How To Celebrate Christmas Morning Without Gifts

Some people may choose to celebrate Christmas morning without gifts because of budgetary concerns, feeling their kids already have everything they could want or need, concerns about spoiling their children, or just out of a need to save opening the gifts for later on in the evening when grandparents or other family are able to join in on the fun.

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Whatever your reason for celebrating Christmas morning without presents to open, these ideas will help you have a magical holiday!

1. Christmas Morning Tea

Start your day with a special cuppa! Sweeten with honey or maple syrup and put lemon wedges for those who like these. Christmas morning tea goes very well with the next thing on the list, cinnamon rolls!

My favorite Christmas morning tea is made with a small amount of ginger, cinnamon, hibiscus and cloves.

2. Bake Cinnamon Rolls

Baking fresh cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning is a fun activity that makes the whole house smell amazing! You can make them homemade by waking up early on Christmas morning, as they will need time to rise, or you can set up the dough the night before so you can bake soon after waking up. There are also some brands that make frozen cinnamon rolls you can buy at the store to bake on Christmas morning! They’ll all smell wonderful!

I personally love to top mine with a honey glaze and chopped almonds or peanuts! Yum!

3. Show Gratitude With Christmas Stockings

You can hang the stockings even if you don’t want to fill them with a bunch of junk! Have everyone fill each others’ stockings with things they love about that person, instead! What a great Christmas morning activity this would be to build each other up while remembering to take time to express gratitude!

4. Play Christmas Carols

Play a variety of Christmas carols and sing with them! If your family enjoys shaking their groove thangs, have a dance off!

Alternatively, if you have a large family, have a Christmas caroling contest! Each person chooses a different carol to sing (Chorus only is fine), and the kids get to choose the winner!

Here are some of my favorite Christmas carol albums:

5. Have a Family Reunion

Get together with family you have not seen for a long time and have a big Christmas breakfast at home or at a restaurant. Cinnamon rolls are required!

Last Christmas we had a family dinner with some family we don’t usually spend the holidays with. One of the attendants was my great aunt who had Alzheimer’s. My grandmother and one other grand-aunt was there as well. It was amazing to see these three sisters (in their 70s and 80s) together, and get some modern photos. I don’t think there are any other photos of all three of them together in their many years of life!

My son got some great pictures with his great-grandmother and her sisters. I was able to be in photos with 4 different generations of family!

My great aunt with Alzheimer’s passed away this year, so we are all very thankful that we were together for Christmas last year and made great memories with her last Christmas Earth-side.

Christmas Morning Without Gifts

6. Bake A Pie

Work together to make a delicious pie for Christmas evening. I personally think apple and blueberry pies are the best, but it’s your family so you guys get to decide!

You can also make mini-pies, that way each person chooses their flavor, as well as how they want to decorate the top of their pie! I’m partial to Dutch apple pie, but some really love those lattice tops!

7. Complete A Puzzle

One of my favorite memories is when my three sisters and I finally completed a 500-piece puzzle. I can’t even remember what the puzzle was of (I want to say it was a killer whale family), but I remember the feeling of accomplishment very well!

I know there are bigger puzzles out there, but this felt like a huge feat and we were already teenagers! I wasn’t about to suggest trying an even bigger puzzle!

This is an activity you can start on Christmas morning and work on throughout the week. Or maybe your family is better than mine at puzzles. Go ahead with your bad selves!

Here are some beautiful Christmas-themed puzzles that would work well:

These 3D puzzles also make great Christmas morning activities!

This Santa Express Train 3-D puzzle features LED lights and Christmas music! It also comes with a greeting card you can send out. Use it as part of your Christmas decor once completed!

This Kids Snow Cottage Model is only 57 pieces and a great activity to keep the kids busy for a little while. It still makes a great family activity but won’t take as much time as the 500+ piece puzzles, of course!

8. Play Board Games

My family loves Monopoly and Scattergories (well, a homemade version we learned in Jamaica called ABC Fast or Slow), but there are many other board games that the family can enjoy together!

You can also play family games like Twister, which should be funny and provide a little exercise!

9. Go Rollerskating Together

If the entire family has rollerblades, or purchasing sets are within your budget, this is a very fun Christmas morning activity! To up the ante, your family can dress up as elves and Santas and bring some Christmas cheer to everyone you pass!

10. Visit A Nursing Home

Check with centers for elderly care within your neighborhood ahead of time to see what you can do to help the elderly experience some magic on Christmas day! Maybe you can paint nails, put on a concert, or even just play some card games! Bingo is always a hit!

11. Go On An All-Inclusive Vacation

This is a more expensive idea, as Christmas travel is outrageous, so it will take advanced planning! I personally love to be in the Caribbean during Christmas.

In Jamaica, we celebrate with rum cake (which is fine for children to eat) and Sorrel wine (which generally contains rum and red wine and is actually alcoholic, but as children we always got to have a sip!).

Christmas is also a huge event where there’s plenty of delicious meats such as chicken, fish, ham and beef.

Celebrating in the islands is the perfect way to celebrate Christmas morning without gifts. You’ll have such amazing breakfast choices and not have to do any of the work! You’ll also be able to swim, go to the beach, or even just have a quiet morning looking over the balcony, as it is warm year-round in the Caribbean!

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons for choosing a holiday without gifts, and they are all valid. It’s your family, and you choose what works best for you!

Here are some other Christmas posts that may help you decide how to make your holiday special:

There are many ways to have a magical holiday even if you decide to have a Christmas morning without gifts. There are plenty of ways to celebrate, and taking the focus off of gifts allows you and your family to focus on what is important. Faith, togetherness and love.


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