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When I was younger my sister and I would stay up really late on Christmas Eve. We would jump into our beds and place a pillow case on the end trying to stay awake for when Santa arrived. We often fell asleep around midnight and Santa would visit any time between then and 4am.

In fact, my sister and I might wake up and check and if Father Christmas had not visited we would go back to sleep.

I recently asked my mum how she did it? Now that I am a parent with Santa delivery duties, I wanted to know how things worked? Mum said she simply stayed up really late with my dad and waited for us to fall asleep.

Some children have a stocking on the mantle, in the lounge or another area, but in my family the tradition is and always has been to have a pillow case at the end of the bed.

As for my husband, his Father Christmas gifts were delivered to the lounge. John had two brothers and each sibling had a small pile of parcels wrapped up in one corner of the room.

So last year after years of Santa visiting the bedroom we decided to try things differently. Sylvia’s gifts were left in the lounge all wrapped up.

The advantage to this is that she actually slept quite a lot longer than expected. The disadvantage, I had lot’s of little things to wrap up and had to go downstairs to watch Sylvia open things, rather than her bring her pillow case into our room to open on our bed.

This year we will be going back to the family tradition of the pillowcase on the bed.

I recently read some research conducted for Happy Beds which discusses why children often struggle to sleep on Christmas Eve. over 2000 parents took part in the study and it was interesting to read why children are restless the night before Christmas.



I want to see Santa                                                       32.67%

I want something from my stocking                        12.54%

I want a present from under the tree                      19.47%

I want some Christmas sweets                                  13.20%

I want some Christmas food                                      11.55%

I’m just too excited to sleep                                       36.63%

I want to see the reindeer                                           18.15%

I want to see if Santa has had his mince pie          23.76%


The research goes on to share ways parents help their children to fall asleep at such an exciting time of the year. Some of the most popular suggestions are to keep the kids active on Christmas Eve, to not give them sugary sweets and treats late at night and to reduce screen time before bed.

In fact Happy beds have created a fantastic’ Christmas Wake Up Calculator that uses the research data to show parents what time their little ones will wake on Christmas morning.

I tested out the calculator and I should be expecting my child to wake around 6.55 am. Well, that sounds much better than 4am.

wake up christmas morning

I will have to wait and see what time Sylvia wakes up but I’ll certainly be implementing some of the suggestions from “Happy Beds” to help Sylvia settle down on Christmas Eve.

Angela x