8 Ways to Make Christmas Morning Even More Special This Year

These fun ideas will add an extra dash of magic to your morning.

The weeks before the holiday are typically filled with activities like opening Advent calendars, decorating Christmas cookies, and watching all of our favorite holiday movies—but perhaps the most special tradition of all is spending time together on Christmas morning.

There's nothing like waking up to a decorated Christmas tree with a few presents under it on Christmas morning, especially if you have little ones. As you celebrate the holiday at home this year, use these festive ideas to make Christmas morning extra special for your family. Whether it's as simple as preparing a special breakfast or dressing in matching pajamas, every tradition adds up to create Christmas memories that will last a lifetime.

And when they grow up, your kids may even carry on these traditions with their own families! Adopt some of these clever ideas this year to help your kids (and yourself) enjoy the day even more.

1. Wear Christmas Pajamas

There's nothing cozier than a soft pair of brand-new pajamas. Give your family members a fresh set of winter PJs to snuggle into on Christmas Eve. Have the guys and gals match, or find a unisex outfit for everyone. The gang will feel even more festive come Christmas morning when they're dressed for the occasion.

santa cookie plate
Alice & Lois

2. Look for Signs of Santa

Relish in the wonder that Santa offers while your kiddos are young by adding these clever touches to your Christmas morning. Have your kid's set carrots outside for the reindeer on Christmas Eve and enhance the illusion by chewing them up and scattering bits around the yard to mark the reindeers' presence. Your children will be giddy with excitement when they wake up and see that Santa has visited your home.

Place a note from Mr. Claus next to a handmade Christmas plate telling your little ones how good they were this year, and leave footprints near the chimney or tree by setting a boot on the ground and sprinkling flour around the edges. Or, wrap the outside of their bedroom doors with wrapping paper or streamers, telling them that Santa did it so they'd stay in their rooms while he wrapped and delivered presents. They'll love tearing through the door to reach their gifts.

3. Create a Gift Scavenger Hunt

Make opening presents even more exciting by hiding them around the house! Let everyone find their gifts before tearing them. Then, gather around together and open the presents one by one, savoring the joy each gift provides. Teach your kids the importance of giving back— after opening their new toys, have them choose an old one to donate to your local shelter.

wood slice moose ornament felt detail
Matthew Clark

4. Give (or Make) a New Ornament

Commemorate each year by giving your kids a new ornament to hang on the tree on Christmas morning. Write the year on the ornament to mark its memory in time. You'll love pulling the unique ornaments out year after year and remembering past Christmases. Or make it a tradition to create an ornament each year on Christmas morning. Once you've eaten breakfast and opened all the presents, organize an ornament craft for the little ones (this sentimental handprint ornament is one of our favorites) to help them pass the time until Christmas dinner.

5. Make a Festive Breakfast

All of the excitement of Christmas morning is sure to work up an appetite in everyone. Prepare a meal that's just as delicious as it is festive. Cook pancakes in the shape of reindeer and snowmen, adding bacon antlers and chocolate chip buttons and eyes. Or, you can never go wrong with rich, gooey cinnamon rolls. Just something outside of your everyday breakfast will help you celebrate the special day.

6. Make a Hot Chocolate Charcuterie Board

After the excitement of Christmas morning has died down and the scraps of wrapping paper have been thrown away, enjoy some extra sweet downtime with a hot cocoa charcuterie board. Let each member of the family pile on their favorites in addition to all the ingredients need to make a cup of hot chocolate. Stash a couple of Christmas cookies on the board for some extra holiday cheer.

7. Have a Christmas Movie Marathon

Round up the entire family to get cozy on the couch and turn on some classic Christmas movies. Grab the blankets, get the popcorn, and settle in for some relaxed fun. This will give some much-needed downtime amid all of the excitement that comes with the holidays.

family playing candyland board game
Jose Luis Pelaez/Getty Images

8. Play Family Games

Get the whole family involved in some friendly competition. Whether you pick a lighthearted classic like Candyland, something interactive like Twister, or an ultra-competitive game like Sorry!, everyone will be sure to share a laugh. If you need some inspiration for what to play, take a look at our 50 best family board games.

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