The big day is coming up quick! Christmas morning can seem hectic and frantic, but there's no need to let an abundance of excitement overwhelm the moment. With a little preplanning Christmas morning can be a hit for the whole family. Here are 15 ways to make the most of Christmas morning– especially if you’re giving someone a bike.
1. Hide the Pickle (or Bicycle)
Do you know of the "Christmas pickle tradition?" Like the Schwinn company, this tradition traces its roots back to Germany, where some folks refer to it as a Weihnachtsgurke. Basically, it goes like this: A family hides a green, pickle-shaped ornament in the Christmas tree. The first person to find the pickle ornament either gets an extra present (you better have one handy) or gets to open a present first. We like the idea of rejiggering that tradition just a little bit. Staying true to the German roots of the tradition, how about hiding a bike ornament? The person who finds it among the branches of the Christmas tree gets to open their gift first!
2. Assembly Plan
If you’re giving someone a bike, you’ll want to think about assembly. If you have time to assemble the bike before Christmas morning, that’s great. Otherwise, you can always do it after unwrapping. Either way, just make sure you have everything you need to assemble the bike, including the instructions… That always makes it a lot easier.
3. Polish Things Up
For a showroom finish on new plastic toys, use a furniture polish like Pledge to make them shiny and sparkly. If there's a new bike under the tree, make sure it's clean and spiffy and reflects the lights of the Christmas tree.
4. Charge Batteries
Just like assembly, if you have the opportunity to charge any batteries before gift-giving, it’s a great idea to do so. That way, the recipient can try out their gift right away. Note that lighted helmets and light sets are relatively quick to charge, whereas e-bike batteries will take a bit longer. Just keep that in mind as you make your preparations.
6. Finish Wrapping
We’re sure it goes without saying, but you’ll want to start wrapping gifts as early as you can. Give yourself plenty of time so you can take care of it little by little, and it won’t seem like a chore. If you’re wondering how on earth to wrap a bike, don’t worry – we’ve got plenty of ideas for how to it. Just check out our wrapping post.
7. First Ride Plan
If you’re giving your child their very first bike or tricycle, there’s a good chance they’ll want to try it out right away. Therefore, it’s best to have a plan about where and when they can do that. If it’s too cold to ride outside, is there space in the garage or basement? Can they try it out right away, or do they need to wait until a certain time or day? You may be able to avoid frustration by giving them a plan instead of a flat “no.”
8. Recycle and Trash
Yes, the kids will probably chide you for being overprepared on this one, but you can avoid having ribbons and wrapping paper strewn all over the place by making sure a garbage bag and a recycling bin is close by the tree. Remember, while tape, plastic-paper composite bows, and ribbon is not recyclable, most wrapping paper is unless it's metallic, has glitter, or has velvety flocking on it.
9. Prep Breakfast
Christmas morning can be quite busy, and if you have little ones, quite early as well. Give yourself a break by doing some breakfast prep-work the night before. It could be overnight oats, a baked dish that just needs to be popped in the oven, or even just making sure all the items you want are ready to go. It’s one less thing to worry about in the morning, which means you’ll have more time to enjoy the moment.
10. Cue Up the Coffee
Similarly, if you’re a coffee drinker, prep the coffee – everything short of actually brewing it. Future you will thank you.
11. Crockpot Hot Chocolate
If you’re not into coffee, or if you want something for the kids, hot chocolate is an excellent choice. Only this time we're sharing an awesome crockpot recipe for hot chocolate. You'll want to get this going a couple of hours before you want to drink in the yumminess.
12. Select the Soundtrack
Make the day extra festive with the right music. It can be your favorite holiday classics or something else entirely – it’s up to you! Or, if you want something low-key and quiet, consider the sounds of a fireplace crackling or other cozy ambient options.
13. Get the Camera Ready
Everybody has a camera at the ready these days. But having a camera doesn't automatically make you a photographer. If you have a camera, you're probably pretty well-versed in how to take good photos. But if you're using your phone to capture the magical moments, here are a few quick tips
- Clean your camera lenses before you start shooting.
- Use burst mode to take a series of photos and pick your favorite from the series.
- Use portrait mode. It'll keep the subject in focus while blurring the background.
- Consider a tripod. They're not that expensive and allow you to shoot in lower light.
14. Snacks for Santa
If you have kids, leave some cookies and milk out for Santa on Christmas Eve. And make sure he takes at least one bite… it’s proof he was there. Very important.
But most importantly, enjoy yourself. Take time to be present with your family and friends. If you have that, everything else will turn out just fine.
Be sure to check out our Gift Guide and other holiday posts for more tips and recommendations for making magical memories. From all of us to all of you, we wish you a very happy, healthy holiday season!