Is Christmas Morning all it is hyped up to be or a wasted? How can we make Christmas Morning last longer?
Christmas time is a busy time for us all. Some people start early in the year buying Christmas presents and stashing them away. Others wait until December, rushing around trying to accomplish a HUGE list of stuff before the big day. Then the BIG DAY finally arrives. Everything we have been ramping up for comes to this moment in time. I don’t know how things go in your home, but this is what happens for me. My kids wake up, open stockings, open presents and then everyone goes their separate ways to entertain themselves with the day’s loot. In a matter of about 45 minutes, everything I had worked hard for, for weeks, was just over. Almost seems a waste. So this year, I have decided to incorporate some new Christmas morning tradition to make Christmas day more about Family time and last a lot longer. Here is a list of 8 Christmas Day Traditions that you can use to help your day go farther. Some are the ones I am doing plus a few extra to give you options:
- Christmas Pickle – I originally read that this started as a German tradition. Upon further research, I found this is a false fact. It actually started in American. You First have to purchase a Pickle Ornament. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. On Christmas Eve, an adult hides the pickle ornament somewhere on/in the Christmas tree out of sight. On Christmas morning, the children begin their day by searching for the Pickle. The first person to find it will receive a special blessing for the coming year and is the first person to be able to open a Christmas gift.
- Memory Jar – You will need any container/bowl/jar with a lid and some card stock or index cards to write on. You can even get creative and decorate your container. Every member of the family will write down a happy memory on a note card and places it in the jar before or on Christmas Eve. I am going to have each family member write down 5 memories each. Then on Christmas morning, each person must retrieve a random memory from the Memory Jar and read it aloud before they can open a gift. This gives the family time to reflect on the year and the happiness the family has experienced.
- Unmarked Gifts – I LOVE this one. Mainly, because it is driving my children crazy. I have wrapped all gifts but there are no names or marking on the gifts. No one has any idea which gift is for which person. I have secretly selected specific wrapping papers for each person. Then, I clipped a small piece and placed in a secret place. On Christmas Morning, there will be envelopes on the tree for each person revealing their wrapping paper. To make it even more fun, I do believe I will make them tape their pieces of paper to their forehead so the person handing out gifts will know who to hand the gift to.
- Volunteer – An awesome Christmas tradition for many is giving back to the community. Maybe start your day, before gift opening, by volunteering at your local Red Cross, Soup Kitchen, delivery meals on wheels, etc. There are so many in need, not just at Christmas, but all year. We are all blessed in some way. It is our duty to pay it forward. I feel this should be a yearlong tradition and not just on Christmas morning. Giving, helping and blessing others is what the Christmas Spirit is all about.
- Write Letters to Santa – On Christmas Eve, the family will write a letter to Santa and leave with the Cookies/Milk. When Santa comes to deliver gifts, he will write a response. Then on Christmas morning, the children will find Santa’s letter and read it aloud before opening gifts. The letter from Santa can be creative, adding in humor and knowledge of behavior/events of the last year. Keep these letters in a keepsake box to relive the memories in the future.
- Christmas Stockings- I love buying stocking stuffers. I don’t fill their stockings up with candy or fruit. I buy small useful gifts or toys that they want or need. I then wrap each stocking stuff. The children get to dive into their stockings, opening each stuffer, prior to beginning the gift unwrapping.
- Reading the Christmas Story – Begin Christmas morning by reading the story of Jesus and Christmas. You can find many story books on this OR you can simply read it from the bible. It is good to remind all of us what the day is about. Christmas is NOT about receiving things and gifts. It is about Jesus, Love, Giving to others and Family. Even those who do not believe as I do in the religious aspect of the holiday, can certainly agree with me that the Holiday is not about the Gifts but more about the spirit of giving and love for others.
- Christmas Breakfast – Before Christmas gifts are opened, share a breakfast meal all together as a family. This can either be a meal cooked at home or you can go out for breakfast (if you can find a restaurant open).
You may be asking yourself……..Is Christmas Morning all it is hyped up to be or a waste? How can we make Christmas Morning last longer? I hope my ideas have helped you create some new traditions. The BIG DAY isn’t about receiving gifts, having more stuff, and being stressed. Christmas is NOT about tons of gifts. We all have a tendency to forget the meaning of Christmas amongst all our running around for weeks preparing for the day. We need to find ways to bring in more of a Christmas spirit, reminding all of us that Christmas is about giving to others, showing love and kindness and being together with family. Ultimately, we need to find a way to add back in to Christmas morning, the TRUE meaning of Christmas. Make the day last longer, full of laughter, fun and love. Merry Christmas to each and everyone one of you. May your coming year be full of blessings!!