Less Work on Christmas Eve

Every year for the past seven years I've stayed up late on Christmas Eve to handle Santa's actual task list--He seems to have delegated it all to me.
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Every year for the past seven years I've stayed up late on Christmas Eve to handle Santa's actual task list. He seems to have delegated it to me. I long ago gave up on cookies for the jolly fellow because I cannot handle one more thing on my plate (in so many ways.)

The retrieval of stashed presents, the wrapping, labeling, ribbon-placing. Tossing the mountain of wrapping garbage into the recycling bin. Digging out all the stuffers and little presents to fill those stockings. Mentally going over and over the nice list to recall who is getting what, and if it will be an equitable split to minimize hurt feelings.

And then you have to put it all out into the right places and do your final tidying. I even lay out the camera next to the tree so I can grab, point, and shoot the next morning. By the time I'm done it's beyond the wee hours of the morning and I'm borderline delirious.

There's got to be a way to have less work on Christmas Eve, I thought to myself last year.

So tonight I trekked to my parents home, where I had all the Christmas presents delivered; I then un-boxed, checked the contents, and wrapped a whole bunch. I hid them in a locked closet. I don't know how much time I shaved off the breakneck speed of last Christmas Eve, maybe it will be enough that I can go to bed before 3am.

I wondered if our moms did the same thing: working to turn the living room into a wonderland. My mom confirmed that she often went to bed at 4 or 5, perhaps an hour before we first tried to break into the loot. One memorable Christmas, mom said she got a whole 45 minutes before we were poking and prodding her to get out of bed. Kids: such jerks.

This year I'd like to limit the amount of work I do on Christmas Eve so I'd love to hear your tips and tricks. Do you wrap everything in advance? Do you have your stocking stuffers cataloged by recipient? Have you figured out the best way to pull off Santa's entire playbook and hit the sheets before midnight?

Please share.

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