family Christmas traditions

Top 10 Christmas Morning Traditions to Start with Your Family

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Creating Christmas morning traditions for the whole family can help make it one of the most magical days of the entire year. Moments filled making memories not soon to be forgotten, with activities that can be passed down through generations, are priceless. Presents come second when time together is encouraged and prioritized. 

Establishing family traditions is a great way to bond with one another. While all children love getting a new toy, that excitement can soon wear off. Whereas years from now they can look back on their childhood with fondness as they reminisce on their favorite Christmas mornings with mom.  

But with technology consuming so much of our daily lives, how do you get them away from the tablets and tv’s long enough to make these memories? Easy, threaten to take everything away, lol. No, seriously that is a complete joke. Instead emphasize with them. Let them know you understand how fun and exciting beating that high score on their favorite game can be. Or how much you too like catching up on your shows. And then invite them to collaborate with you. Take a look at the list below and ask them what they’d like to do. Don’t be afraid to compromise. I do this often with my oldest. 

This may look like saying, if you can give me “X” amount of your time to try out this new Christmas morning family tradition with us, you can have “X” amount of time on your tablet. Let me insert my disclaimer that this may or may not work. Heck, it only sometimes works for my own kid. But what I have found is that being more collaborative instead of authoritative always gets me better results. 

So give it a shot if you’re up to it. Look over these ideas, pick a few that sound like a good fit for your family. Then ask them to vote on their favorite. I mean, I’m sure it will do more harm than good. 

1. Read the Christmas Story 

From adults to toddlers, it’s important to remember what Christmas is all about. Books like these help remind us of the reason for the season. Sorry to use that corny cliche there but it fits so well, lol. 

Seriously, reading books together, especially if you start young, creates a special bonding time for you and your littles. Add in a miracle such as the Christmas Story and it’s just a match made in heaven. Which is why I think this is a perfect Christmas tradition to start with baby

2. Christmas Breakfast Tradition Ideas

Christmas morning breakfast traditions are a fun way to celebrate. I mean, who doesn’t like food! They do say it’s the way to the heart. So why not include a fun Christmas breakfast tradition for your family. Some of my favorites are listed below:

Christmas Tree or Rudolph Pancakes

You can literally make just about anything out of pancakes. From famous landmarks to your child’s favorite Christmas character. And no need to fret if you aren’t super artsy. You can literally find anything on Amazon. Just look at this pancake pan and this waffle kit even comes with food grade markers to make your pancakes even more realistic. Decorate them yourself or let your kiddos join in on the fun. Either way, I’m sure you’ll have some delicious pancakes when it’s all said and done!

Breakfast Casserole

This is my mother in law’s favorite Christmas morning tradition. And she’s been making, or even buying, breakfast casseroles for as long as I’ve known my husband. Which is going on 13 years. 

If you’re like me and casseroles really aren’t your go to dish, I’ve found this recipe that not only looks easy but so tasty! 

Not really in the mood to cook? Hey, it happens. Plus If your kids are anything like mine, having someone ask you a million times if they can “help” may not sound too appealing. No judgment on my end. I get it. I did mention that my mother in law also buys her casseroles from time to time. From Costco, if anyone is interested. 

And before you think, but isn’t this supposed to be about making memories, you can make just as many memories eating together as you can cooking together.  

Cinnamon Rolls and Sausage

Cinnamon rolls are a staple in my home. So any chance we get to cook them we jump at. This is a yummy breakfast that offers a lot of variety in how you cook it. Turn it into a casserole, keep it simple or make a delicious breakfast sandwich. Whatever you decide, include the kids (if you can) and have a great time. 

christmas morning traditions

Snowman Waffles

Seriously, what could be cuter? Super easy to make, you can get as creative as you’d like. Add some powder sugar and fruit for a more realistic approach. Layer some mini waffles and turn it into a waffle sandwich. And you can even forget pretzels for arms. Truly the ideas are endless with this one. 

Not into breakfast or cooking in general, don’t worry. There’s so many other ways to create some magical memories for your family on Christmas morning. 

3. Cook Extra & Take to an Elderly Neighbor

In my experience, the best Christmas morning traditions are the ones that put others first. I’ve learned first hand how important it is to serve others as often as possible. But especially when it comes to the elderly. There is so much to be learned from others who’ve been here longer than we have. And most older neighbors love getting time with young children. It truly warms their hearts. And if you don’t have an elderly neighbor close by, consider visiting a nursing home.  Sadly there are so many elders whose family can’t visit them often. If you go this route, just make sure to check with the staff about any outside food policies they may have. 

4. Take a Christmas Morning Family Photo

This is a must-do tradition for families on Christmas day. Don’t take it too seriously though. No need to hire a professional photographer. Although you can if you’d like. 

With the way most of these cameras are set up on our phones, a good tripod is all you’ll need. Then when the kids are older you can look back and literally watch them grow up. And maybe even challenge them to recreate your favorite ones! 

