10 Tips for a Stress Free Christmas Morning

Disclaimer: The following is parenting advice from Dads just getting by. Always consult with a medical professional or financial expert before taking anyone else’s advice, especially ours.

By Antonio aka @HypeCaster

If you celebrate Christmas and follow the tradition of opening gifts on Christmas Day then you know that this nice holiday morning can be a bit of a headache. Here are a few tips to help the morning go as smooth as possible. 

1. Buy yourself time to sleep in
Instead of letting kids wake you at the break of dawn, gently explain the night before that Santa will revoke all parcels if they don’t leave you alone until 9am Eastern Standard Time. Extra credit for setting all the clocks in the house back an hour.

2. Have coffee at the ready 
My life changed the day we started taking advantage of our coffee maker’s automated brewing function. Load it up and set the timer to make sure it’s hot and ready for you when you’ll need it most. There’s no way you’ll be able to match the energy of children on Christmas morning without a boost of sweet black nectar. 

video from What’s Up Moms captures the struggle of assembling Barbie’s Dreamhouse

3. Assemble and charge-up toys ahead of time
Unless you want to spend the whole day putting together Barbie’s Malibu Penthouse with real working hot-tub, tackle the assembly ahead of time. Also charge those batteries, some of these things require a 10 hour first charge! Re-wrap the empty box to let kids have the same authentic unwrapping experience and then pull the fully assembled finished product out of the closet.

4. Be ready with tools
If you do plan on putting together toys on Christmas Day make sure you have the right tools on hand. Nothing is worse than wasting hours scouring the house for a Phillips head screwdriver. A pair of safety scissors might be just what you need to cut through tape and saw through uncooperative packaging. 

5. Buy backup batteries and cables
You bought a great new toy but your kid is crying buckets because Elmo isn’t touching his toes like a co-ed making extra scratch at the local strip joint. Stock up on batteries, HDMI cables, and any other accessories listed on the back of the box before you wrap up toys and electronics.  

6. Open and update new consoles
These days before that brand new gaming console is up and running there’s plenty of work to do. Save time by opening the console, entering in your Wi-Fi information to get it connected to the net, download the latest software updates, and pre-install digital games. Sadly crowded networks and DDoS attacks are common on Christmas Day. Again, simply rewrap the console once it’s all ready to go. 

In 2014 Lizard Squad, a hacking group, managed to take down Xbox Live and the PlayStation network during Christmas. In 2015 a group named Phantom Squad threatened to carry out similar attacks.

7. Clean as you go, make it a game
To avoid a massive post-gift opening cleanup have a trash bin at arms length. Make a game of it and have kids ball up and toss in torn up wrapping paper after unwrapping each gift. 

8. Snag Gift Receipts and Instruction Manuals
When opening gifts, keep a sharp eye out for gift receipts, instruction manuals, and little bags with important screws before they end up in the trash. Taking a second to make sure boxes are completely empty before discarding could spare you a major headache.

Hostess claims that their new recipe for the once-extinct sponge cake is just as healthy as energy bars like Kind and Clif bars, according to the New York Post.

9. Pre-made breakfast for the win
Once things die down a bit and the kids’ stomachs start growling, avoid cooking by throwing some Twinkies at them. Mission accomplished.

10. The Final Surprise
Wrap an empty box and label it “For the best behaved child” then tell the kids that whoever goes and plays quietly for the longest gets the last present. Then retire with your partner to the bedroom for a well earned final surprise gift of your own. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyful Kwanzaa, and have a blessed New Year!

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