17 great things about Christmas Day

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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The big day is finally here, the one we've all been waiting for! But, how are you going to celebrate?

Whether you're settling down to dinner with your parents or dining out with friends, Christmas Day is one of the most fun days of the year for many.

Are you unwrapping presents with the little ones at the crack of dawn? Or do you treat yourself to a lovely lie-in to prepare for the day of socialising and partying?

However you mark December 25, we're taking a look at some of the things that make it the best day of the year, whatever your age and however you honour Christmas.

The Christmas Eve sleep: As a child there were few things more exciting than going to sleep on Christmas Eve, knowing that Santa Claus will have been overnight. As an adult, there is still plenty to look forward to on December 25, meaning that getting into bed the night before is always with a sense of excitement for the following day.

Santa Claus: Leaving a snack and drink out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve is one of the most magical things about Christmas and, whether you're a child or an adult, the magic never goes away, not really. It's a special moment to have your child ask you to check if "he's been" on Christmas morning - but still a standing tradition that many adults still replicate, just for fun. Why not ask your parents, no matter what age you or they are, to check for Mr Claus in the early hours of Friday?

Going to church: If you regularly attend mass you will agree that there is something exceptional about a Christmas Eve, midnight or Christmas Day service. Saying the prayers and singing the carols and hymns has an additional meaning on Christmas Day - and one you will always remember.

Presents: There is no need to break the bank when Christmas rolls around, and you don't give gifts to receive. But it is magical to see your children bound into the room to see a gift or two, and see the look on a friend's face when they open something special that you've picked for them. It may not be the true meaning of Christmas, but the gifts mean a lot to some.

Children: Speaking of the little ones opening their presents, having children really does make Christmas special. Looking back to childhood it seems like the most magical time to celebrate Christmas, but if you have a daughter, son, niece, nephew or just a friend, seeing their excitement really makes it the best.

Family and friends: The festive season is a time to be with your loved ones and, whoever they are, make the most of their company. So whether you sit down at the dinner table with them, meet them for a drink after your lunch or join them for a buffet in the evening being with them will be the highlight of your day. So make it count!

Treats for breakfast: Okay, we know you can get away with having chocolate for breakfast on Easter Sunday (just) but Christmas Day truly is the biggest excuse for indulgence. No one will scold you for tucking into a bacon or sausage butty just hours before a full-on roast, or judge you for ripping into the family biscuit tin at 7am. 'Tis the season, after all!

Traditions: Every family does things differently, and it is those traditions that set your Christmas Day apart from anyone else's. So whether you start the day with a festive cuppa as you pick the oranges and apples from your stocking or collectively get up at 5am to start the lunch, embrace your family's craziness and think how boring the day would be without it.

Wearing or using something new: As a nipper you could hardly wait to play with your new toys. Now, it's the excitement of wearing that new jumper, spraying the perfume or aftershave or having a tap on your new tablet. Don't forget to look after your new things!

A slap up lunch: Some hail the Christmas lunch as glorified roast, but really it is just so much more than that. There is something extra special about that slice or turkey (or other main meal) along with a pig in a blanket and a big old dollop of cranberry. Delicious!

Talking on the phone: It's impossible to be with everyone you love on Christmas Day, so talking to them on the phone, or Skyping them, is the next best thing. Wish each other Merry Christmas, and discuss your plans for the day.

An afternoon board game: Christmas Day can get competitive, especially when one of the board games comes out! So get into the fighting spirit and buy up as much of the Monopoly board that you can to take the title.

Having a cuppa in front of the telly: When you're full of delicious food, sometimes you just need to slob out with a hot drink. And what better way to do it than in front of the Christmas Day telly? Tune into your favourite family film, stick on Strictly, or plump for the latest instalment of the soaps for perfect December 25 viewing.

Toasting the season with your favourite drink: There are so many delicious drinks to enjoy at Christmas time. So top up your glass with a mulled wine, your favourite spirit, or whatever else you're drinking and say "cheers".

Enjoying a sing-song: We know that December is practically the season for sing-songs (there are Christmas songs constantly on the radio, after all, and you're lying if you say you don't give it your best Mariah in the car) but the most important song of the year comes on Christmas Day. So whether you're singing Away In A Manger with the little ones, or belting out a bit of Slade with your sherry, sing it loud and sing it proud!

A picky tea or supper: Even if you've had your fill with Christmas lunch, you will find yourself fancying a little something to nibble on later in the day. So get out the crisps and nuts, sneak an extra pig in a blanket onto your plate and cut off a sliver (just a sliver, mind) of Christmas cake to finish off!

Going to bed after the long, but enjoyable, day: The sleep between Christmas Eve and Christmas morning may be one of the most exciting ones of the year, but the Christmas Day sleep is definitely the most satisfying. Whether you've been working, entertaining or partying hard, Christmas Day has been a busy one. So settle down and rest up, because it's Boxing Day next!

Merry Christmas to all of our readers and advertisers!