5. Create & Play a Christmas Morning Playlist of Family-Favorite Songs

Christmas carols, family dance parties, the possibilities are endless with this one. Waking up to the sounds of your favorite Christmas songs, running downstairs and being greeted by your family and a yummy breakfast. I mean, could you ask for anything else. Make sure to let everyone pick one of their favorite songs to be included on the list and watch the magic happen. 

6. Decorate a Gingerbread House

Sometimes leaving your house is more hassle than you’d care to tackle, especially on a holiday. Again no judgment as I have five kids and stay home whenever the opportunity arises. So what to do on Christmas day at home? Gingerbread houses are always super easy to find, come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are a breeze to put together. We’ve made a few in our time and the kids love getting creative with their food. We’ve gone so far as to build our own village once. And they are always so excited to eat them once they’re done. 

7. Open Presents with a Twist!

Don’t be afraid to get creative with the presents. There are tons of ways to turn this somewhat boring part of Christmas into something amazing. It’s okay, you can admit watching your kids rip off the wrapping paper it took you hours to fold just right, isn’t the most exciting part of the day. Or is that just me. 

Christmas Gift Scavenger Hunt

Who says all the presents have to be under the tree? Turning present opening into a scavenger hunt is a great interactive way to amp up the fun. Especially if you’re looking for a new way to introduce experiences for gifts

To do this, start by hiding all the gifts. You may want to start with one under the tree, but that’s completely optional. From there write out clues or hints that will help your kiddos figure out where to go to find their next present. Add these clues to the presents. The idea here is to have a clue that leads to another present. You can create a time limit or leave it untimed, completely up to you. Make it even more fun by starting off by putting a clue in the bed next to them while they sleep. So as soon as they wake up they can start the hunt for their presents. 

White Elephant Game

Such a fun game and bound to bring about some good laughs. The White Elephant game is where one person starts with a gift but can end up with a completely different gift by the end of the game. 

The way it works is that one person will open a wrapped gift. From there each additional person gets a turn and can either open a wrapped gift or steal one from someone else who has already opened a gift.  If your gift gets stolen you can either open a new gift or steal one from someone else. 

Christmas morning with family

Dirty Santa Game 

Another fun game, this one is sure to bring all the laughs. Find as many weird, crazy gag gifts as you can. Wrap them and then assign a number to each of them. Now each person in the family picks a number and wraps their crazy gifts. Add an extra dose of fun by allowing negotiation for the best gift. Sure to get lots of laughs and confusion. 

Christmas “Hot Potato”

This one takes me back to elementary school so it holds a lot of nostalgia for me. To play hot potato as a family, have everyone sit in a circle. Start some music, that Christmas Morning playlist from above would definitely come in handy here. Make sure to have someone in charge of stopping and starting the music randomly. Next pass a gift around the circle until the music stops. When it does, whoever has the gift gets to open it and keep it. Have that person exit the circle and start again. Keep going until everyone has a gift. 

The Christmas Pinata

This one can serve a dual purpose. Piñatas are a common element in parties across different countries and especially in Mexico around Christmas time. The story of their origin combines cultures, traditions and religions. So this is a great way to bring in some education, teaching about other cultures and diversity, while still having fun. 

If you aren’t sure what to put in your pinata, go beyond candy. Small toys, mini balls, erasers, pencil, necklaces, mini bags of cookies, plastic toy rings and so much more. Honestly just raid the dollar section at Target or Walmart as most of those items would be perfect. 

hot coco Christmas

8. Set Up a Christmas Morning Hot Cocoa Bar 

This is such a fun Christmas morning tradition. Who doesn’t love hot chocolate! Plus it’s so easy to put together. Fill your bar with marshmallows, a variety of hot chocolate options and of course you can’t forget peppermints! Grab some peppermint straws to stir the hot coco with. Have a few different sizes and colors of marshmallows, and whatever else you can think of to make this a unique family experience. I personally love those Andes mint chocolate candies so of course there’d be tons of those as well as any other candies my family may love. 

9. Donate Gifts to Your Local Shelter

I started this a few years ago with my kids and its something we’ve come to look forward to. And there’s actually a few ways we do this. A few weeks before Christmas the kids will go through all of their things and decide what they want to keep versus give away. This not only includes toys, but also clothes, shoes and anything else they may want to donate. 

We also make sure to allow our kids to Christmas shop for other families. Taking them to different stores to pick out gifts for children that we then donate to various charities / organizations. As I mentioned before I found out a long time ago that serving others brings my heart great joy and I hope to instill the same in my children. 

10. Write a Family Gratitude List

Always important to remember all the things we have to be thankful for, so why not make a list. This is a great way to reflect on all the blessings your family has received that year. And can serve as a reminder of how far you’ve come. It’s especially cute to display it somewhere in your house until next year.

What Are Your Favorite Christmas Morning Traditions?

After reviewing this list I hope it’s gotten your creative juices flowing. Even if you didn’t like what you saw here, my hope is that you can start a Christmas morning tradition for your family that is sure to make it magical. 

How do you make Christmas morning special? Are there any traditions that I forgot to mention? Leave them in the comments below!

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