25 Creative and Thoughtful Ideas

There’s nothing like waking up on Christmas morning. Whether you’re a kid looking forward to Santa’s arrival, a parent excited to witness your child’s joy, or a thankful college kid waking up in his childhood home. your baby, it was a warm fluffy morning. Your alarm is a little less annoying and your morning coffee even tastes better than usual. It’s arguably the most wonderful day of the year, but sometimes figuring out exactly what to do on Christmas Day is harder than you think. The reality is that Santa’s gift opening often ends in a flash, and then there are still precious hours of the holiday to enjoy.

For my family, most of our traditions take place on Christmas Eve, so it’s important that we stay festive by planning a Merry Christmas Day. At our house, after we’ve finished opening our presents, we invite our loved ones over for a big Christmas brunch, which is definitely my favorite breakfast of the year. Then, like all good meals, it is followed by time to relax, which often includes watching a Christmas movie and taking a nap, to rest and prepare for my personal favorite part of the day. : fajitas and margs at my grandparents’ house.

However, it’s not always like this. As my sisters and I grew up, our energy was matchless on Christmas Day. Our parents had to beg us not to wake them up before the “first seven” on the digital clock they put in our room (since we couldn’t tell the time yet). My parents constantly had to create Christmas Day things to keep us entertained. Luckily for us, my mom was and is the queen of creation, so we never get too bored. In the spirit of keeping the magic alive, I’ve come up with the ultimate Christmas Day to-do list to make sure I make the most of the best time of year.

From giving yourself a break to paying later, there’s something on this list for everyone and every family.

Kristen Kilpatrick’s photo

Something generous

  1. Return it forward. Chances are you’ll get some new clothes, so head over to your closet and make a pile to give away.
  2. Deliver Christmas cookies to your local fire station or police station. This is my favorite Christmas tradition, as the people at the station are spending time with their families to work. Their smiles make it all worth it.
  3. Write thank you notes for the gifts you receive. Let your loved ones know that you appreciate their thoughtfulness. Plus, this looks like a craft for kids.
  4. Serve a meal at a homeless shelter. Find the homeless shelter closest to you and volunteer to serve a Christmas lunch. After all, it is better to give than to receive.
  5. Call all your family and friends to wish them a happy holiday. Since you may not be able to gather with your loved ones, call them to let them know that you are thinking of them. Sometimes a simple phone call makes someone’s day happier.

Something relaxing

  1. Watch your favorite Christmas movie(s). Pick up your family favorites, or check this list to find something you haven’t seen.
  2. Self-care at home. Follow this guide to spruce up any new skin care gift and give your face a holiday makeup break.
  3. Take a walk in a winter wonderland. Stretch your legs, relax with cinnamon rolls and breathe in the fresh air. Bring your snowshoes, or if you’re in Texas, perhaps some flip flops.
  4. Drive around to look at the Christmas decorations. Bring them all in before the wreaths and lights are sent back to storage.
  5. Set up the fire. There’s nothing more relaxing than a cup of hot chocolate next to a warm fire on a cold winter’s day.
  6. Sauna. Create a spa-worthy bath and soak in the fact that you’ve had another successful Christmas.
  7. Give yourself a festive manicure. Check out these winter nail trends and recreate one to display at Christmas dinner.

Something delicious

  1. Bake and decorate classic Christmas cookies. Let your creativity explode with all the icing and sprinkles you can imagine.
  2. Make gingerbread man. Our food editors have found the best gingerbread recipes so you don’t have to. Find and try the winning formula here.
  3. Cook a delicious meal you want to try. There’s no time like Christmas to enjoy a delicious meal. It’s the perfect day to get in the kitchen.
  4. Make s’mores by the fire. Remember that relaxing fire you started earlier? Now it doubles as dessert.
  5. Build a Waffle Gingerbread House. Check out this guide for tips and inspiration.
  6. Make a Christmas cocktail. May I recommend this Bourbon cider?
  7. Cook a big Christmas brunch. When it comes to Christmas breakfast, you have to go big or go home.

Something creative

  1. Build your perfect Christmas playlist. Add all your favorite carnival songs to play indoors all day. Or, borrow ours.
  2. Think about your goals for the New Year. Christmas Day is a great time to think about all that you are grateful for and think about how to give back for it in the New Year.
  3. Create a picture book with your favorite memories of the year. Celebrate the year by commemorating your favorite photos so they don’t get lost in iPhotos.
  4. Make a carnival puzzle. After all the holiday parties, sometimes it’s nice to sit around and solve an old fashioned puzzle. Bonus points if it’s Christmas theme.
  5. Organize a Gift Exchange for the White Elephant. Get creative with the funniest, random gifts you can think of.
  6. Merry Christmas Carol Karaoke. This could become your new favorite tradition. Look up long videos of all your favorite Christmas tunes and sing like no one is watching.

Did we miss anything? Share your favorite things to do on Christmas Day below!

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