Parenting: Patience on Christmas morning

December 15, 2011

But what the picture hides is the thirty minute wait in line, during which he tried to climb the Christmas tree, break into three restricted areas and escape down out of the mall.

Which brings me to wondering about Christmas morning.

Whether your family tradition is a festive brunch, a Christmas mass or a major free for all unwrapping gifts, toddlers just don't have the tolerance. What to do? How to make Christmas a fun holiday for our little guy and the rest of the family?

I did some scanning of the web and there was some prescient advice. From WhatToExpect.com came this: Open toys out of their cartons and put in batteries Christmas Eve. Packages these days almost take a security company to blast through their packaging. Waiting until Christmas morning can leave you with what's called "wrap rage" and your kid anxious and cranky, wondering when you're going to finally get it together and let them play with their toys.

Whoa, Momma, a blog from Tampa Bay, recommends going a step further. Put the gifts in gift bags that are easier to get into than taped boxes, wrapping paper and bows. Install batteries and pre-load software to say your child's name.

The site also advises throwing together an omelet the night before - Google the blog to discover their "Breakfast Casserole" with sausage, eggs and cheese - or try a favorite cinnamon or pecan roll that can quickly go in the oven but be enjoyed by even the littlest mouths.

Also, my own personal bit of advice: As you get older Christmas is all about staying in your jammies, noshing, maybe some football. But if your kid is like mine, all day in the house is a prescription for madness. I'm planning to round him and his cousins up for some time on the playground. It'll make for a deeper nap and far more enjoyable Christmas dinner!

Happy Holidays!

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