5 Holiday Bedtime Traditions To Start
There's nothing like watching the excitement build in a child as we get closer and closer to Christmas. While we want to make kids wait until Christmas morning to open gifts, they'll do just about anything to move the festivities one day earlier. But that's one of the things that makes Christmas Eve so much fun: to make bedtime as memorable as Christmas morning. We have a few ideas to make it that special. Here are 5 holiday bedtime traditions to start.
To keep the kids calm, some families allow for one or two presents to be opened on Christmas Eve. This can be fun if the present is right, but if it's wrong, like a calendar or a blanket, it may leave the kids a little disappointed. Rather than letting them choose a gift, come up with a particular gift to keep them busy while Santa makes his way to your house. Pick something like building sets or kits they can put together before they go to bed. If it takes enough concentration, it should distract them from obsessing about the next day's activities.
Holding a family "Secret Santa" the night before Christmas makes the evening a little more interactive for children than the standard "open one gift" tradition. Since it's not a regular gift, you can turn it into a game and employ themes to make it interesting for both the giver and the receiver. After each person opens a gift, have everyone guess who gave the present and why they gave it. Then have the giver come forward and tell the family why he or she picked out that gift. Not only does the game keep the kids too busy to be concerned with Santa's whereabouts, but they get a little bit of practice in the art of gift giving.
Kids want only the best presents from Santa and, whether or not it's considered a bribe, to yield the best results, many kids put out milk and cookies for Santa to snack on during his journey. It only takes a few minutes to put together a snack plate, but you can turn it into a project for the evening to divert their attention from presents. Have the kids research the cookie recipe they think Santa would like most and then have them help bake the cookies. If you want to go all out, you can help the kids mark a path to your house so Santa doesn't get lost. Set up garden flags or solar stakes and a trail of reindeer treats so Santa knows exactly where to go. It gives them something special to share with Santa while keeping their minds off presents for a few hours.
New Christmas movies are released every year giving you the opportunity to work a holiday movie into your pre-bedtime tradition on Christmas Eve. There are a few classics to choose from like any version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol but you can make one classic unique to your family. It can be silly like The Santa Clause or Elf, or sentimental like Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. If your kids are small, a cartoon might be your best bet for holding their attention until it's time to go to sleep.
It might be tough to get your kids to go to bed before the big day, but you want them to look their best for their Christmas morning photos. One way to do this is to wrap cute pajamas to open before they retire for the evening. They can be matching holiday pajamas, MLB apparel from the right team or even a princess nightgown. It's a small item for them to get excited about and you'll have one less step to take to make them look good for the camera as they tear through their presents the next day.
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