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'twas the night before christmas

The 10 stages of Christmas Eve you went through as a child

The short yet agonising wait until Santa arrived at last.

THERE WAS SOMETHING UNDENIABLY magical about Christmas Eve as a child.

You had waited patiently throughout November and December and now the big day was so close you could almost taste it.

On December 24th there was nothing to do but count down to the arrival of Santa Claus, and hopefully everything you had carefully itemised on your Christmas list.

But first, you had to get through the day – and what a struggle that was.

The bath in the morning

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There was no getting around it. On the morning of December 24th you were scrubbed and shampooed until you gleamed. And you didn’t complain, because after all – Santy was watching.

“Helping” with the last minute messages

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But just getting in the way, because obviously you’re too hyper and excited to be of any use.

Going on visits to elderly relatives and acquaintances

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You only did it willingly on the possibility of getting a couple of Roses or maybe even a little present.

Persuading your parents to take you to Midnight Mass

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Going to Midnight Mass gave you unlimited playing time in the morning, so it was imperative your parents got on board.

Falling asleep in Midnight Mass

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Once you had convinced them that Midnight Mass was the only way to go, you promptly fell asleep on your father’s shoulder halfway through the Gospel.

Leaving snacks out for Santa and Rudolf when you got home

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A mince pie and a glass of milk for Santa, and a carrot for Rudolph. Maybe you left a little thank you note for Santa too, if you were that kind of child.

Putting on your new Christmas jammies

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Often adorned with the typical reindeer and snowmen, but extra special if they featured an image of the toy you hoped to receive the following morning (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Wars or Barbie, for example). 

Not being able to sleep out of pure excitement

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Your parents tucked you in to bed. Then began the struggle to get you to actually stay there.

Checking to see if Santa had come yet

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At some stage during the night you abandoned all pretence and leapt from your bed to see if Santa had been and gone already. This occurred several times before your parents lost the plot.

Finally dropping off to sleep in the wee hours

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Your parents breathed a sigh of relief, while visions of sugarplums (and Transformers, Lego and Baby Born) danced in your head.

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