You are nearly there, Mama Claus. Oh I know how it is. All you want to do is flop on the couch, watch “Love Actually” (again) and eat the giant Toblerone you stashed away for any surprise guests.
You are so very close. As you finally slide the sleigh sideways into Christmas Eve, there are only a few jobs left on your ‘To Do’ list.
Have a quick run through this check list and see if there is anything that needs doing… immediately… (Plus Love Actually can wait. The heartache of watching Emma Thompson cry over her cheating, arse hat of a husband again is just too overwhelming).
The Christmas Eve countdown every mum knows too well
1. Scream (lovingly) at the kids again to go to sleep, while reminding them (sweetly) that Santa will not visit if he knows eyes are OPEN.
2. If this ‘gentle’ warning does not work, loosely hang at their doorway and hit Siri up for advice about Santa and naughty children. Even just ask, “Where is Santa right now?”. Siri is genius. If you are going in REALLY hard, drop a few potatoes near their door/fireplace, to leave out for Santa.
3. But seriously. Hit the freezer. What needs defrosting for tomorrow?
4. Remind your husband that NOW IS THE TIME to put together the doll house.
5. You know the milk and cookies that the kids left out for Santa? Sometimes, Santa even likes wine and camembert. Maybe pop some of that out on the bench.
6. On second thoughts, the kids might be disappointed that you ‘one upped’ them. Get rid of the wine and cheese. Of course… there is no point in letting them go to waste. Cheers, kids.
7. Sneak down the hallway to check on the kids… again… and again… and possibly again.
8. At some stage during the evening, when you are sure they are sound asleep, do your best, Santa. If you are yet to wrap anything, I wish you well. May there be paper and sticky tape in abundance.
9. Arrange the gifts under the tree, and scatter crumbs, reindeer carrots and whatever wonders the kids have left out.
10. Think about any other Christmas Eve food prep. Can you peel those spuds you were shaking about earlier? Get the pancake mix ready? Trifle? Wash the cherries? STOP EATING ALL THE CHOCOLATE ALMONDS!
11. Set your alarm to wake the kids bright and early in the morning. (JOKES!!!)
12. Double check the kitchen table for Santa wrapping paper remnants and any other sneaky giveaways for the older believers.
13. Remind your husband in a cheery Mrs Claus manner that NOW IS THE BLOODY TIME TO PUT TOGETHER THAT DOLL HOUSE!!!!!
14. Wonder where on earth the ham bag is that you only bought yesterday.
15. Panic that you forgot to ask ANYONE to make a chocolate ripple log. Christmas just isn’t Christmas without one.
16. You hear movement and spring to action at the top of the hallway, throwing yourself sideways in an attempt to block any sight of gifts from wandering children who just need another drink. False alarm.
17. Damn it! You forgot the batteries for that bloody game. Raid the other, forgotten toys for a stash.
18. Send a cheery Christmas Eve text to your sister about aforementioned missing ripple cake and just as you press send, remember that your Mum promised to make it this year.
19. Survey the doll house and wonder aloud why there seems to be a complete level missing?
20. Walk about the house randomly touching surfaces wondering what you have forgotten.
21. It is time to go… ELF ON THE SHELF! Send him to where the sun don’t shine. Laters, Alfie.
22. Find Santa under the tree; reminisce about Christmases “BK” (before kids)
23. But now, remind yourselves that this year might well be the very last time ‘Santa’ visits your home. Soak it up. Every last delicious, magical, exhausting moment.
24. Get your weary body to bed. DO NOT keep watching Love Actually. You will regret it when the offspring are peeling your eyelids open at 5am.
25. And now, Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!
Need some more Christmas survival inspiration? Have a look at what every parent needs to know to make it through the big day.