I want my kids to go to bed early on Christmas Eve.
I said it. (I’ve even used these sneaky tips to get kids to go to sleep FAST when I had work nights planned or wasn’t feeling well.)
But I don’t think I’m alone.
I need the last few hours on Christmas Eve to wrap remaining presents, prepare our annual Christmas breakfast and toss the last bit of goodies into my kids stockings.
No matter how many times I try, there’s always last minute things to get done on Christmas Eve!
Because you and me both know that parents are the REAL Santa, right?
While millions of children think Santa is flying through the air, it’s really parents who are staying up all night making the finish touches to create a most festive Christmas day!
But, I digress..;0)
I’ve brainstormed, crowd-sourced and stolen some of my mom friend’s BEST tips. (Totally joking, we openly share our tips to help each other. Nothing is stolen. All is FREELY given for personal and commercial use…ha!)
We often chat about motherhood and we just so happened to compile a list (in our heads) of GENIUS ideas to get your kids to bed early on Christmas Eve.
And I, being the blogging friend, decided to share them with my mom readers.
Love you gals! <3
And, I may not be at your house on Christmas Eve to wish you a happy holiday, so this is the next best thing, right?
And your kids?
Whether they realize it or not, they truly and desperately need all the rest they can snag on Christmas Eve.
They have a BIG day on December 25th!
Ready for our TOP GENIUS tips?
Genius Tips to Get Your Kids to Bed Early on Christmas Eve
- Plan a FULL day of fun. This is my personal go-to. When I know that I need (or desperately want) my kids to head to bed early at the end of the day, I make sure we all keep a fast pace that day.
Here’s a few ideas to keep your Christmas Eve Day packed full of fun!
- Go caroling.
- Check out all the Christmas displays in your city’s downtown.
- Build snowmen.
- Have a snowball fight.
- Collect pinecones.
- Watch Christmas movies.
- Make Christmas crafts.
- Go ice skating.
- Bake Christmas cookies for Christmas day.
- Stick to your normal routine. The craziness of the holidays can throw your entire routine off. That’s understandable. However, if possible, try to stick to your normal routine.
You may have to talk to other family members beforehand to make sure they are on the same page (because nothing can throw a wrench in your plans like a well-meaning relative saying “Oh, just let them stay up a little while longer. It’s a holiday!”)
Sticking to routines often helps kids settle down more quickly in the evening.
It’s one of the secrets to our successful naptime course for toddlers and preschoolers!
- Avoid being abrupt. Rather than suddenly announcing “Bedtime!” (which is bound to elicit groans), give them time warnings to signal that they should start winding things down.
If they are watching Christmas movies, let them know that after the current one goes off, they need to get ready for bed.
Or tell them a specific time when they need to stop all activities begin their bedtime routine.
Then stick to that!
- Add a bit or warmth. A warm bath with lavender salts or oils at the end of the day even helps kids relax.
And warm milk?
That’s an old trick that’s been passed down for generations that still works!
Add a touch of vanilla to it if your kids enjoy vanilla flavored drinks. You can even give it a special name like, “Sleepy time milk” or “Night Night Latte” to make them actually enjoy winding down for the night! Here’s a simple recipe to follow!
- Sing gentle Christmas songs. Have you noticed that Silent Night, O Little town of Bethlehem and Away in a Manger are all soft, super soothing and almost lulling songs?
Use that to your advantage on Christmas Eve.
Gently sing those songs to or with your child in celebration of the holiday.
Can’t carry a tune?
Play quiet, instrumental versions of the soft holiday songs off of Youtube.
- Play a game. Crazy, right? But this is a sleepy time game for older kids who are competitive.
Let them know that you, the super sneaky parent, is going to do some quiet night checks and see who is the quietest child after all kids have been tucked in for the night.
The quietest child will wake up with a surprise under her pillow!
- Start earlier. Definitely stick to your normal routine if possible, but begin your bedtime routine earlier.
This will help your kids still get to bed early if you face any bedtime obstacles.
And if you begin your child’s bedtime routine earlier, she’ll automatically begin to enter “sleepy time” mode earlier as well.
Just following this one tip helps me get my kids to bed 30 minutes or an hour earlier than normal on sick or overly stressful days. (But we truly try to keep earlier bedtimes only reserved for holidays, emergencies and sick days.)
Do you use any other GENIUS ways to get kids to bed early on Christmas Eve? Be sure to share your ideas in our community of moms on Facebook!
And…if you want to give the gift of a successful, routine and predictable nap time to your toddler preschooler, you’ll LOVE our mom-friendly Sneaky Six Day Nap time Course for Preschoolers and Toddlers.
This course uses a proven method that goes far beyond keeping your little ones active in the morning. Plus it comes with printables to keep your child and you focused on successful naps! Check out all the details here!
Once your kids are all tucked in, go create some Christmas magic for your family!
And may your family have a super special holiday this year!