How to make Xmas eve special?(34 Posts)
This is our first Xmas as a family of four (dds are 4 and 11weeks). We are staying at home in our new house and for the first time are not travelling to see relatives. I would like Xmas eve to be very special, and not just a day of last minute prep. What do you do that makes Xmas eve special?
We prepare for Christmas, mindfully. I know that sounds wanky but hey-ho, that's what we've done ever since DH and I got together and he worked in a different country and him coming back on Christmas Eve was the start of Christmas. We play music, watch DVDs, put out treats for Santa, read stories with ds and generally settle in to a slower pace. I make soup (vital).
Then when ds goes to bed it's wrapping with fizz and carols from Kings. Stay up till midnight and open one grown up present each, the put the stocking out for ds and bed.
Nothing fancy, just being together. I love it.
We got married on Xmas eve so it's always a bit special.
This year dh is working so I'm taking the dds to the panto then church and back home where dh will be home too and the dds have a Xmas bag with new onsies, hot choc spoons, a ginger bread house, Santa stop sign and sparkly bath bombs from lush.
We have a buffet dinner then kids to bed and drink lots of prosseco while waiting for them to sleep.
Hot chocolate, candy canes, Christmas films, pyjamas, board games, decorate gingerbread men/houses, Christmas songs, nice food!
We probably can't avoid the last-minute prep. But last year, after DS went to bed, DP and I sat down to the last of our wrapping with some nice music, port (for him), bubbly (for me) and some gorgeous cheese soufflÃ©s I'd found marked down at Coop that morning. I think that's going to be our new tradition: something you like, and a little indulgence that you don't normally get.
DP is working 8-8 on Christmas Day, so 21mo DD and I are going to my SIS's on Christmas Eve. We will walk the dogs vthen come home and watch the Box of Delights while DD and DNephew (6) are still up. We usually have a lovely buffet of cheeses, meats, laverbread, bread etc, followed by mince pies, washed down with lots of bubbly. Food out for FC and Rudolph and more bubbly in front of the TV specials or just listening to Christmas music.
On Boxing Day we're going home to have Christmas Day #2 with DP and his side of the family. I will be a wine-sodden mess by then.
my hubby always works christmas eve (if it falls on a wk day) starts at 7am but is normaly sent home by 11:00 during that time i usualy decorate our christmas cake with the kids, put out all our christmas nibbles and chocolates, push the cleaner through and cook a big ham. thats the last min bits done so the rest of the day is all about family! we watch a christmas film and play christmas music see some other family etc. in early evening we av a buffet over my mother in laws then come home and all open a present from under the tree (new pyjamas), put father christmas mince pie and drink out, then we cwtch up all together, read night before christmas and watch the snowman or some thing. kids put stockins on end of bed then go to sleep. finally hubby and i get a bit of time together and drink bubbly and eat more chocolate b4 we put kids presents all out and make up stockings.
i luv christmas eve as much as the big day
We have a 3yo (just!) and a 9 week old. Planning on going into town to see the big Christmas window display, and a tottle round the Christmas market. Home for tea,then we are all going to stick our pjs on and watch The Grinch with chocolate and popcorn. Put out the Santa Plate and a christmassy story in bed.
Then, once dd is asleep, Im sticking Love Actually on and drinking Prosecco while I build all her Playmobil toys up ready for the morning!
I normally have to go to work too, but even with lunch and last minute food buying (city centre M&S is actually pretty decent compared to suburban supermarkets!), we are home by 2 ish.
We always try to have a walk in the beach or to the park up the hill.
Yes, there is prep work. But done gently. Dh lights the fire. DD bakes cookies with me for Santa - I have a roll of dough in the freezer to just slice and bake, if we are tight on time, and I don't really want to do a fresh batch from scratch. Or it might be starting with eggs and butter....
Dinner is something nice, special but easy.
I try to make sure I take time to sit with dd and watch a movie in the afternoon. I have christmas radio going in the kitchen.
After dinner, the youngest lights the Christmas candle, we remember the good and bad things about the year just gone, including getting dd to remember things she thought were good and bad. We follow that with a prayer.
Then I get out the Christmas Eve box. It has DDs stocking, new pjs for everyone, naice hot choc mix/blocks of choc to melt, a Christmas beer for dh, our family copy of "Twas the night before christmas" and bath bombs for dd and I. She gets the cookies, milk and carrot in the kitchen and goes up for her bath.
So it's a mix of prep and slowing down to contemplation and relaxation.
If I was home with dd all morning, I probably would have some free printable colouring sheets from the net, to colour a picture for Santa,, and maybe some strips of coloured paper and a roll of sticky tape to make paper chains for the hall or her bedroom. To keep them busy.
