"You better watch out. You better not pout. You better not shout. I'm telling you why. Santa Claus is coming to town."
I have a hunch, that this song was written not just to get children to behave during the year but also to get them into bed on Christmas Eve.
"He sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake."
All parents want their children to sleep well, but even more so on one of the busiest, sometimes most chore-rich nights of the year... Christmas Eve. You may find yourself hosting Christmas Eve dinner, trying to wrap the last few presents, iron the church clothes and write those Christmas cards on the same night that your children find it impossible to sleep while they wait for Christmas to arrive. To give yourself the best chance at getting a good night's rest (and feeling joyful, loving and peaceful on Christmas Day) here are some strategies that may fail... but at least you tried, right?
1. Maintain their routine. Easier said than done - especially if you are away from home. Try and complete tasks in the same order without the hype (if you can manage). Chances are they pick up on your own excitement but if you can avoid jumping on the bed shouting "Yay! It's Christmas tomorrow!"
2. Tire them out. Got a little time? Take them to the beach, park or on a hike. Got no time and a lot of chores to do? Get them involved. Think dusting, vacuuming, carrying groceries - whatever is age appropriate and will actually help you get closer to bedtime. Kids love being involved so use this.
3. Prep your guests. Got family staying over? Ask them ahead of time to refrain from hyping the kids up and if necessary get them to head off in direction of bed at the same time that the kids go down so that they don't feel they are missing out.
4. Use food. Some foods promote sleep and others hinder it. A quick summary? No sweets after 2pm. try get them to have a balanced dinner and then give them a glass of milk 15 minutes before bedtime. For more information check out Sleep and feeding for kids.