A little advance planning is all it takes to make sure your Christmas morning game is on point, and these holiday tips and tricks can help.
It's taken months of careful organizing, shopping, wrapping, and budgeting to get those shiny boxes under the tree just-right. Here's what else to consider to make sure everything goes off without a hitch Christmas morning.
1. Remember the pictures. Direct what the kids wear to bed on Christmas Eve since you'll be taking a ton of photos the next morning. They don't have to be in matching union jacks (unless that's your thing), but you may want to veto the so-outgrown-it's-a-crop-top, superhero tee/underpants combo.
2. Will Santa and Rudolph remember to "eat" the cookies the kids left for them? Take a precautionary nibble before heading off to bed just in case.
3. Don't miss out on a minute of the fun making breakfast for your hungry horde. Instead, plan-ahead with a pre-assembled egg casserole or French toast bake you can just pop into the oven to heat up.
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4. Likewise, if you've got a kid in diapers, set up a mini changing station by the tree so no one needs to leave the action.
5. Clean up as you go: Stash a trash bag under the tree to collect discarded wrapping paper—just toss it once all the gifts are opened.
6. Want to recycle some of that pretty ribbon? Grab a separate zip top bag and roll the ribbons up inside as they come off the presents—all set for next year.
7. Keep sharp scissors nearby (but out of reach of littles, of course) to open up all that adult-proof plastic toy packaging.
8. Re-stock your stash of Duracell batteries (in a range of sizes) so kids can immediately play with any gizmo Santa brings.
9. Steer the play to the low-tech toys first, to get kids happy and engaged while you assemble and battery-pack the rest.
10. Keep drinks in sippy and straw cups to avoid any spills around the new presents. Use a lidded travel mug for your coffee.
11. Get your holiday playlist queued up in advance so you're not fiddling with your phone when you want to be hanging with the kids.
12. Not together with the extended family this Christmas? Make a plan to skype with a special gift-giver during the opening of their present.
13. Think easy thank-you notes: Take a smiling pic of the kid with the card and the gift so you can remember who gave him what and send a great thank you all in one move.
14. Once you've shot a few million pictures, remember to put the phone down and get on the floor with the family to join the fun!