And there might also be presents that she needs to wrap, to Dh or someone. And it's a day I can persuade her to help with housework , sweep the floor or help Hoover, for Santa coming tonight. Or carry clean towels down to the bathroom downstairs, or fresh loo roll in case Santa needs a wee.
In the morning dd and I will ice some biscuits, then she can take some to her grandparents where she goes with her dad. I'll prep veg and put stew on while she's out and then she'll be home at 4. We'll have dinner as normal and then I'll put her Christmas eve hamper under the tree, we'll unwrap the bits in there with some Christmas music on and then I'll run her a special bath with bath fizz and new rubber duck. When she's out the bath we'll snuggle up on the sofa to watch the snow man and the snow dog with a hot chocolate before bed
I spring clean and do any errands on the 23rd. On Christmas Eve we make mince pies and gingerbread men to leave out for Santa. We see the matinee panto and grab a takeaway on the way home. Then we decorate pillow cases to hang up for Santa. DC get presents to open before bed. Usually pjs, dressing gown, slippers, bath smellies and a book.
with the age of your DC its quite limiting as to what they can do..in your shoes I would keep it simple for now, head to childrens nativity or christingle in local church...even if not churcy its child friendly and sweet...
look at lights and maybe soft play....when get older can start panto and so on
oh yes making gingerbread house wouldbe good
DP is in work, normal 9-5 although he usually gets sent home around 3ish, so me and DC will be going out for a fry up (big treat for us, only ever happens on my birthday and Xmas Eve) then take the dog for a nice long walk and have a little play in the park, home to play for a while, my best friend will come round for tea and mince pies and a present swap, then hopefully DP will be home by then and we will be making homemade Xmas tree shaped pizzas, everybody makes their own and puts whatever toppings on they like
The elf leaves the Xmas Eve hamper in the morning so after pizza it's bathtime, Xmas pj's on, sprinkle the reindeer dust, watch our Xmas DVD (home alone this year ) with our hot chocolate & marshmallows and popcorn, leave the Santa plate out, up to bed to read The Night Before Christmas and kids in bed
Then me and DP crack open the bubbly, watch some crap Christmas Telly and put the presents out/fill the stockings when everybody's sleeping
fresh loo roll in case Santa needs a wee.
Biddy I love that on so many levels...
Lonny sometimes you just have to think of reasons WHY DD might possibly want to help out in a tiny way towards keeping the house ticking over. I know there's a book out there about it but we've never read that one (we have a stack over a foot high of Christmas books!).
Tidying away the toys so Santa won't fall over them is another excuse....
This year, crib service at church then a Grinch themed tea with a watching of the cartoon. Green soup (pea and ham), Who roast beast sandwiches (roast beef) and various green and red things! Then Snowman related drink/snack and the Snowman before bed.
When I was a kid we used to do the Christmas sweets and fruit shopping at the market (I find that too annoying with my kids!)
ooh right back atcha with my first Christmas one!!!!
We spend the morning flitting: out with DS for a walk, delivering biscuits to neighbours, visiting Fil and family. Normal dinner bath and bed. DS is 3. DH goes for dinner with his family, but this year will be the last year. We have family over for Boxing Day this year, but it will be Christmas Day next year (family = Fil, Bil and Sil; others Bil and Sil re martued with dc and have their own plans).
DS got a bike for his 3rd birthday just last week, so we will be in the park wearing him out on it if the weather is good. Then around 6pm we will do the shitting log (Catalan, Caga Tio, he poos small gifts - book, sweets, yo-yo - when you hit him with a stick, delightful tradition!).
Maybe next year we will get a dvd of something Christmassy, but he has got ants in his pants and doesn't sit and watch tv for very long
Christmas Eve crib service, followed by light dinner, then bath pj's & christmas film then lay out carrots mince pies and milk for father Christmas.
Boys to bed, DH & I have port and cheese and last minute wrapping.
this year DS1 is nearly 11 years old and seems to be staying up ever later so there will be no last minute wrapping jsut the port and cheese as DS1 will probably still be up about 10pm!!!
I'll be at work until 5, although it will probably be more like 6 by the time I get out. Then I am doing a
M&S buffet, decorate a gingerbread house with DS, watch whatever DVD I get for his xmas eve bag.
Once he is asleep then we'll put the presents out, drink some sort of booze, make hot chocolate, midnight mass, drink hot chocolate, eat Santa's chocolates, more booze and then bed.
I quite like being busy xmas eve because when I stop and relax after church it really feels like xmas has started
DS goes to Grandads house in the morning and does some baking with him, whilst I go and collect the fresh veg etc for Xmas Day.
About 4ish, DS opens 3 presents - new pj's, DVD and chocolates/sweets and we snuggle on the settee with just the tree lights on and watch a DVD. We then order takeaway and watch another DVD. We then have hot chocolate, sweets and chocolate and bed around 9pm.
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