My Christmas Eve Prep

One of the best gifts I give myself each year is a quiet, non-stressful Christmas Eve (especially the evening) and a low-key Christmas Day.

I’ve loved Christmas my whole life and the idea of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day being really stressful, exhausting and busy now that I’m the parent sounds terrible to me. I still want Christmas to feel fun for me too!

Here are some of the things I do to make Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as low-stress as possible for me (and by extension, the rest of the family):

christmas eve preparations

My Christmas Eve Prep

  1. Wrap presents ahead of time. I remember my mom staying up really late on a few Christmas Eves to wrap allllll the presents and that is not my idea of fun (it was not her idea of fun either). I actually love to wrap presents, but I don’t want to be doing it on Christmas Eve, so I try to wrap gifts in batches over the course of December so that it never gets overwhelming. I turn on a fun Christmas audiobook and lock myself in my office for 30-60 minutes and get as much as I can wrapped so it’s ready to go on Christmas Eve.
  2. Have a simple Christmas Eve dinner. We always have our traditional Christmas Eve shepherds meal which is especially nice because it involves zero cooking. Usually on the 22nd or 23rd, we go as a family to Sprouts or Trader Joe’s and pick up all the supplies for our meal and then it’s all ready to plate and serve on Christmas Eve. Having that meal be easy makes ALL the difference for me on Christmas Eve!
  3. Set the table before we go to bed. I love a beautiful holiday table and I want our Christmas breakfast to feel festive and special. But I don’t want to be fooling with it in on Christmas morning when there are so many other things going on! Bart and I spend 10 minutes after the girls are in bed getting the table set with our Christmas china and goblets. Plus, there’s something so magical about coming in on Christmas morning to the table all set!
  4. Pick a Christmas breakfast that’s easy to make ahead of time. For many years, I’ve made this lemon cream cheese croissant bake for Christmas morning and it’s so nice to be able to assemble it during the day on Christmas Eve and then on Christmas morning, it’s ready to pop in the oven and bake while we open gifts. I usually line a baking sheet with tinfoil (ahead of time) and then cook a pack of bacon at the same time so that everything is hot and ready with virtually no hands-on time for me in the morning. Add some eggnog and juice and voila, a special breakfast without me spending all morning in the kitchen.
  5. Go to bed early. The greatest luxury to me is getting into my cozy bed at 9:30 on Christmas Eve and watching a show with Bart before we go to sleep. As a parent, Christmas morning is so magical and I don’t want that joy dampened because I’m exhausted – my best gift to myself is a good night’s sleep on Christmas Eve.

What kind of Christmas Eve prep do you do to make your Christmas Day less chaotic and stressful? I’d love to hear!

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Photos by Heather Mildenstein

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