If you want a little more sleep on Christmas morning, make stockings “fair game”

Another great Christmas tip from Liz:

My brother and I, as kids, were always up well before dawn on Christmas morning, as early as 5! Here’s how Mom kept us quiet until a more reasonable hour: Stockings were free game; we didn’t have to wait for everyone else to wake up to creep down the stairs and grab our stockings. Until we were about 8, Mom put the same toys in our stocking every year. (She’d collect them and hide them away again that night after we were in bed.) This not only saved money, but my brother and I looked forward to those once-a-year toys and games with enthusiasm!

After we’d outgrown those toys, stockings were still fair game, but they contained cheap and silly things for us to play with in the wee hours of morning. (One of my favorites was a can of shaving cream: my brother and I spent a happy hour building sculptures with it in the bathtub!)

Related: Toddler-enable your Christmas tree with a few unbreakable ornaments


  1. says

    We did the same thing in our family. My parents actually set our stockings by our bedroom door and we were allowed to open them and play with what was inside until a designated time when we were allowed to wake mom and dad. I LOVED this tradition.

  2. Franklynn says

    When I was a kid, my parents told us that if you went downstairs before the street lights were out, that you might scare off Santa before he had finished unloading your stuff. So, my sister and I would wake up early and hang out together in my room watching the light, then wake our parents up when the light was out. I was delighted to see that my son has a perfect view of the street light from his room!

  3. Shawn says

    Neat idea.. but if the point was to get more sleep, I think you’d either need very big stockings or very disciplined children [smirk]. It might take them about 5-7 minutes to pick out the stuff in a stocking and be ready for the “main course”! I hate to miss out on even the small things (face expressions!), so we always open them together the night before.

  4. Carol says

    This is what my parents did also. There were always coloring books and new crayons and then a new card game or something that we could play with together until they woke up. It certainly didn’t let my parents sleep all day, but it did let them sleep until a more reasonable hour.

  5. jenni says

    Gosh…what if they didn’t stop with the stockings? We always buy a holiday movie…usually an oldie or a classic and my husband and I snuggle and fall asleep on the sofa after all presents are open and the kiddies are watching the movie.

  6. says

    It seems like a great idea to get more sleep, but honestly opening stockings in my family was a big deal. Even though they were the smaller gifts or just candy or something it was an integral part of my morning.

    My sisters and I just woke up and watched some tv until the parents woke up.

  7. alicia says

    My mother was there from the very begining. That was the fun about Christmas, and even Easter morning. We could waker her up as early as we woke up. My children do the same to me and their step father. Wake up early with your child, the earlier they wake up, the earlier all of the house can take a nap. Enjoy every second with your children. As a matter of fact. Try to wake up before your kids, and drink a quite cup of coffee before they stir.

  8. Leigh says

    In my family Santa takes the stockings from the mantel, fills them, and places them at the foot of your bed, so naturally they are fair game. My grandmother (who likely started this) firmly believes that the purpose of stockings is to give adults more time to sleep.

  9. Marzipanda says

    I also come from a “stocking on the bed” family. My siblings and I would meet up in one bedroom to see what we got before waking up our parents. Once we learned to read, stockings would always include an age-appropriate book. My parents knew that once I started reading chapter books, they could sleep in until at least 9:00 on Christmas morning.

  10. Heather says

    I guess we likes sleep – some years my parents were the first ones up! I always had a hard time falling asleep the night before, which meant I slept longer on Christmas. But we would go peek (no touching!) at our stockings and the tree, and then the 3 kids would chatter excitedly in someone’s bedroom until my parents heard us and got up. The earliest we were ever up was 6 am, and that only happened once or twice.

    I’ll have to keep this in mind in case I have some early birds!

  11. says

    We did this too. Candy for breakfast! LOL I plan to continue with my son. My brother and I had so much fun hanging out and going through our stockings together.

  12. says

    We each had a small Christmas tree in our room that Santa would leave a couple of small gifts under. We could open those and play with them before our parents got up:)