What's in this post...
These Christmas morning traditions will make your morning full of love, laughter, and celebration. Do them every year and make memories.
Growing up we had the weirdest and most sentimental tradition on Christmas morning.
Every year, we’d go to the Waffle House for breakfast.
My grandmother, grandfather, mother and I would get up early. I’d open my presents from Santa, then we’d go get bacon. I don’t know how this idea came about, but we stuck with it for over a decade. While it’s not elegant or sophisticated, it’s such a warm memory for me.
And that’s the idea about Christmas traditions.
Not that they’re some Grand Huge Thing, but that they give you a surge of nostalgia and oxytocin.
We did this until my grandfather was unable to physically get around well, and I’ll never forget the first Christmas we didn’t go… it was sad for me.
Sure, it’s random and not homemade, but IT WAS A SENTIMENTAL TRADITION.
Join me THIS WEEK in making lists of what to buy, checking them twice, and being donzo!
Christmas morning traditions for kids
Christmas mornings are magical and exciting for kids. There’s no two ways about it.
I remember waking up suuuuuper early as a child and waking my mother up. As I got older I had to wait until at least 6:30 a.m. ?
Who could blame me?
Fun things, first thing
- Checking the Cookie Plate- Every little detail is excited for kids on Christmas morning! On the other hand, variations of this include checking for Santas reindeer prints or trails of soot by the fireplace.
- Wearing Christmas Pajamas- It’s great for family photos and bringing the family together!
- Meeting at the Table for Christmas Breakfast- There’s nothing like waking up to the smell of something yummy cooking for breakfast. Honestly, free to Prepare a Casserole beforehand and stick in the oven that morning.
- Saying Family Prayers- Holding hands and saying a prayer of thanks together is a great way to start the morning. Not only that, your kids may even ask to say a prayer for a family in need.
- Having a Birthday Party- Celebrating Christmas morning with a little birthday party for Jesus is fun! Furthermore, it teaches the meaning behind Christmas. In addition, include a birthday cake.
- Open Presents One at a Time- It’s fun to give, as well as receive! Start with any grandparents or parents. Have the kids bring gifts one at a time and enjoy watching the receiver open.
More Christmas morning traditions for kids…
- Write or Draw Pictures to say “Thank You”- After some playing with new toys, be sure to give thanks. Give them some thank you cards or have them make their own. It’s never a bad time to teach about the gracious “thank you” card.
- Play a Christmas Unwrapping Game- This Game requires dice and can be played by children and adults alike.
- Play a Special Christmas Music Playlist- Turn on those Christmas tunes. You can have kids help pick out the songs the day before and add them to your playlist.
- Build and Decorate a Gingerbread House- Trust me, don’t just get any one. Be sure to get one like this top rated Gingerbread House Kit to avoid frustration.
- Do a Family Christmas Puzzle- If your family enjoys puzzles (Christmas Puzzle), give one as a family gift and spend some time that morning putting it together.
- Watch a Christmas Movie Together- Check out this Christmas Classics Collection to get some ideas here.
- Settle in for Christmas Hot Chocolate- Kids love hot chocolate… anytime. It’s sure to be extra special on Christmas morning.
- Take a Christmas Morning Family Photo- Make it fun for the kids by including the hot chocolate or fun family game.
- Hunt for the Pickle on the Tree Game- Kids are sure to love adding the Legend of the Pickle Hunt to their morning fun! Hide it on your tree and let the fun begin!
Christmas morning breakfast traditions
Everyone loves the smell of a tasty breakfast….maybe it’s cinnamon rolls and coffee… maybe it’s a fancy casserole.
Whatever it is for you, Christmas morning is a great time to use it to pull the family together and make it a tradition.
Here are some great Christmas morning breakfast tradition ideas:
- Break out the Christmas Plates and Celebrate- Sometimes it’s the little details that make a moment special and memorable. Invest or break out the Christmas plates for a memorable Christmas morning
- Eat Breakfast Around the Tree- For kids especially, switching up the location of eating is fun.
- Drink Hot Chocolate with Candy Canes- It’s not just for cold evenings or ice skating days. This could be a fun and memorable tradition to make.
- Bake that Famous Breakfast Casserole- You may want a Casserole with Sausage, Egg, and Cheese, a Baked Blueberry French Toast Casserole, or a an Easy Veggie Casserole.
- Include the Kids in Preparation- Kid’s love to get involved…especially once mom is in the kitchen. This takes some planning ahead, but making breakfast tougher can be super fun and educational too.
More Christmas morning breakfast traditions…
- Wake Up and Smell Homemade Cinnamon Rolls- This Recipe for Homemade Cinnamon Rolls is good enough to make a family tradition!
- Do All Out with Some Tasty French Crepes– These French Crepes are amazing with vanilla ice cream and strawberries.
- Stick with a Traditional Flavor (Gingerbread) and Make Specialized Waffles– Gingerbread Waffles are sure to be a big hit with the whole family!
- Have Daddy do the Cooking- If mom is usually the one in the kitchen, have dad be the chef for this special breakfast.
- Bake a Breakfast Cake- A perfect breakfast cake for Christmas morning is the Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake.
Christmas morning spiritual traditions
I love to include “the reason for the season” in the making of our family traditions.
Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ is at the root of why we celebrate Christmas and love the season! Below is a list of some fun ways to include Jesus in your Christmas morning plans.
- Use a Nativity Scene to Tell the Christmas Story- Using your nativity scene or a kid friendly scene is a fun way to involve everyone in telling the reason for the season.
- Read the Christmas Story from the Bible- It’s as easy as turning to one of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and reading from the beginning. Last year, we read all four with the kids.
