13 EASY TIPS FOR A STRESS-FREE CHRISTMAS MORNING
Ah, Christmas morning! That magical time with our family, leisurely opening gifts, talking and laughing, expressing our gratitude to one another, and snapping adorable photos of children who happily pose for the camera. At least, that’s the vision, right? The reality, on the other hand, is usually more along the lines of an exhausted blur where you try to make sure your excited child or children don’t rip through the gifts in 3.6 minutes, and you spend a good amount of time searching for batteries and fighting with packaging that is harder to get into than Fort Knox!
If the second scenario is more familiar to you, these 13 tips for a stress-free Christmas morning are just what you need. While I can’t promise the idyllic scene described above, I can promise that following these tips (or even just some of them) will help you have a more relaxing and enjoyable Christmas morning.
13 EASY Tips For A Stress-Free Christmas Morning
1) Make Your Playlist In Advance.
If you like to play festive music while opening gifts, make a playlist in advance. You’ll probably be woken up early Christmas morning by your excited child or children. You don’t want to be fumbling around trying to find the right playlist while they impatiently wait to start opening gifts. Set it up in advance so you just have to press play on Christmas morning.
2) Don’t Leave Toy Assembly and Wrapping For Christmas Eve.
If possible, wrap gifts as as you buy them and assemble toys a few days in advance. This gives you some breathing room to troubleshoot any issues and time to relax on Christmas Eve.
3) If Your Travelling On Christmas Day, Get Everything Ready To Leave The House On Christmas Eve.
Pack any gifts and other non-perishable items you are taking with you by the door on Christmas Eve. Make a list of any perishable items you need to take. Also remember to make sure your gas tank is full! Then you can enjoy Christmas morning without being distracted by what you need to remember to bring and rushing to gather it all.
4) Make A Make-A-Head Breakfast.
Plan a make-ahead breakfast you can prep Christmas Eve and just put in the oven on Christmas morning. It should be ready to go by the time you are done opening gifts!
5) Don’t Forget The Milk & Cookies!
Make sure Santa drinks his milk and eats his cookies before you go to bed on Christmas Eve.
TIP: If you want to give your kids a surprise on Christmas morning, check out the Capture The Magic app. For a low fee, you can “catch” a photo of Santa placing gifts under your tree. We caught Santa last year and my daughter LOVED it.
For a free option, try the I Caught Santa app.
6) Don’t forget the Elf!
If you have an Elf on the Shelf, make sure he or she returns to the North Pole on Christmas Eve.
7) Stock Up On Cold and Flu Medications.
No one wants to think about being sick on Christmas, but I don’t know a single family without a story of a Christmas (or two) where at least one person was sick. Hopefully, you won’t need it, but if you do, you will be prepared!
8) Set Clear Expectations For Christmas Morning on Christmas Eve.
Knowing what’s expected on Christmas morning greatly reduces the chaos! Do the kids have to stay in their rooms until a certain time or can they go look at the tree when they wake up? Can they open their stockings? Is there an “elf” who hands out gifts? If so, who is it this year? Does everyone take a turn opening gifts or is it a free-for-all? Can they eat candy from their stocking Christmas morning? Can toys be removed from the packaging before gift-opening is completed? Does paper and other wrapping need to be cleaned up as you go?
9) Prepare A Package-Opening Basket.
Some packaging is absolutely ridiculous to get into! Having scissors, a utility knife and/or wire-cutters handy will save you searching for these tools on Christmas morning. Also include different screwdrivers such as Phillips, flathead and a couple of very small ones for the battery covers that are super tiny.
Speaking of batteries, put batteries of multiple sizes in the package-opening basket too (AAA, AA, C and D). Delight over a dream gift can quickly turn to disappointment if required batteries aren’t available.
11) Clean-Up As You Unwrap.
Have a garbage bag and recycling bin/box ready for the gift wrap and packaging. Cleaning as you go helps limit the chaos, minimizes the chance of “losing” any gifts or gift cards in the gift wrap debris, and means there is no large clean-up at the end when all you want to do is relax.
TIP: If you want to avoid garbage bags and blue boxes from creeping in the background of your holiday photos, try chicaandjo.com’s idea to wrap a couple of cardboard boxes with holiday paper to use. You will have easy, accessible clean-up that won’t ruin your pictures!
12) Use Cups With Lids.
Use travel mugs and drinking cups with lids on Christmas morning. There is a lot of excitement and commotion on Christmas morning and its easy for cups to get knocked over. Avoid spills (and the clean-up) with mugs and cups with lids.
13) Let Go Of Perfectionism.
Finally, and most importantly, let go of perfectionism. After all the planning and work to make Christmas magical for our families, it’s easy to get caught up in wanting Christmas morning to be “perfect”. But the reality is there will probably be some (or many) less than perfect moments. If we focus on the perfect morning that isn’t happening, we will miss out on enjoying the wonderfully imperfect morning that IS happening. However it unfolds, sit back and enjoy. Remember, it’s about being together.
As with most things in life, a little advanced planning and preparation makes all the difference. Follow these 13 easy tips and enjoy a relaxed, stress-free Christmas morning. And if you can’t get them all done, don’t worry! Even following just a few will make a difference! Do you have any tips for a smooth Christmas morning? Let me know in the comments below.