It’s the day before Christmas, and as well as all the cooking, wrapping, planning and preparing you have to do – you also have the kids to occupy.
But don’t worry – we’ve rounded up some easy, quick activities for children on Christmas Eve.
We’ve scoured Mumsnet and gathered stories from parents to find out how other mums and dads spend the day.
By no means would you be able to fit all these activities into one day, but pick and choose what works best for you.
1. Enlist their help as wrapping elves.
Seeing as Christmas Eve is inevitably spent doing last-minute wrapping (or is that just us?) you could enlist your kids to help you along the way.
Name them your wrapping elf, find some easier presents to wrap (small and square-shaped) and see how they go. You could even add: “Wrapped by [insert name here] the wrapping elf” tags on the gifts so your relatives know if it is a little on the messy side.
Put a film on in the background (‘Elf’ would be suitable) and see how long you can do it before they get bored.
2. Make them the last-minute food shop list-taker.
Even if you’ve tried to be organised and done the classic food delivery a few days before Christmas, there’s no doubt there will be a couple of things you’ll need to run out to the shop for.
Get your kids to write a Christmas shopping list (they can even decorate it to make it festive if they’re feeling creative) and bring them with you to the shop to ensure you get every last bit. It’s their job to tick items off once they’re in the trolley.
3. Go out for a long walk.
Once the preparation is done and the panic of present-buying is over, you might find yourself with some spare time in the afternoon.
Seeing as the next couple of days are likely to be full of visitors and busy-ness, why not head out for a long walk to tire them out before Santa arrives this evening?
4. Write thank you letters for the elf.
If you’ve been doing the Elf on the Shelf craze this year, get your kids to draw pictures and write letters to the elf to thank them for visiting them for the month.
Leave them out for Santa to take back to the elves that night.
5. Go on a Christmas lights drive.
When it gets dark, head out in your local area to see how many decorative festive light displays you can see on houses near you. Are there any extravagant ones? What score would you give them out of 10?
You could also play ‘Spot The Christmas Trees’: task the kids with keeping track of the number you see while on you’re on your travels.
6. Film a festive music video.
This one requires a bit more time, but could come in handy when you want to send Christmas messages to friends and family the next day. Get the kids to choose their favourite Christmas song, set up a festive scene in the background, plan a short choreography (or just get them dancing) and get them to mouth along to the words.
7. Do a bauble treasure hunt.
Where did all the baubles on the tree go? While the kids aren’t looking, hide 10 of the decorations from the tree around the house.
Tell them *someone* must have come in and hidden them, and they have the next couple of hours to find all 10 and put them safely back on the tree. Phew.
8. Watch a festive film with hot chocolate.
While it’s all well and good saying your kids can help you with the cooking, baking and prepping you need to do, sometimes it’s just easier and quicker to get things done on your own.
Get their favourite film, set them up on the sofa and give them a hot chocolate with a blanket to keep them cosy, entertained and out from under your feet.
9. Prepare for Santa’s visit.
Don’t forget to save time before bed to leave out milk and a mince pie for Santa and a carrot for the reindeers. Maybe get the kids to write Santa a letter ready for him when he comes in to deliver the presents.
10. Locate Santa on the tracker.
Don’t forget to show your children where Santa is in the world on the NORAD Santa Tracker so they can see where he is delivering presents.
Find out how here.