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Christmas Eve Tips for Parents

For me, one of the great joys of being a parent is playing Santa Claus. This Christmas, leave "Santa Clues" for the little ones so they know St. Nick was there.

While you are finishing your Santa preparations, don't forget to Celebrate! Indulge in Lobster Bisque and sip a glass of Riesling while leaving the Clues for the kids to find on Christmas morning.

Since it takes forever for the kids to go to sleep, the first presents land under the tree around midnight in my home. Celebrate while on Santa patrol with prankish behavior, by leaving "Santa Clues" for the kids, and enjoying some late night snacks!

Christmas Eve Fun for the Kids

Getting the kids to sleep on Christmas Eve is quite a task. Chances are they've been munching on Christmas cookies all day, and bouncing off the walls with excitement. Here are some fun ideas to tire the little ones, so you can begin your Santa duties and have a little celebration of your own.

Carrots, Milk & Cookies

Getting the house Santa-ready with the kids is a tradition they won't soon forget. Cookies and milk are obvious for Santa, but don't forget those eight reindeer!

Whether your baking your own from scratch, or starting with pre-made cookie dough, you'll need enough cookies for Santa and the kids.

Baking and decorating cookies for Santa is a wonderful Christmas Eve activity. You can buy ready-to-bake cookies in the refrigerator section of the grocery store, and then embellish them with decorations.

Offer your cookies on a special platter with a warm mug of milk. Set the cookies on a table near the Christmas tree and don't forget a carrot for the reindeers to munch on!

T'was the Night Before Christmas

On Christmas Eve, many families read "Twas The Night Before Christmas." The children are so enraptured by the thought of Santa sliding down the chimney, that this is the perfect opportunity to create a little "St. Nick" mischief outside. My husband always slips out the backdoor and jingles sleigh bells near the kids' windows.

Naughty or Nice List?

Christmas Santa Claus is a website with a brief, interactive "Naughty or Nice" quiz, that kids can take to see where they stand! After taking the quiz, they can print a certificate as official proof of their ranking. The website also has a cute "letter to Santa form" and a lot of fun holiday stuff.

Santa, Stop Here!

Environmentally safe Sno-paint will bring out the Arctic artists in your kids, as they mark the front yard for Santa and his reindeers to land. Decorate any area covered with snow with these "spray" cans. The paint melts away with the snow for easy clean up.

Warm up by the Hearth

We like to warm up the chimney for Santa and wind down by a cozy fire. A personal tradition in my family is for each person to open one gift from a family member on Christmas Eve.

We gather by the hearth, sip eggnog, and open our gifts. The kids roast marshmallows and drink hot cocoa with candy cane stick stirrers.

My favorite eggnog recipe can be adapted to both kid's and parent's tastes.

Hot cocoa is great for kids, but also a delicous treat for adults when topped with some rum and butterscotch liquour!

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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