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Christmas morning traditions with your family will create memories that last a lifetime. Your kids never remember the different presents they opened or even the food that was served. But they will remember the traditions you shared together and how that made them feel.
Family traditions are fun and can be as simple or creative as you like.
If you haven’t quite figured out what traditions work for you at Christmas, or are a new family, take a look at this list of 10 Christmas traditions to try with your family.
Open the Last Advent Calendar
If your family has used an advent calendar during the month of December in the run-up to Christmas, you may have one final advent to open on Christmas day.
Depending upon the type of advent calendar you have chosen will depend on what you could open on Christmas morning. Many people are now moving away from a chocolate advent calendar and, instead, might:
- Have a short story each day to open and read
- Receive pieces to a jigsaw to complete on Christmas day
- Receive pieces of Lego to complete a set on Christmas day.
The final advent for December 25th could be something extra special such as larger chocolate, storybook, or jigsaw.
A matching set of pajamas can be a lovely Christmas morning tradition to try with your family. Matching sets are easy to find online for all ages and can help a family feel united and together on Christmas day.
If you don’t fancy Christmas-themed pajamas, consider purchasing a themed set the family loves e.g. Marvel or animals.
Look for Signs of Santa
Your family may believe in Santa and the story of how Santa visits on Christmas Eve whilst everyone is asleep. If you do, it can be lots of fun for your family to look for signs of Santa.
Evidence of Santa visiting is so exciting for children. Knowing that this magical man with presents has visited brings Christmas to life.
During Christmas Eve, as your kids are fast asleep, you could leave crumbs on the plate where the mince pie and carrot were left out for Santa and the Reindeer.
You could also leave the empty glass that had milk or sherry, depending upon what your family chooses to leave out as a tradition on Christmas Eve.
Another idea is to leave footprints made by Santa. You can sprinkle glitter and flour on the floor and place your boot to create a footprint, or just place your boot into the flour and glitter to then create a footprint trail.
Remember to leave no trace of flour or glitter on your boots; otherwise, your kids may suspect something.
There’s nothing more warming than a cup of cocoa! As Christmas is a special day once a year, drinking a cup of cocoa for your family’s Christmas morning tradition can be a lovely way to start your day.
You could make it even more special by serving in Christmas-themed mugs with cream and marshmallows.
Stockings in Bed
Stockings are a tradition that some families have, whereby Santa has filled a child’s stockings with presents whilst they sleep.
We have stockings in our family that have been passed down from generation to generation to keep the family tradition going. On Christmas Eve, our kids place them in their room before they go to sleep, hoping that Santa will have visited to fill them by the time they wake up.
The excitement is seeing their stockings filled on Christmas day. You can decide for your Christmas morning tradition when and where to open these presents.
For us, we usually open them upstairs in their bedrooms before breakfast. We then take a break to get dressed and eat breakfast before opening family presents downstairs.
It helps opening presents last a lot longer and spread out the excitement throughout the day.
With Christmas being a special day, you may prefer to have something different than your everyday cereal or toast.
Each family has its own Christmas breakfast. If you are eating a full Christmas dinner at midday, you might not want a full English breakfast. But here are some ideas that are easy to make at home and help Christmas feel special:
- Cinnamon toast
- Compote berries with yogurt and honey
- Pain aux Chocolat
Christmas Gift Opening
Once breakfast is over, now comes the children’s favorite part of Christmas, the opening of gifts! Each family has its way of organizing the gift-opening part of Christmas.
Some families all open together whilst others take it in turns. For your Christmas morning tradition, you can choose what works best for your family.
After a long morning of stockings, breakfast, and opening gifts, you may want to take some time to relax together. What better way to do that than put on a Christmas movie together? Some fun all-age-appropriate movies are:
- The Polar Express
- The Grinch
- The Snowman and The Snowdog
- Miracle on 34th Street
- Home Alone
One of my fondest memories of Christmas as a child was playing family games after Christmas dinner.
During the year, there’s work to be done, places to go, and appointments to attend. There can be very little time for family time and fun activities together.
Christmas is the perfect excuse to spend intentional time together participating in fun activities such as games. Games do not have to be Christmas-themed but are ideal when they are appropriate for everyone to be able to play together.
Favorite family games include Monopoly, charades, and Frustration. If you have younger children, family games might include Snap, Buckaroo, or Jenga.
Thank you Letters
At the end of a busy day, it is time for a calm activity. Writing thank you letters are not only polite but something that can help calm children down from all the excitement surrounding Christmas.
Make sure when your kids are opening presents from relatives and friends to write a list of who the gift was from and what the gift was. Then, towards the end of the day, your kids can write out individual thank you letters.
Thank you letters do not have to be long and can either be personally decorated or can be written on a Christmas card from the shop. A simple thank you letter from your kids can include:
- Who to address it to
- Thank you for the gift
- Wishing them a wonderful Christmas and New Year
- Finally, signed by your child.
These are 10 different Christmas morning traditions to try with your family. The great thing about family traditions is that you can try different ideas and choose the right traditions for your family.
Your kids will remember how the traditions made them feel, and will likely become their favorite part of Christmas.