What's in your Christmas morning survival kit?
Our first Christmas with a toddler in the house we learned a lesson about those hard plastic cases known as "clamshells" to deter theft and those plastic-coated wire ties that keep toys in their place inside packages. If I ever meet the guy who invented them, I would want to punch him in the throat.
Trying to liberate a toy from its packaging for an eager kid can leave you with bleeding fingers and "wrap rage." The next year we got smarter and had a pair of heavy kitchen scissors. Not those wimpy ones with the orange handles for snipping tags off clothes, the Rambo kind of shears that are seriously strong, sliding easily through tough plastic or snipping a wire like it was made of silk.
Last week I got a press release from About.com's toy guide, Kristen Ryan about her Christmas morning tool kit. Her list includes:
- Open and assemble toys ahead of time and put them in gift bags so kids can get to them easily
- Install batteries the night before
- Pre-load software content to say your child's name (such as programming LeapFrog toys)
My Christmas morning game plan also involves the oven.
Before going to bed on Christmas Eve, I assemble this Breakfast Casserole with sausage, eggs and cheese and this incredibly yummy Overnight Cinnamon Coffee Cake (sometimes called Monkey Bread because you pull at it like a pack of monkeys). When I wake up in the morning, they both go in the oven and cook while we open presents. That and a platter of fruit makes an easy Christmas day brunch that carries us through the afternoon until we get our dinner started.
So spread the wealth, dear readers. What are your must-have Christmas morning tools, tips and tricks?
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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