One Christmas Morning when our children were very little about 2 and 3 our sons were opening there Christmas gifts. We were so excited for them to see what we gave them. They opened gifts and naturally they wanted us to assemble it, place batteries in, and remove difficult packaging. While I was opening or assembling one gift they were opening another and eventually the tears started because mom and dad were playing Santa's workshop on Christmas Moring. To make matters worse breakfast still needed to be cooked.
That year I made a list of things I wanted to do differently and practiced on the birthdays in between. So here is my strategy of Christmas Morning gift giving for my Toddlers.
Kids just want to play! They want all the elements of surprise too but the route from A to Z needs to be a bit quicker and easier. As I write this it is 6 days before Christmas. Ive put the kiddos to bed and I have a hot cup of tea in my office along with all my wrapping paper, tape, labels and batteries... lots and all kinds of Batteries!
I carefully open each gift so that the box or packaging is in tacked for the most part. I Pop in the batteries, screw in the back cover and snip the cables that hold the toy in in place. Knowing weather the toy works or not now is going to save you from the day after Christmas return line. It may feel like a whole surgical process on packaging boxes but scissors and screwdrivers may not even be necessary on Christmas morning.
If a packaging box or toy needs to be held in place I just use scotch tape. Bulky or oddly shaped gifts can be put in a fuss free holiday themed drawstring bag. You can find cloth gift bags at Target, Walmart or a Craft Store. We keep these year after year and they are fairly inexpensive. Now that all of your returns are done and your gifts are wrapped up and hidden, your ready for the big show!
Pro Tip: Make Breakfast ahead of time or make a quick breakfast.
I'm not much of a cook so I keep it simple. This year we'll have waffles (frozen), scrambled eggs and fresh fruit. In all the excitement of opening Christmas gifts for 4 boys, breakfast will be some what of a halftime show. This pause in past Christmas's gives them time to calm down. We can talk about what the true meaning of Christmas is and have a time of prayer at the table. You can insert your own Christmas tradition here.
As with most things with my children as soon as I have a system nailed down in place they grow up. My older two are 6 and 7 years old and requested toys that don't need batteries etc. Desmond and David are older and are more patient but the younger (2,4) are going to need all of the above. I hope this has helped or given you some ideals of your own. I'd love to hear how you celebrate on Christmas Morning.