The Official Mrs. Claus Christmas Checklist!

Santa Claus gets all the credit as he heads out to hand out toys, but who really makes sure everything is under control? That would be Mrs. Claus. She’s always the one going through the final holiday checklist to be sure that there won’t be any unpleasant holiday surprises. Here’s a collection of valuable holiday tips ranging from the sort-of obvious to the typically forgotten. Christmas Day is upon us, and you’ll feel a lot better if you’ve compared notes with the real expert:

•  Batteries, batteries, batteries! There can never be enough batteries. Even if the package says, “Batteries included,” you can’t be sure they’ll be any good. AA, AAA, D, C–oh, get the entire alphabet!

• Here’s a more modern tip: Charging, charging, charging! Charge up the cameras! Charge up the phones! Charge up anything in the house that can be recharged!

• Are the toys assembled? Or at least checked over to be sure there aren’t any missing parts? Do that first, but don’t panic if the clock runs out and something can’t be put together in time. Everybody knows that sometimes Santa prefers to put something unassembled under the tree so the whole family can put it together!

• Make sure everything that has to thaw is out thawing!

• If you don’t have a Christmas breakfast casserole planned, then go ahead and prepare a simple breakfast feast of pastries, fruit, and juices. (If you have to buy that, then get to the grocery store before dusk. A lot of people will be out shopping with you.) Serve everything on disposable plates and disposable cups.

• You’re probably set for a long holiday trip, but get ready for any short excursions, too. Load up the gas tank and pack up some snacks in the car.

• Make sure you’ve got enough stocking stuffers. When in doubt, just fill up the extra space with small candies.

• Get the kids into bed at their usual time. Yes, easier said than done, but you’ll be able to get more done with them safely tucked away. And don’t put the pressure on them to go to sleep. Just keep them in bed. Let them read, or talk, and then nature will take its course. But first…

• Have the kids write Santa a note.

• Put out some cookes and milk for Santa.

• And leave one cookie with a bite taken out!

Merry Christmas, everyone!