Christmas morning can be filled with joy, festivity… and chaos! Here are some tricks to help things run smoothly:
Jump Start Breakfast. . .
- Prepare food the night before (e.g. an overnight casserole, coffee cake, cut up fruit…)
- Set up the coffee so you can get it brewing quickly
- Set out paper products for a quick clean-up
Get Ready for Christmas Dinner. . .
- Chop and pre-measure ingredients
- Set the table (linens, place settings, serving bowls, utensils, and candles/centerpieces)
- Install extra table leaves and gather extra chairs/high chairs, as needed
- Delegate last minute tasks in advance (e.g. pouring wine, lighting candles, tossing the salad, etc.)
Set the Scene Around the Tree. . .
- Have a playlist or station ready to go for background music
- If applicable, set up the fireplace so all you need to do is light a match
- Place helpful supplies nearby (e.g. trash bags, scissors, recycle/reuse bins, batteries, small screwdrivers)
- Provide paper and pencils for those who wish to record gifts received
- Consider assembling complicated gifts ahead of time so they are ready to be played with
Alleviate the Anticipation. . .
- Agree in advance what time the “festivities” will begin
- Consider allowing small children to open one gift on Christmas Eve
- Hang a stocking with a small distraction (e.g. a puzzle, book, bag of cheerios) on the doorknob of each child’s bedroom to keep them busy while waiting
Prepare to Photograph. . .
- Charge all cameras/camcorders/phones in advance
- Have extra memory sticks ready to go
- Set up a tripod, if desired
- Decide if, when, and where a group photo will be taken
- Consider designating one person to collect, upload and share photos (e.g. via an app or photo book)
Calm the Chaos. . .
- Open gifts one at a time, from youngest to oldest
- Designate a location for gift cards, checks, and small items so they don’t get accidentally thrown away
- Keep all candy up off the floor, out of the reach of pets
- Move stockings away from a lit fireplace so the contents won’t melt
- Check the inside of all boxes and bags before trashing/recycling them
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Merry Christmas to all… and to all a peaceful day!