pj's and bed.

Having once been up until 4am while pregnant with DD1 finishing the wrapping, I manage to complete that earlier.

Rubybrazilianwax Sat 14-Sep-13 22:33:37

Some of the dc usually go with dh to collect the turkey from our friend who rears them. Then we usually have callers all day. The dc mostly watch tv, and stay out from under my feet in the kitchen we go to mass in the evening so mine don't go to bed until 10pm which might seem a bit late but ever since they had us up at 3am on christmas morning, I like them to be exhausted!

VoldemortsNipple Sat 14-Sep-13 18:50:51

They certainly are Octobermoon grin

I'm thinking of getting the dcs cinema vouchers to put in their advent calendars for Christmas Eve to get them out of the House while I pull everything down out of the loft. But maybe I would ho and watch its a wonderful life instead.

OctoberMoon Sat 14-Sep-13 17:30:20

Showofhands you are my christmas inspiration. Your kids are so lucky. I think i love you blush

cheekycherryza that sounds amazing. Got me so excited.

voldemort i think i live in your village! If you live where i live then they are showing "it's a wonderful life" on 22nd and 23rd as well this year, i'm going with a couple of girlfriends.

VoldemortsNipple Sat 14-Sep-13 16:35:16

We have an old fashioned cinema in our village which is still in the style it was built in 1930. They play It's a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve. Half way through the film, they stop the film for an interval and the ladies come out selling ice cream. I'd love to go one year but the dcs (teenagers) are having none of it. sad

cheekycherryza Sat 14-Sep-13 16:09:42

Okay everyone, I have the grand Christmas eve plan all sorted!

Breakfast at the table -croissants with scrambled eggs, OJ and Starbucks Christmas blend coffee.

Leave the christmas hamper from Elf on the shelf with goodbye letter.

Wash, dress and go for a walk at Priory Farm's festive trail. Take a flask of hot chocoalte, m&m cookies and bread to feed the ducks.

Lunch out

Back home and find hamper & letter from Elf.

Draw thank you pictures for Elf and Santa to leave out for when santa comes.

Decorate gingerbread men for Santa and to hang on the tree

Watch prep & landing

Dinner - posh nibbles, hot spiced apple juice with Christmas music cahnnel on

Dress up warm candles in jars to make a runway for Santa to land (shamelessly pilfered from Showofhands, sprinkle reindeer food, leave santa key on the door wreath, put out santas tray with carrot, pictures drawn earlier in the day, gingerbread cookies and sherry.

Bath - use lush robot bath bomb and change into new Christmas pj's. Downstairs to watch Snowman with special hot chocolate and microwave popcorn from Elf hamper.

8:30 bedtime for DD

Presents out
Stocking on DD's bed
Set table for breakfast

DH & me cuddle with an irish coffee and box of thorntons chocs

BaconAndAvocado Sat 14-Sep-13 14:59:03

PS all the new traditions I want to try this year are from MN thanks

BaconAndAvocado Sat 14-Sep-13 14:58:25

Usually DH works on Christmas Eve in the morning. Me and DCs make mince pies, want to attempt a Buche Noelle (posh name for Yule log, god I love Nigella!) this year. We watch Christmas telly and read Christmas books until 1ish when DH returns.

We then all go out for a slap-up meal at the local Italian.

Back for a bit more telly then the Elves hamper, bath, Father Christmas' tray. Might do the candles in jars runway this year!

Once DCs are in bed DH starts Christmas dinner preparations whilst I do bugger all make sure everything else is in place for the big day.

This year I'd like to,do a grown up hamper for us with yummy M and S delights to gorge on! I also love to,have oysters on Christmas Eve, despite DH constantly worrying about me getting food poisoning him having to deal,with DDs singelhandedly the next day he's so thoughtful smile

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Sat 14-Sep-13 10:15:44

Last year we didn;t do anything special. I felt a bit guilty because DP works christmas eve and didnt get home til about 4.30. We did order a pizza for tea though and watched Home Alone or tried to, DS whinged throughout which I think we'll be doing again this year.

This year I'm hoping to: take DCs to the christmas eve party the local softplay usually have (must remember to prebook!) and then for a walk through the park (weather permitting) on the way home, followed by possibly attempting to make christmas cookies with DD(6) although last years went a bit... wrong. Hopefully DP will be home by then and we can order takeaway, change into pjs and snuggle on the sofa to watch a christmassy movie together before marching DC's off for a bath then bed and story time and me and DP can get pissed together, do the stockings pissed like last year and bring the rest of the haul of presents and shove under the tree, while giggling and hohoho-ing and shhhhing each other really loudly grin and then DP will then crash out on the sofa by 10pm hmm

Or the inlaws will be coming for christmas. Nothing has been discussed yet but if they do I'll have to make some changes to those plans...

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.

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.

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!

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.

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