If you have small children, chances are your Christmas morning starts at 6:00 am and ends at 6:18. We wake up to the kids jumping on us, unable to contain their excitement. There is a flurry of wrapping paper, squealing children and it is over in a blink of an eye. You put SO much into making Christmas perfect and I am going to let you in on a little secret… you deserve to sit back and enjoy it! Here are my best tips on making Christmas simple so that you can savor the moment.
Click here to download a printable of this list.
- Have a safe place you can turn into your Christmas workshop. For me, that is my work office. It could be a spare room in a friend or relative’s house. My kids are into EVERYTHING at home, no place was safe. Here is my usual Christmas MO: hide target bag of gifts anywhere you can then totally forget about them, have full panic attack the day before Christmas that I didn’t get enough, run to store to buy more, go to wrap and realize that I actually over-did it. Again. Seriously, I just found a Christmas gift in the back of the coat closet. You need to be able to lay everything out and look at it. If you have multiple kids, make sure everything is even.
- Don’t forget the stockings. Target dollar stop is the best for this.
- Open any gifts that need assembly and put them together. The last thing you want to do on Christmas day is put together a Barbie Dream House. Trust me, if you do all of this work ahead of time, you will be able to sit back and relax as your child enjoys their new toy.
- Make sure you have all the batteries needed. For example, if you get a RC car which requires D batteries, the kids will be really disappointed if they can’t use it right away.
- We usually make cookies on Christmas eve so that we can leave them out for Santa. I just do the ready-made Pillsbury Christmas cookies so it is quick and easy. Don’t forget carrots for the reindeer!
- Plan breakfast: there are great recipes for breakfasts that you can make the day before. Here is a great list of recipes for breakfast casseroles. If you are local to me, I love to go to Festive Breads in Northborough to stock up on some of their amazing pastries, muffins and scones. If you are visiting family later in the day, Festive Breads also makes custom cookie baskets that are beautiful and delicious. They make a perfect gift to bring to a Christmas party.
- Set your coffee maker to brew on its own, so that it’s done when you wake up
- Prep the room the night before: have a couple of trash bags in the room so that kids can throw the paper away instead of all over the room
- Have scissors ready to help with box opening, a chainsaw may be needed for some toy boxes
- Assign each person their own wrapping paper. That way children don’t have to search for their name or fight over who gets what. They can easy visualize what is theirs. We put a small roll of their paper pattern in their stocking. Another thing you can do is make a pile for each kid, so they have their own area.
- Think of any family traditions that you want to carry on. We read the Night Before Christmas on Christmas eve. I have done that since I was a child.
- Say goodbye to your elf. If you have an Elf on a Shelf, he/ she goes home with Santa. While my husband and I are doing a happy dance, the kids are really sad. Click here for some great ideas on how you can say goodbye to your Christmas elf.
- On Christmas morning, the kids are not allowed to come into the room until we turn on the Christmas lights, turn on the Christmas music and I set the tv to a fireplace crackling for some ambiance.
I know that sounds like a lot. Even if you can do a few of these preparations the week before, you can relax more on the day. I like to sit on the couch in my bathrobe drinking coffee, enjoying my Christmas retirement.
Do you have any other tips for making a simple Christmas morning? Please let me know in the comments below and I will add them to the list. Merry Christmas!