by: Michael Kabel

It's the one day that all the others have been leading up to. Christmas morning comes and the whole family seems ready to explode with anticipation. Kids come running out from their rooms, parents drag themselves out of warm beds, and suddenly everyone is moving towards getting the presents unwrapped. 

The arrival of Christmas morning is the climax and happy ending of all that holiday shopping, true. But it's also a time to be stocked up on a few essentials your family (and your children especially) will need in order to enjoy their gifts the rest of the day. A parent's work is never done, and that's even true of Christmas morning. Besides all that, there's also the rest of the day to plan out.

Get stocked up ahead of time on batteries for the gifts.

Your family has come too far in the holiday season to let their excitement become extinguished by the lack of batteries to make their gifts run.

Most small and medium children's toys run on size AA batteries. The larger toys will usually run on C or D-sized batteries. Most small electronics such as clocks and radios will take AA batteries.

There's no real way to estimate how many batteries you should buy, except to check all the gifts' packaging. Buy more than you need, too – they'll keep fresh for years, and sooner or later you'll need replacements.

Don't let the gift wrapping wreck the living room.

You don't want to start your Christmas afternoon picking up wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows. Before you go to bed Christmas Eve, leave a kitchen trash bag out of the way in the living room. Then family members can pitch the wrapping stuff in as they tear it off their gifts.

The discarded wrapping paper can also be recycled, too.

Get casually dressed before the unwrapping begins.

Christmas morning means it's time to take pictures, so get reasonably dressed before coming into the family room. That way you won't feel bad about showing grandparents and other relatives the family photos, but you won't have to interrupt the unwrapping festivities, either. 
Enjoy a big Christmas Day lunch by having the whole family help out.

Getting everyone involved in a big lunch or afternoon meal after the presents are unwrapped is a fine way to create a family tradition. It also keeps the happy momentum of the morning going.

After the meal is fixed and served, the entire family can discuss how to spend the remainder of the afternoon and evening. Don't be afraid to be a parent, however. Visiting relatives or spending time as a family is more important than the children gorging themselves on the gifts they received that morning.

Get all returns and exchanges ready for tomorrow.

The malls and stores are slammed with return shoppers and exchanges on December 26th, so it's best to get there early. Gather everything that needs to go back, including packaging and receipts, into one area of the house the night before. This will save time when everyone's hurrying to go the following day.