Christmas Eve is officially Christmas.
Unless you are a character in a zany Christmas film, most of your shopping will be done and wrapped, your kitchen will be filled with delicious-looking food and you’ve probably already broken up numerous fights between excitable children.
The last couple of weeks will have most likely passed in a nightmarish haze of shopping lists and holding back the tears when you saw the queues in Meadowhall. Hey, no one said it would be easy. Anyway, with December 24 finally here, it’s time let go of the tough times and enjoy...in theory.
Here are a couple of tips to make sure you really can relax and enjoy the official start of Christmas.
- Back-up presents. Buy a couple of ‘neutral’ presents - boxes of chocolates, wine - and wrap them up with blank gift tags on. These are ideal for that moment on Christmas Eve when your neighbours/friends you haven’t seen for years/your half-cousin Albert show up at your door with presents in tow. Now combine the words: “Oh thank goodness you’ve come, I didn’t think I was going to be able to get these to you before Christmas!” with legging it upstairs to hastily write the gift tag (allow time for the ink to dry or that could be embarrassing!) and voila - crisis averted.
- Keep up the Christmas magic. Whatever your age, the magic of Christmas is half the fun, so put out that sherry for Santa, a carrot for Rudolph and fill stockings with oranges and shiny (chocolate) pennies. Bake some Christmas cookies, watch ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ and remember - we all get to be kids at Christmas so take a little time to revel in the whimsy of the season.
- Relax and enjoy. Wrap, shop and prepare like a madman in the run-up so that you can spend as much of your Christmas Eve as possible relaxing with friends, enjoying a drink or leisurely lunch with loved ones and watching Christmas films with the kids. It’s such a lot of work for such a little window of time, so make sure you squeeze out every festive minute you can.