Discover heartwarming Christmas morning traditions, from matching family pajamas to festive song playlists, having traditions continues to foster long-lasting connections and create magical memories for years to come, many of which get pasted down from generation to generation.
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7 Meaningful Christmas Morning Traditions
The holiday season brings about a sense of warmth, togetherness, and joy.
The excitement my kids have for the holiday season is very palatable and it’s the traditions we do together as a family that are always everyone’s favorites.
Among the numerous celebrations during this time of year, Christmas morning holds a special place in our hearts, especially as a parent who gets to watch the world turn into pure magic when I see it through the eyes of my children.
It’s not the gifts under the tree that do this – it’s the enduring family traditions we have on Christmas morning (and their favorite sibling traditions my kids have with one another) that bring out the sparkle and make this season even more memorable.
At a time when many are feeling a financial pinch and we’re watching careful not to overspend, traditions don’t cost much, if at all.
Plus, traditions not only enrich the holiday experience but also foster deep family connections which we’re all in favor of, but are passed down from generation to generation. You never know if the Christmas morning tradition you start this year, will be with your grandchildren or great-grandchildren down the raod.
I can’t wait to share with you some of my own family’s favorite traditions we all cherish on Christmas morning.
1. Santa’s Footprints and a Personalized Letter
Imagine the wonder and excitement in your child’s eyes when they wake up to find Santa’s footprints leading from the chimney to the Christmas tree.
Create these footprints by mixing baking soda (or flour) and glitter, leaving a trail to the gifts.
- How to Do It: Take a sheet pan and lightly sprinkle in the baking soda, flour and glitter and gently dip a boot in the tray, pressing firmly enough so that when the boot is pressed onto the floor, it makes Santa’s footprints.
Accompany this enchanting sight with a personalized letter from Santa, doting on all the child’s good deeds and expressing delight in their behavior throughout the year (remember to emphasize all the good things you liked seeing and want to see more of, steering away from the negative.)
2. Family Cooking & Breakfast Extravaganza
Start the day with a delightful and indulgent breakfast that the entire family can participate in preparing whether it’s something simple like eggs and bacon, a stack of pancakes or a treat you don’t normally have such as cinnamon rolls (a popular and requested Christmas morning favorite at our house every year!)
Here are some ideas:
- Create a pancake bar with an array of toppings, or craft festive-shaped waffles.
- Set up a fresh fruit station with a variety of favorite fruits.
- Include hot cocoa stations with marshmallows, whipped cream, and sprinkles.
- Make your own omelette station with vegetables, cheese, and meats.
Encourage everyone to pitch in and enjoy a scrumptious breakfast together at your table. This tradition sets a joyful tone for the day and allows for family time over delicious food which just fosters togetherness.
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3. The Gratitude Stockings
The spirit of gratitude is a necessary part of the holiday season, and this is a great way to incorporate it!
- Here’s how to do it: Have each family member fill a stocking for another family member with small items and notes expressing their appreciation for this person. These can be heartfelt messages, memories, coupons, and tokens of love that are handmade or have a lot of meaning, it doesn’t have to be store bought. Just give everyone enough time to think about what would have meaning to put into the stocking and time to create or purchase if needed.
When the stockings are opened, take turns reading the notes aloud, emphasizing the love and gratitude that comes across from what’s inside. This tradition promotes an attitude of thankfulness and a deeper understanding of the true meaning of Christmas.
4. Charity and Giving Back This Holiday Season
The true meaning of the holidays – charity and love – can be shared outside the home on Christmas morning.
When my twins were little, I used to run a non-profit event on Chrsitmas Day where we would coordinate a hot meal and gifts for 2,000 – 3,000 homeless and displaced men, women and families in a local restaurant. My kids grew up seeing that Christmas wasn’t just about presents under the tree but sharing space with others and extending the kindness of our hearts for helping others. It’s an impactful way to steer their hearts when you put into action your family’s values on this day.
The value of giving and empathy in your children by incorporating a charitable aspect to your Christmas morning.
Here are some ideas:
- Visit a neighbor and bring them a basket of muffins, a treat or something you’ve pulled together for them.
- Involve the family in choosing a cause or organization to support and have each family member contribute in their own way, whether through monetary donations, volunteering, or collecting items to donate.
This tradition not only teaches the importance of generosity but also reinforces the joy of giving back to those in need.
5. Create an Annual Family Christmas Video
Capture the essence of each Christmas morning by creating a family video, chronicling the excitement, laughter, and joy of the day.
- Here’s What You Can Include: Coming out of bedrooms in the morning to the tree, unwrapping presents, breakfast or dinner together, playing with gifts, special moments, and heartfelt conversations.
Watch these videos of the present, and past years, together as a family at some point in the day. Reliving the precious memories and witnessing the growth and changes in each family member will be a family favorite!
This tradition allows for a beautiful reflection on the passage of time and the cherished moments shared as a family.
6. Get Out the Matching Family Pajamas
Enhance the holiday spirit by having the family don matching festive pajamas on Christmas morning.
Choose a theme or pattern that resonates with everyone and adds to the overall festive ambiance. Our family buys pajamas one size too big so they last for at least two to three years. We all go to sleep in our family pajamas and sit together for presents, stockings and breakfast in our PJs too!
Not only does this tradition create adorable photo opportunities, but it also fosters a sense of unity and togetherness as everyone begins the day in a fun and festive way.
Here are some fun family pajama options:
- Christmas Lights Matching Family Set
- Red and Black Check Family PJs
- Family Zip up Onesies
- Traditional Button up Top and Bottom Sets
7. Creating a Christmas Playlist
Music is a powerful medium that can evoke emotions and set the tone for any occasion, and seasonal music is no exception! I started a family Christmas playlist featuring everyone’s favorite holiday tunes a few years back and add a few new songs to it each year. They’re cheery and silly and scream “Christmas is here!”
It feels like Christmas music plays all of December in our house, but on Christmas morning you can listen to it as you enjoy breakfast, unwrap gifts, or engage in other festive activities. Let the melodies of the season fill your home with warmth and cheer.
We have a range of classic tunes to pop, hip hop and children’s that elicit a few laughs here and there.
Here are some songs straight from my family’s Christmas playlist:
- The Waitresses: Christmas Wrapping
- Pentatonix: Little Drummer Boy
- Alvin and Chipmunks: The Christmas Song
- Mariah Carey: All I Want For Christmas is You
- Chuck Berry: Run, Rudolph Run
- Burl Ives: Holly Jolly Christmas
- Bobby Helms: Jingle Bell Rock
- Thurl Ravenscroft: You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch
- Bing Crosby: Do You Hear What I Hear?
- Jose Feliciano: Feliz Navidad
- John Lennon & Yoko Ono: Happy Xmas (War is Over)
- Wham!: Last Christmas
As you prepare to celebrate Christmas morning with your loved ones, remember that the essence of the holiday lies in the love and togetherness you share. The magic of Christmas morning lies not only in the surprises under the tree but also in the love and togetherness among family members.
Incorporating these heartwarming traditions—donning matching family pajamas, engaging in a fun game, crafting a Christmas playlist, and more—will only elevate the joy of the day and make this day truly unforgettable.
Embrace these traditions, create lasting memories, and relish the beauty of the holiday season surrounded by the ones you love, and carry them on for years to come.
May your Christmas mornings be filled with laughter, love, and beautiful meaningful traditions your family (even) closer together. Happy holidays!
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