A Control Freak.
I find it really hard to let things just happen. I prefer to have a plan and of course for everyone to follow the aforementioned plan. Now, if you are a control freak like me, then you'll know that this rarely happens.
We have Children.
Adorable little Children.
So. Do you want to know how I let things go and how to prepare yourself for a smooth Christmas Morning this year and every year to come?
Just follow my two Step Christmas Eve Plan.
Go to bed at the same time as normal. If you want to stay up and watch the Carols at Midnight or whatever, then go for it. Just maybe watch in bed and relax. Have a doze a little earlier in the evening and if you drink Alcohol try not to drink too much.
Seriously do NOT stay up past Midnight wrapping gifts and stressing over everything. If you want tomorrow to go well, get a good night's sleep.
Now, lets take things back to about now. There is a tonne you can do, to make things smoother and help you prepare for Christmas Morning. Here are some of the things we do.
Before Christmas Eve.
Have all gifts wrapped. Feel free to do away with labels, by setting up different colours or patterns for everyone. That way everyone knows which gift belong to who.
Have a bag or box set up where you open gifts, ready to collect the wrapping paper in. Some people like to wrap the box, so that it doesn't "spoil" the Christmas photos. Personally I choose not to care because I don't want to wrap a box up. I've done enough wrapping since November, thank you very much.
When you wrap up the gifts if you have small children perhaps it would be time well spent if you undid those stupid cable ties everything seems to be tied up with these days? It'll save time on Christmas Day and more importantly your sanity.
Stock up on batteries and charge the camera batteries or back up the photos and delete them from your phone so you can have space for Christmas day snaps.
During the Day on Christmas Eve.
Cook the Turkey. Honestly this is my favourite tradition and not just because it makes the house smell good! Just think, cooking the Turkey on Christmas Eve means no getting up early, no worrying it's taking too long and everything else will burn, extra oven space on Christmas Day AND with hot plates nobody ever notices.
Prepare the Vegetables on Christmas Eve, you can put potatoes in a pot and cover them with water and leave them in the fridge. That way they won't turn brown and it really does save you time on Christmas Day. In fact, you can do this for most vegetables.
Ensure you've have whatever you have for Santa ready. Mince pies? Carrots? Milk?
Encourage the Children to wind down, maybe watch a Christmas Film and get into PJ's early. Snuggle together under a blanket and drink Hot Chocolate or Hot Milk and just relax... and if you can whip the clocks forward an hour or so to ensure they and you get an early night!
I always like to relax and read the Christmas Story from the Scriptures before I go to bed too. For me it's about remembering that yes, we share gifts and eat and enjoy family time together, but what we must also do is remember the reason for the season.
And of course, now just follow Steps One and Two!
The most important thing come Christmas Day is just to be aware of what you actually want from the day. If you want to not shout and to be relaxed, then set out expectations to the Children to start with, delegate and don't sweat the small stuff!