- Write a List of Thankful Prayers- Learning gratitude is a great way to celebrate any season, especially Christmas.
- Have a Christmas Morning Recital- If your kids are in music lessons, let them share their Christmas songs with the family on this special morning.
- Break out the Crayons and do a Christmas Coloring Page– I particularly like this Happy Birthday Jesus Coloring Page.
- Have a Birthday Party for Jesus– This is a cute tradition that teaches kids to celebrate Jesus’ birthday before opening presents.
More Christmas morning spiritual traditions…
- Gift for Jesus– This Christmas morning family activity is a memorable Birthday Gift for Jesus.
- Light an Advent Wreath with Candles- A pretty Advent Wreath with Candles makes a great centerpiece and sets a Christmas celebration tone to your dinning room or kitchen.
- Sing Christmas Carols- There may be some you know by heart, but feel free to print out a few and stash away for next year too!
- Study the Titles of Jesus- This Titles of Jesus Activity is an awesome way to celebrate the Birth of Jesus and sure to lead to some great discussions.
- Study the Meaning Behind the Shape and Color of the Candy Cane (From a Spiritual Perspective)- There is some brief info- here. I think it would be neat to include a paper craft or even draw/write about its meaning together.
Christmas morning traditions that give to others
What better tradition to start than one that is thinking of others! I hope that my kids look back on these years and see that we had a heart to serve and give to others… even on Christmas morning.
- Pass it On– After opening presents this year, have the kids go into their toy boxes and select unused toys in good condition to donate. Not only are you teaching leadership and giving, but your making room for their new gifts.
- Delivering Pre-Made Goody Platters/Bags- It’s so much fun to give to others, especially when it’s a goody plate you were about to make together!
- Singing Christmas Carols in your Neighbored- Depending on where you life, this could be a fun activity to bring a smile to your neighbors.
- Visiting a Local Nursing Home or Retirement Community- As difficult as this one may seem, it could mean so much to an elderly person that wasn’t able to see family this year.
More ways to give on Christmas
- Writing Thank You Cards for Presents Received- Not only is this a great tradition to have in general, but it teaching that giving back is the right thing to do…even on Christmas.
- Donating a Year of Presents to Helping a Worthy Cause- As a family, dedicating the money spent on everyones presents to a worthy cause can be very gratifying and character building.
- Taking a Service Trip- Search your local and state service organizations to find a trip that can be taken over the holidays. You can also plan your own such a clean up day.
- Writing Letters to Military- Use this website to reach out to troops with some encouragement and kindness this time of year- Support Our Troops.
- Praying as a Family for a Cause or Country in Need- Even if you can’t spend or go, praying can be a way of giving to others.
- Volunteering at a Local Food Bank- Visit Feeding America to search for a local establishment.
Family photos – the same post every year!
Years come and go, but photos can be treasured for lifetime. I love looking back over the years because so much changes in just one year.
Don’t miss the opportunity to make saving a lasting memory part of your Christmas morning tradition.
- Match those Christmas Pajamas– This tradition is one that is still going strong… check out some options here: Christmas Pajamas.
- In the Doorframe of your House (in the same spot each year)– You’ll enjoy seeing the change from year to year as your family grows.
- Decorate Your Porch- Your own porch can make a beautiful and appropriate backdrop for your family photos this year!
- Under the Mistletoe– I adore the family shot with mom and dad in the middle and all the kids closing their eyes. So cute to create this year after year!
- By the Christmas Tree– Sometimes traditional is best. Turn those lights on and smile big!
- Under the Christmas Tree– Snuggle up and be sure to include your fur babies (if you’ve got them).
- At the Christmas Tree Farm/Shopping for the Tree- Snapping the “I found the tree” photo makes a great every year picture to treasure.
- In Front of the Fireplace- I have actually seen people turn a virtual fireplace on their TV for photos as well.
- Candid Photos of your Family Traditions- Do you eat a special breakfast? Grab a picture at the table each year. Do you bake a birthday Cake for Jesus? Be sure to snap capture those special moments each year.
- Outside Family Photo Spot- If weather permits, outside by a tree, woods, or pasture makes the perfect seasonal year-after-year photo spot.
Minute to Win It games
You’ve got the family together… now have some fun! Kids and adults like enjoy playing these short and competitive games.
Each game below includes a link with a detailed description and further details on how to play. By the way… chances are you already have all the materials needed to play these games.
Simplicity is key, my friends.
In just 15 minutes a night (while you’re in your pajamas!) take your home (and heart and mind) from stressed out to organized.
- Face the Gingerbread Man- Don’t let the Gingerbread Man get away!
- Reindeer Nose Dive-It’s harder than it looks. I can’t wait to see the parents do Reindeer Nose Dive.
- Snowman Stack- Snowman Stack is a simple game, but with a twist for Christmas.
- Christmas Cliffhanger- Now, who would of thought you can use Christmas Cards for a Christmas Cliffhanger?
- Candy Cane Catch- All you need is to tie some garland in-between chairs and toss candy canes. Sounds a bit like inside yard golf.
- Jingle Bell Clock- Break out the craft sticks and jingle bells for Jingle Bell Clock.
- Snow Shovel-You’ve seen this one before…but everything seems a bit more fun on Christmas Morning. All you need is some plastic spoons, bowls, and cotton balls.
- Bobbing for Candy Canes- Those hooks on the end on Candy Canes do come in handy!
- Pepermint Twist- The one one on this list that has the potential to get real sticky, Peppermint Twist is sure to be a blast!
- Good Things Come in Small Packages- This Game is sure to have everyone rolling with laughter…wearing oven gloves.
- White Chrsitams- Yes, there is Toilet Paper involved in the White Christmas Game.