My kids are notorious for staying up late on Christmas Eve, so I usually stay up well into the wee hours of Christmas morning to wrap their gifts. If you find yourself in a similar predicament, you need to buy a few
things for Christmas Eve now to save yourself some hassle. After all, who really wants to make a run to the store for tape in the middle of the night?
Despite weeks (and sometimes even months) of planning, I inevitably find myself rushing around the day before Christmas in order to get every single last-minute detail in line. Many times, however, I completely space on something super simple like batteries for all of the new toys my kids will open up on Christmas morning. Then, when it comes time to open everything up, my kids are utterly disappointed because I forgot that in order to actually
play with their new toys, they need batteries. Nobody wants to be "that" mom.
To save your sanity this year, check these supplies off of your pre-holiday shopping list early. That way, you won't have to try to figure out which
stores are actually open on Christmas and you can get some well-deserved rest on Christmas Eve for once.
When you're the one who wraps all of the gifts, you've got to be the one who also buys enough tape to get you through the end of the holiday season. Grab an extra roll or two for when you inevitably have to wrap the last-minute gift your son oh-so-thoughtfully made for his dad.
Especially when your kids are little, their gifts typically require several different types of batteries. It's a good idea to check your kid's toys ahead of time and see what kind you'll need. But just in case you forget, it's good to have a variety on hand.
One year, my mom gifted me a drawer organizer specifically for storing extra batteries and each year around Thanksgiving I make a point to refill it so that I'm stocked up when it's time to open gifts on Christmas.
A Tiny Screwdriver (Or Two)
You may think that having one tiny screwdriver on hand would be enough, but in reality, you probably need at least two. First, you never know which type of screw you'll be tasked with unscrewing when your kids rip into their stack of new toys. Second, tiny screwdrivers are super easy to lose in a flurry of wrapping paper scraps. And third, if you're trying to put together entire kitchens and dollhouses on Christmas Eve, it helps to have an extra for someone else to twist around.
Go ahead and locate your scissors now before it's midnight on Christmas Eve, your kids are asleep, and your 5-year-old has stashed them in his brother's sock drawer to "keep them safe." Trust me, not being able to find your scissors is a gift-wrapping disaster waiting to happen, and one that you don't want to have to remedy overnight on a holiday.
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Again, it is basically a rite-of-passage for one of your kids to pull you aside right before bedtime on Christmas Eve to let you know that they have one more gift that needs to be wrapped before Christmas morning. Sure, maybe their "gift" is actually a few popsicle sticks glued to a LEGO car, but they need it wrapped, and you better have enough paper in the house to fulfill this one last holiday request. (Also, is there anything worse than it being 3 a.m. and you realize you can't wrap the gift without the bottom of the box showing because you're out of paper?)
I cannot tell you how many times since I became a parent that 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve has rolled around and I have not had cookies in the house for my kids to leave out for Santa. (What can I say, we don't typically keep a lot of sweets around.) One year, I had to tell my kids that I would bake some after they went to sleep since it was already so late. To save yourself a late-night baking spree, have an emergency pack of Oreos ready.
I know you probably already have trash bags at home, but it's a good idea to grab a couple and put them somewhere where they're easily accessible on Christmas morning. That way, instead of making 20 trips to your kitchen to throw away armfuls of wrapping paper, you can pile it all into a bag in your living room and take it straight to the curb once all of the gifts have been opened.
Resealable Baggies & A Permanent Marker
On Christmas morning, when your kids are tearing open every single last gift, it's pretty much a guarantee that a few small parts and pieces will get swept up in a giant pile of wrapping paper and thrown away. To help prevent this unfortunate event from happening, have a few resealable baggies out that you can immediately put tiny pieces or extra parts in. Just make sure you remember to label them.
Just trust me on this one. Buy yourself a bottle of wine to drink while you wrap Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve. If you don't drink wine, hot cocoa with extra marshmallows in a festive mug is a great substitute. Your future self will thank you.