10 Things parents will end up doing on Christmas Eve

Dec 24, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. ET
Image: Mike Kemp/Blend Images/Getty

Every Christmas Eve, despite my best efforts, my husband and I always end up staying up until midnight wrapping gifts and demanding a divorce.

Christmas Eve is a time of magical anticipation. The cookies have been baked, the presents have been wrapped and all that you need to do as a parent is wait until your little one is sound asleep so you can tastefully arrange the holiday bounty beneath the tree. You and your partner can cuddle up by the fire and take a moment to appreciate each other and your family at this special time of year.

Or you could say screw all that, wait until the last moment and attempt to cooperate with your spouse to get the last-minute tasks done right up until the moment you can't stand to look at his or her dumb face any longer. Unless you are some kind of superorganized mutant being with seventeen arms and a steady supply of stimulants, here's what you'll probably do on Christmas Eve.

1. Google "how bad is melatonin for kids" over and over again

Bethenny Frankel go to sleep gif

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It can't be that bad, right? You can't start making magic until the kids fall asleep, but they went down hours ago and have been singing, talking and giggling ever since. Olden day parents used to give their kids straight up cocaine, so how much harm could a little melatonin do, right?

2. Realize that you have misplaced multiple presents

Dexter shrug i don't know

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Maybe you thought ahead and actually purchased the bulk of your presents before the last-minute rush. Good for you. Too bad you will never, ever find them again. Just kidding. They'll turn up in the hall closet underneath a raincoat sometime next Fourth of July, just when your child needs those new snow boots the most.

3. Ingest combinations of things that were never meant to be ingested together

Emma Stone easy a eating yum

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Coffee? Check. Over-frosted sugar cookies? Check. Room temperature milk that's been sitting out for a few hours? Check. Whiskey to numb the pain? Checkity-check-check-check!

4. Make a last minute run to the store for wrapping supplies

Anchorman son of a beesting

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Whoops. Turns out you were just a roll of tape and a few feet of wrapping paper short of not having to run out to the only store that's open and pay lots of extra money for the supplies. Too bad. Please enjoy the look you will get from the cashier who hates you for doing this.

5. Decide to test your marriage at 2 a.m. by assembling something huge

simpsons barbeque pit fail

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For an added twist, lose all of the instructions except the ones in Thai and then attempt to Google translate your way through the world's most convoluted play kitchen that your child might play with one whole time. If you survive, your marriage is ironclad.

7. Injure yourself

meet the robinsons goob hurt

The sleep deprivation and whiskey consumption, in addition to the fact that you apparently need to use an industrial-strength blowtorch to assemble that play kitchen basically guarantees that someone is going to get hurt.

8. Debate proper wrapping technique, demand divorce

nickelodeon wrapping paper monster

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You're in the home stretch, and despite surviving so much, you will finally lose it when your spouse criticizes the way you just wrapped those socks. How dare he?

9. Consider wrapping, like, a stapler or something

office space milton stapler

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If you have two or more kids, this sometimes happens if the size of their gift piles are disproportionate, or if you really can't find those presents you bought. I say go for it. Who doesn't love staplers?

10. Give up

i don't want to do it anymore

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This is going to happen. Embrace it. Once you pass a certain time of night, who cares if presents are wrapped? Throw a blanket over them. Play kitchen? Maybe next year. A nice "thanks for the cookies" note from Santa? Eh, how long did you think you could keep that lie up, anyway?

More on Christmas Eve

Santa's new thing: The cookie plate cake
Fun Christmas Eve traditions with kids
Insanely simple Elf on the Shelf ideas for Christmas Eve

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