Christmas eve can be a tricky day. The house is usually packed, the kids are getting over excited about the imminent arrival of Santa Claus and you are trying to do a million things at once. Here are our top tips for defusing that Christmas Eve stress:

Tell the kids who’s coming – and what’s expected of them

Most children are also not very good with chaos (unless it is of their own making) so if you have lots of people dropping in, talk to them in advance about what to expect, otherwise they may end up feeling completely overwhelmed by the occasion.

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For little ones, it might also be worth role-playing what to do when they are in receipt of an unwanted gift – an important Christmas skill that they need to master early!

To avoid any major meltdowns from the kids, try and stick to a routine they are familiar with as much as possible. Christmas Eve stress can affect children too, so an hour or two of normality can help prevent tears and tantrums.

Plan something special

If you can get organized, Christmas Eve is also a great day for theatre trips, carol concerts or even the ballet. Book as soon as possible and you can make a real day of it. This also means that the kids aren’t stuck in the house getting more and more over excited.

Christmas Eve stress

Enlist a helper or two

At the other end of the spectrum if you still have presents to wrap and a chore list the length of your arm, then just getting everyone out of the house for a couple of hours is essential. Take advantage if you have relatives staying, get them to take the kids to park for a few hours. Where possible avoid just sticking the TV on as you’ll just end up with hyped up kids who are too excited for bed – they need to be tired or they will never sleep.

Disaster-proof the big day

Christmas Eve is also the final chance to disaster-proof your Christmas (as much as possible). Make sure you have all the correct batteries for new toys, a few spare gifts in case of unexpected visitors, plenty of washing up liquid and most importantly have worked out exactly how long the bird needs to be in the oven.

The most important thing…

Remember the Christmas Eve is meant to be a time of fun and togetherness. Not everything has to be perfect and nor are you solely responsible. If things go wrong, try and avoid getting stressed, just tell yourself these may well be moments that are fondly remembered in years to come (it’s why we love wacky Christmas films so much!).