How to get your children to sleep on Christmas Eve

Boy sleeps beside christmas tree holding present

Let Operation Stockings commence! The secret to a stress-free Christmas Eve is a house full of sleeping children – Mumsnetters share their tips for making it happen

1. Take them out. Wear them out
Boy is excited under a stream of water

“Splash time at our local pool! The kids love it and swimming totally exhausts them. I can pretty much guarantee that at 8 they'll be tucked up in bed sleeping soundly enough for me to be able to carry out Santa's duties.”

2. Bring out the new Christmas pyjamas
Boy and girl play on Christmas eve

“We have new PJs and watch A Muppet Christmas Carol with hot chocolate and popcorn before bed. Every year. Always.”

3. Create a Christmas Eve box

But what is a Christmas Eve box and what do you put inside it? We explain all in this short video.

“I think the idea is that you all have a lovely snuggly night as a family watching a DVD in new pyjamas with a few snacks or a hot chocolate, and a story before bed. I think it's a lovely idea and I'm going to do it when my kids are old enough.”

4. Get them in the zone
Baby is excited before sleep

“I find that lying explaining that resting is as good as sleeping, and that Father Christmas will be expecting them to be quiet and still in their beds when he arrives, often means they relax enough under the covers to fall asleep.”

5. It's okay to be economical with the truth
Pinocchio tells a lie

“If they are still fairly young, you could always hide the fact that tomorrow is Christmas Day from them…”

6. Do it your way
Santa holds a gift

“In our house, Father Christmas leaves his presents in our living room by the chimney.”

7. Be patient
Man is stressed out

“Last Christmas I was still awake at 2am because my six-year-old kept waking up every time I tried to retrieve the stocking off the bedroom door. Was beginning to consider a quick whack on his head to knock him out till morning…”

8. …or rethink your schedule entirely
Family sleeps through alarm clock

“One year we set the alarm for 4am and got up to fill stockings then!”

9. Keep an eye out for traps
Woman suspiciously closes the door

“One year my daughter put a bell in the toe of her stocking so that she would hear when Father Christmas lifted it. I sat on it as she was going to bed and she was rumbled!”

10. Embrace it – it's all part of the festive fun
A family enjoys Christmas festivities

“Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the half-pissed, anxiety-provoking, am-I-going-to-ruin-Christmas-forever stocking switch.”