If your typical Christmas morning is a wild roller coaster ride that peters out after 10 minutes of frenzied unwrapping, perhaps it’s time to instill some new traditions. Here are seven holiday activities to slow down and make the morning more magical and memorable for both you and your children.
Santa Proof: On Christmas morning, your children will adore finding “evidence” that Santa was at their home. Write a letter from the jolly man, track muddy boot prints through the kitchen, or leave a lone jingle bell out in the driveway (it fell off a reindeer, of course!). Then in the morning, make their dreams come true when you hire a real beard Santa to appear on your doorstep.
Open the Presents Slowly: If by slow, you’re thinking in the time it takes to sip a cup of coffee, try again! My husband’s family opened presents throughout the entire day, taking breaks for meals and church. He says that he loved the anticipation of this tradition — and it helped him appreciate each gift more.
Donate Old Toys: This tradition not only frees up space in your closets; it also instills gratitude in your children’s hearts. Tell your child that Santa has instructed him to leave unwanted, old toys under the tree and that Santa plans to donate them to kids in need. In the morning, the old toys will be gone and new ones will be waiting.
Festive Pajamas: The night before Christmas, pass out one present per family member — matching pajamas! On Christmas morning, everyone will look very stylish, and the cute photo opportunities will be never-ending.
Gift Hunt: If Santa is giving your children a big present — like a bike — consider creating a treasure hunt to draw out the “present opening” process. Wrap the first instruction up in a box and send her throughout the entire house (maybe the entire neighborhood!) looking for more clues. My family was big on treasure hunts on Christmas morning, and I have so many fond memories of joyfully searching through the house.
Christmas Brunch: Make your family’s favorite food part of your Christmas morning tradition. Homemade pancakes, cinnamon rolls or customized omelets are always a hit. Keep your brunch intimate or invite over extended family and friends for a larger celebration.
Throw a Birthday Party: If you’re religious, throw Jesus a birthday party on Christmas. Bake him a cake after opening presents and sing him “Happy Birthday!” at dinner. This is a wonderful way to remind your children of the reason for the season, which can be difficult to do amongst all the boxes and bows.
By Caitlin Boyle for Healthy Moms Blog Magazine