Updated by Ashley C. on December 24, 2021
Christmas is an incredible, beautiful, but exhausting time to be a parent. There are presents to wrap, cookies to bake, meals to plan, and tiny little people full of boundless energy running around you all day long.
As parents, we live for the magic of Christmas morning. The gasps and giggles when they see their presents under the sparkling tree and their stockings filled with goodies are pure delight! We plan and we save...and we want it to be PERFECT!
But, those magical moments come EARLY in the morning on December 25th. And you need rest to keep your mood festive. It’s time to get your kiddos nestled into their beds for the night, but with all the excitement, an early bedtime feels impossible.
Don’t sweat it! This article is here to help you have plenty of time to arrange those last-minute surprises and still get your rest too. We’re sharing some of our favorite tips for getting your little ones settled down and sleeping before the big man comes to town. Let’s do this! 🎅
7 Ways to End Christmas Eve Bedtime Battles
🎄 Keep Christmas Eve busy
The best advice we can give — plan plenty of activities during the day to burn off your kids’ energy! If the weather permits, get them outside and moving. Go ice skating, build a snowman, head to the playground, or just let them run wild in the backyard.
If you’re feeling extra festive, plan a fun Christmas scavenger hunt! Take a stroll and look at your neighborhood’s lights. Find a blow-up Santa, blinking lights, lights that look like icicles, and a glowing reindeer. You can also count how many Christmas trees you see. Add some caroling to your walk and you’ll all be feeling the Christmas spirit!
Need a few indoor ideas to keep them busy? Bake cookies and write letters for Santa, create a new Christmas craft, and don’t forget to print our FREE festive holiday printables. Plan ahead to keep them busy and they’re sure to be tired at bedtime!
🎄 Stick to your routine
You likely already have a solid bedtime routine for the kids. Don’t let the Christmas Eve excitement change it up! If anything changes, maybe start your routine a little earlier than usual.
Give your little ones a nice warm bath or shower, put on those special holiday PJs, and read their favorite bedtime book (or sing your bedtime song). Then a kiss, hug, and lights out. A little reminder that Santa doesn’t come until they’re sleeping may help too. ;)
🎄 Play peaceful Christmas music
If your child needs a little help calming down, begin playing some soft, instrumental Christmas songs an hour or so before bedtime. The soothing tunes will keep the mood happy but calm as sleepytime approaches.
If you always sing a song together at bedtime, try out your favorite Christmas hymns to help them drift off to sleep. There are so many beautiful songs to choose from, but try to steer clear of their upbeat favorites, like Jingle Bells. Pick a soothing song and share a calming Christmas moment before lights out.
🎄Cozy up on the couch
Christmas movies are a favorite tradition for many families, and they can be a fun and calming way to end the day. After spending some time in the afternoon running around, sit down to dinner, then break out the DVDs and cozy blankets.
Pile up together on the couch and turn on your favorite festive film. Then snuggle while you all laugh it up with Will Ferrell or the Grinch. Or enjoy a classic on 34th Street. This calming time together as a family is a perfect way to end Christmas Eve.
🎄Enjoy a soothing, warm drink
Whether they love hot cocoa or cider, a warm holiday beverage may be just the thing to help them find their calm. A drink of warm milk before bed has been shown to help people sleep more soundly. So, go ahead and enjoy that hot chocolatey drink while enjoying a movie or a walk around the block. They’ll be ready to snuggle in before no time.
🎄Save the sweets for Christmas day
Except for the hot cocoa above, keep the sweets to a minimum on Christmas Eve. If you’re baking cookies for Santa, share a couple, then plate the rest for the big guy. There will be plenty left over to enjoy in the morning.
Remind your children that Christmas day is full of sweet treats to enjoy. There is so much to look forward to, but all the fun happens after one more sleep.
🎄 Make bedtime FUN!
If their energy is crazy high and bedtime feels like chaos, play into it with some bedtime games. Have a contest to see who can get dressed first or who can fall asleep first. Or try a round of the quiet game. Add a little extra incentive with a popular prize — the winner of your game gets to open the first present on Christmas morning!
If your kids share a room, try playing a quick educational game. Have everyone take a turn adding to a special Christmas bedtime story — but only after everyone is ready and in the bed. Bonus points if it rhymes! ;)
Keep your energy calm for a successful Christmas Eve!
It can be stressful when your kids are bouncing off the walls and you know there’s still so much to do. Try your best to keep your mood calm during bedtime. Try out a few of our tips above and get them dreaming of sugarplums sooner rather than later.
Whatever time you finally drift off to sleep this Christmas Eve and whenever you wake up in the morning, we hope your Christmas is MERRY and BRIGHT!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!! 🎄🎅🎁❤️