It’s Christmas Eve, the most exciting day of the year. You and your family are curled up by the fire and your favourite festive flick is on. The clock strikes 8. Santa will be shuffling down the chimney in a few hours and you haven’t put the kids to bed. In fact, they picked the film and now they’re enjoying it too much to even think about bedtime! Coupled with the fact that this is their 3rd film and they’ve been eating chocolate and drinking fizzy pop all day makes convincing them to go to bed all the more difficult.
This is a situation we’ve all faced and if you want to ease the stress on this wonderful day, Harvey Norman are here to help. We’ve put together a guide to getting the kids to bed early and creating a special Christmas Eve, all leading to a super Christmas Day.
Channel The Excitement
It’s the most wonderful time of the year and also the most exciting. The kids can’t wait to wake to Santa’s presents, tear them open and spend the day playing with their favourite new toys. That’s a whole lot of excitement for one little child! So why not channel the excitement and instead of letting them sit impatiently around the house all day, get them out playing! Join them in their favourite pastime, be it hurling, skipping or playing tag. This is a wonderful way to burn off excess energy and also spend some quality family time with your kids. Being active throughout the day makes it a whole lot easier for everyone to get some sleep before Santa arrives.
Save The Cake For Christmas Day
Christmas time seems to wonderfully coincide with you finding your sweet tooth, you know the one you thought you didn’t have? Well, the same goes for your little elves and when they see the sweet wrappers twinkle off the tree lights, well that’s special. The trouble with this is that all the sugar from sweets, cakes and fizzy drinks will only increase their energy, making it harder for them to nod off at bedtime. If they spend the day lounging around the house then it really only doubles up on the difficulty of finding sleep. So save the cake for Christmas Day, the wait will be worth it. Reduce or cut their intake of sugars and sweets throughout the day and once it’s not an hour or two before bedtime, offer them something a little better like warm milk or hot chocolate after they come in from the cold. After all, nothing beats a hot drink to warm their hands, hearts and smiles.
Flicks & Fifa
This one’s a little tricky, but do-able. The Christmas period is the best time of year to snuggle up in front of the TV and relive all the classics that brought your childhood fairy tales to life. Time may have moved on but the feeling hasn’t and it’s the same feeling of excitement and wonder for your kids. Whether it’s Santa going from chimney to chimney in The Santa Claus or a young boy protecting his house from crooked robbers in Home Alone, your kids don’t want to miss out. This often leads to them sitting in front of the TV for hours on end which only makes it more difficult to nod off later in the evening. Letting your kids play with consoles can also lead to trouble so perhaps reduce the time they spend playing the Xbox or PlayStation. Instead, have them go outside for some fresh air and some real playtime and see how much easier it is for them to sleep that night.
Someone’s On The Roof
A great way to assure your kids get to bed early is to maintain routine. If you and your kids are usually up at 7:30 am then get up at that time Christmas Eve. Run through the regular schedule as if it were just a normal day. Doing this during the day in particular will ensure that your kids don’t get over excited or carried away. It also means that they won’t spend too long around the house or glued to the TV. Also, be sure to agree a bedtime with them and to give yourself an extra half hour, we all know how curfews get extended! Another one of Harvey Norman’s top tips, ideal for later in the evening, is to tell them you’ve just heard that Santa is nearby and he only drops in when the kids are sleeping! Pretend that your neighbour has called to say Santa has been seen flying over the estate and that they’ve put their kids to bed. It’s a sure bet to get the kids under the sheets in no time!
A Christmas Story
A bedtime story is the perfect way to wind down a busy day. After a warm bath or shower to get ready for Santa, get the kids into bed early with the promise of a Christmas story and see how quickly they jump under the blanket. Dim the lights to darken the room and tell a fascinating winter tale with classic stories such as How The Grinch Stole Christmas or Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer to finish off the perfect Christmas Eve. If they happen to wake later in the evening, gently remind them how Santa only visits while the children are asleep! It’s quality time like this with your kids that makes Christmas so special, seeing their smiling faces all excited about Santa, nodding off to dream of elves, snowmen and flying reindeer. After all, it really is a wonderful life.
- Keep your child’s routine in order.
- Agree a story time and a bedtime. Remember to dim the lights and create a cosy sleeping environment.
- Get loads of exercise prior to 3 hours before bedtime.
- Reduce sugar intake and cut it 3 hours before bedtime. Replace it with a light snack or warm milk if necessary.
- Keep them away from electronics and create a warm, festive environment.
- Most importantly, enjoy every minute of the day!