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ParentsDecember 24, 2021

How to get your child to sleep on Christmas Eve in 10 easy steps

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Worried about getting your kids to sleep on time amid all the excitement of Christmas Eve. Don’t worry, says Emily Writes – it’s easy when you know how.

First published in December 2018.

A new tool has been created to help parents with when is safe to hand out the Christmas presents on Christmas Eve. No it’s not a prescription for baby lorazapam. It’s a Christmas sleep calculator.

As the press release advises, The Christmas Sleep Calculator asks parents to enter how old their child is and what time they go to bed, then it works out when they will be in their deepest sleep by looking at the length of sleep cycles for a child of that age.

I put in my child’s bed time, 7pm. And his age, six. And I was given the result: 10.45pm.

Imagine putting your child to bed at 7pm on Christmas Eve and they actually go the fuck to sleep at 7pm on Christmas Eve. I tried the reality of what the situation will be on Christmas Eve – him going to bed at 11.30pm. And was told the best time to put out presents is 2.45am. Perfect!

That’s what I was going to do at 2.45am anyway!

I went to work out my three-year-old’s “deep sleep” time, and “FUCKING NEVER WHY WON’T YOU FUCKING SLEEP” wasn’t an option on the sleep calculator so I didn’t do it.

Here are my easy steps for getting your child to sleep on Christmas Eve.

1. Keep your normal routine

Yes it’s Christmas Eve, but you must calmly explain to your children that it’s still just a normal night and they need a good sleep so that they’re not tired. They’ll listen to you. Promise. In our house this is our routine, feel free to adopt it:


OK one more story

OK bath time!

Hop in the bath sweetheart!

I said bath.

Bath please.


BATH NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Get your clothes off!




NO you can’t wear your socks in the bath!



Then we put on PJs.

PJs please!


I won’t say it again. Do I need to say it again?

I’m counting to three.

Bed time.

Lights off.

I got you water.

Teddy is with you.

No you can’t.

It’s bed time.


Turn the light back off.

Routines work on normal nights so they’ll definitely work on Christmas Eve. Just ask your children nicely to go to bed. Oh that doesn’t work for you? I guess my kids just respect me as their parent. Maybe you could work on being a calmer parent at bed time. Less stimulation. Have a routine. Fewer toys. Fewer lights. What colour is their bedroom wall? Paint it you lazy bitch.

2. Relax! It’s Christmas Eve!

So your kids are up a bit later. Relax! You don’t have anything to do on Christmas Eve. Santa will do it. Santa will wrap the presents and put them under the try and Santa will drink the wine. Leave out red wine for him. Stop drinking the red wine. Make cookies. Decorate cookies with the children. SMILE IT’S CHRISTMAS. Read a special Christmas story. A special one. That’s not special enough. Try harder. Do you want them to remember this Christmas or not? You’re trying too hard. Your kids will be brats. Try hard but not too hard.

3. OK now do your normal routine

OK so you let them open one present, read one Christmas story, put on Christmas PJs. Now you can do the bedtime routine. Repeat step one. Remember though, don’t use Santa as a threat against children. It’s not fair. You need to be better than that OK? Christmas is a time for Christmas cheer.


Do you? I will call Santa right now. I will call him. I’m calling. I’m calling. It’s 11pm. OK? He will put you on his naughty list. He will take your toys.

5. Look at you, you’re a mess

That wine was for Santa. You’re a disgrace. Those cookies look like garbage. The kids didn’t even like them. And your pretzel reindeer cookies don’t look anything like Christmas Mom’s Pinterest board. What are you doing with your life. You’re 33. You should be better than this OK?

6. You’re doing your best look it’s fine

Just put on that Christmas movie again. It’s fine. So they stay up till 1am. It’s OK. You can do the presents after. You’re a good mum. It’s OK. Technically you’re Santa so you can have a wine. Look the little one is almost asleep and then you can put out the presents. It’s only 12.30am – heaps of time.

7. OK maybe start the normal routine again

You might be able to trick them. You might make them think it’s 7pm instead of 1.30am.

8. Call your sister. Her kids aren’t in bed either. See it’s fine.

Watch that Christmas movie again. Lust after Kurt Russell. Wonder what it says about you that you’d fuck a man in a Santa suit. Can you be a feminist and objectify men? Yes, you decide. Objectification is based on power. The balance of power is what matters – women are policed for their sexual desires all the time by men. It is an act of rebellion to revel in your sexuality and fantasies as a woman, and particularly as a mother. The Madonna/whore complex is particularly brutal on new mothers with their changing bodies. To live openly as a sexual being when you’re a mother is to be visible, to embrace that visibility. You can want to fuck the patriarchy and Dwayne The Rock Johnson.

9. Log into Facebook

Oh god I’m a terrible mother.

10. Log into Instagram

How is your house so tidy are you on fucking speed or something? Is speed even a thing these days? Why does everyone have Dysons? Do I want a Dyson now?

10a. Maybe you could just put the presents out now and they won’t even notice?

You could set the alarm for 3am. Surely they’ll be in bed by then, I mean it’s 2.45am.

10b. Look at photos of your kids on your phone

Oh they’re so perfect. Christmas is so wonderful. What beautiful babies. They make me so happy. NO YOU’RE NOT HAVING ANY MORE WATER. NOBODY IS THAT THIRSTY OK JUST GO TO BED. Look at their sweet little faces. They’re such good kids. What did I ever do to get such good kids. GO TO SLEEP. What angels they are. So perfect. So wonderful. I can’t wait for tomorrow. They are going to love their presents so-GO TO SLEEP OR CHRISTMAS IS CANCELLED.

10c. Sure you can stay up, mummy doesn’t care any more

Oh you’re going to go to bed then? OK great. Goodnight.

10d. They’re asleep! At least they will sleep late!

Lol they won’t.

Keep going!