The anticipation that comes with Christmas Eve can make it even more exciting that Christmas Day. That is, if you're organised and haven't left all those big jobs (like wrapping – or worse buying – the presents, GULP) to the last minute.
So, just for fun, here are our do's and don'ts for Chrimbo Eve – don't worry though, at least half the MFM team admits a fair amount of the seasonal basics won't be done till the clock strikes midnight on the 24th...
Where are you going?
Don't leave it till the last minute to decide whether Christmas will be at yours, your folks, your partner's folks or somewhere else entirely. Decide what you're doing early on and stick to it.
This will not only avoid disappointment but could also avoid a disastrous turkey shortage at the house of the person who THOUGHT they were going to someone else's. Doh!
Do try and see everyone in one day. OK, this isn't always possible or desirable, really – but if you did it this way you could get THREE Christmas dinners and what's not to love about that? After all calories don't count at Chrimbo, right?
Keeping the Christmas magic alive
Do make it all magical by taking your little ones into the garden and looking out for Santa's sleigh (i.e. a passenger plane with extra flashing lights). Last year we got the International Space Station passing by at an optimum time – and the good news is it's due to go past again. Woo hoo! Check here for more on dates and times
Don't tell them it's Santa if it's flying so low your kids might just spot it's actually a RyanAir that's probably destined for Dublin. Unless you have a VERY good story about why Santa might have to fly RyanAir (it's possible).
The all-important presents
Do make sure you get all your presents not only bought but wrapped way before Christmas Eve. Otherwise before you know it, it'll be midnight, you'll be knackered and not only will you do a crap job, you'll also inevitably run out of wrapping paper OR sellotape OR both and end up having to use string and either a) newspaper or b) tinfoil – which is not a good idea 'cos someone's definitely going to need that for the monster turkey tomorrow.
Don't forget the present labels. You THINK you'll remember what you bought for who but after an early Christmas Bailey's you won't have a clue. God forbid you give your aunty a triple-set of M&S size 11 socks and your dad a year's subscription to Cross Stitch Weekly (not that he wouldn't be delighted). It just helps to get the right presents to the right people. Kapiche?
Do get all that lovely Christmas food in – nuts you can only buy at this time of year and fancy cheese with bits of cranberry in (delish). Oh and make sure you leave enough time to let your turkey defrost. If it's still in the freezer on Christmas morning you might be having beans on toast for lunch...
Don't let the kids see the massive tins of sweets you're tucking into at 8pm on Christmas Eve or it'll be bye bye early night for them and you'll get no chance to scoff your handful of choccies.
Oh – and don't be tempted to drink all the Buck's Fizz that's meant for the morning. And whatever you do keep Santa's milk and cookies and away from the dog. Nuff said.
Do GET SPARE BATTERIES
DON'T FORGET TO GET SPARE BATTERIES – or despite all your greatest efforts, Christmas really will be ruined...