One Way To Manage Christmas Morning
I don’t know what Christmas morning is like in your house, but with three little kids (all under the age of six) in our house, it’s about two clicks past chaos. I think last year we opened every gift and were well into our first mental breakdown by 7am.
To be honest, the chaos is part of what makes Christmas with little kids fun. Any parent who loves their children finds great joy in waking up early with their kids and watching them tear through presents. I love experiencing this through the eyes of my children each year.
What I think has been lacking in my home these past few years has NOT been fun, but intentionality.
Christmas morning is a crucial spiritual formation opportunity to be capitalized on with my family. I want to be flexible and have fun, but this year I also want to manage Christmas morning with more intentionality. Here’s what I’ll be doing:
1. Wake up at o’dark thirty to open gifts.
My kids have been staring at these gifts for weeks, so we’re still going to start with gifts and probably well before the sun comes up. The mere fact that anything is still wrapped is a win in my book. We’ll rip wrapping paper and tear through boxes with bleary eyes that probably need at least two more hours of sleep. We will try and take pictures of the chaos…this never goes well, but we’ll do our best.
2. Remember the greater Gift we celebrate in Jesus.
This is the most important piece. We want our kids to know that Christmas is about more than gifts. We have fun with and teach our kids that Santa is pretend, but want to be clear that Santa is not the center of our Christmas celebration.
Christmas is about Jesus, the Son of God, breaking into human history as a baby that would become a man and reverse the deadly effects sin had set in motion.
There are a number of ways to do this as a family. We will open The Jesus Storybook Bible and read the story of Jesus' birth and thank God for the great gift that He’s given us in Jesus. What matters is that we open a Bible, remember the story, and celebrate Jesus.
3. Eat an epic breakfast.
This is a family tradition. In my house growing up and now in my house with my family we eat a big breakfast on Christmas morning. We talk about gifts, tell stories, and take our time together as a family.
4. Play. Play. Play.
The rest of our day is filled with the inevitable building and enjoyment of whatever toys we’ve given our kids. We leave lots of space. We don’t rush off anywhere. We lay around in our pajamas and play the day away.
Don’t get me wrong. There will be multiple meltdowns…some of those will most likely be mine. Our kids will fidget while we read the Christmas story. There will most likely be complaints about something at breakfast. Our kids will not be as grateful as they could be. There will be conflicts to be managed. All this happens and will happen every year. This year I simply want to start being more intentional and invite you to do the same. Let’s capitalize on this crucial celebration and enjoy Jesus and our families.