A Guide to Surviving Xmas Morning

Jennifer Abele , Centurion Staff

Next to Halloween, Christmas morning is a magical event for all children. For me, not so much.

People speak of the joy that is Christmas morning in their house, but my house is a natural disaster. Dec. 25, 9 a.m., bright and early, family members commute to my Grandma’s house. All the children buzz with excitement to see what their family and Santa have left them. When my immediate family shows up, 25 people descend through the door, and it can be mass hysteria.

But the silver lining is that I’m able to share some of my hard-won wisdom with you so that maybe, just maybe, you can enjoy the holiday, too. This is a survival guide of how to better tame the chaos that is Christmas morning.

1. Get comfy–or classy! Just make sure you wear shoes.
Nothing beats opening your presents in your jammies. If you’re wondering if you should wear the Grinch onesie or not, remember: it’s Christmas! Alternatively, if your family might appreciate nicer outfits, ask your parents how you should dress. Keep shoes or slippers on at all times to avoid stepping on small parts like Legos.
2. Keep a slight schedule- but not too strict
Christmas is a time for family and memories, but needs some organization. If you’re having Christmas at home, let the kids take lead of the schedule once everyone is awake. If you’re waiting on house guests, promote the idea of breakfast, a Christmas movie, or a game to the kids to wait patiently for presents.
3. Make sure presents are labeled…
One Christmas, my Granny forgot where little Grace’s gift was. Her solution? She unwrapped every present to find Grace’s, then rewrapped them all to their former glory before anyone noticed. Learn from Granny, folks!
4. and that everybody gets the right gift…
After eating breakfast as a family, the children lunge for their presents under the tree. (Remember when I said there was mass hysteria?) To avoid kids opening the wrong present, choose a spot and use a specific wrapping paper or color to distinguish each child’s gift under the tree.
5. and no gift gets trashed!
Be sure that the kids do not throw out cards, gift cards, money, receipts, and small pieces of jewelry. To avoid losing money or gift cards in the trash, give cards containing money or gift cards to their parent. Also be wary of small toy products such as, Hatchimals, LOL Toys, Polly Pocket, Barbie shoes, or Legos. Everyone hates stepping on a stray Lego!
6. Speaking of trash: make sure you have trash bags handy!
Now that the chaos of unwrapping presents has commenced, paper will be piling up. Appoint a few family members with trash bags to collect all that wrapping paper. Remember some wrapping paper can be recycled as long as it isn’t glittery or made of foil.
7. Don’t forget to take pictures!
This is a holiday where family comes far and wide to spend time together. Capture those moments for the entire family to enjoy. Designate 2 people to take pictures of the kids with their Christmas present to get the best angle, and then post on Facebook for your family to see. Taking the pictures helps extended family who weren’t able to attend feel included in the holiday festivities.
After festivities settle down, curl up next to the fire with your eggnog, find the mistletoe before your significant other does, and sing Christmas songs. And yes, you’ll probably get tired of the kids singing “Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg, the Batmobile lost a wheel, and we’re never the same again” on loop.
But what the heck– it’s Christmas! Join in!