These are the big Christmas gifts that either Santa brings, or you save for last on Christmas morning.
My family has a tradition to do one “big gift” that’s opened last on Christmas morning. Need some ideas for big Christmas gifts? I’ve got a ton of great ideas right here (plus a fun way to give them on Christmas morning!)
Confession: I hate giving credit to Santa for the big Christmas gifts
I am all about hyping up the magic of Christmas morning, and having big Christmas gifts from either Santa or Mom and Dad brings so much magic.
Typically if your gift is from Santa, you would have it on display in front of the tree. But I’m the type of parent who doesn’t want to give all the credit to Santa, so our big Christmas gifts are always from Philip and me.
We open the big Christmas gifts very last (and often they’re hidden)
The tradition in our home is to open these big presents very last, and typically we have a scavenger hunt to find the gift (rather than just setting it under the tree).
I’ve included a bit about the scavenger hunt at the end of the post!
electric keyboard | LEGO set | Kayak | ice cream machine
backyard playset | doll house | cinemood
inflatable bounce house | air hockey table | train set | DSLR camera
Ideas for big Christmas gifts
Big Christmas gifts for the whole family
- A HOT TUB
- How much fun would it be to surprise the kids with a hot tub??
- This a great gift for the whole family! There are lots of bikes you can buy online, but bikes from a local bike shop are typically better quality. So check those out, and support your local shops.
- A TRIP TO DISNEY.
- Although Disneyland is still closed, a surprise trip to Disney World would be a great big gift idea!
- SOFT SERVE ICE CREAM MACHINE.
- Who wouldn’t want soft serve ice cream whenever you’d like?? This is such a fun gift idea!
- A BASKETBALL HOOP FOR OUTDOORS
- This basketball hoop gets great reviews, and it’s a perfect size to put in your driveway.
- BOUNCE HOUSE
- A small bounce house would be so fun to inflate inside the playroom or in the backyard! Your little kids would love it.
- LASER TAG SET.
- This is a fun gift idea if you have older kids. How fun would it be to turn off all the lights in your house and play laser tag at night with your siblings???
- AIR HOCKEY TABLE
- My kids would love this!
- A TRIP TO UNIVERSAL STUDIOS (WITH HARRY POTTER LAND)
- Reveal this big gift by having a “Hogwarts Letter” addressed to each of your kiddos. Would that not be so cool?
- CLASSES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY.
- Doesn’t it sound like a blast to take lessons all together? How about art? Or cooking? Or maybe dance! This would be a really fun gift if your children were older and married.
- CAMPING GEAR.
- Sleeping bags and a tent would be so fun to give, and then start planning your next camping trip.
- CINEMOOD PROJECTOR
- The Cinemood projector is a tiny projector that’s as big as an apple, but projects up to 70″! It connects to Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, and also has content already stored in it. This would be so fun for outdoor movies, or building a fort and projecting it inside. Use code “merricksart” for $100 off!
- A FAMILY TRIP.
- You could give plane tickets, new suitcases, a disposable camera for each kid, or some other fun way to announce your big destination.
- A KAYAK.
- This would be such a fun gift to give if you lived by a river or the ocean!
- AN OVERNIGHT STAY AT THE GREAT WOLF LODGE.
- This is a cool hotel with an indoor water park. There are slides to go down, pools to swim in, activities to do. Your kids will love it!
- DIRT BIKES, FOUR WHEELERS, or GO KARTS.
- For the outdoorsy kind of family, this would be a great idea. Have them set up in the garage, or in the driveway so you can get dressed and go ride them on Christmas day!
- Another great idea — you could also do a ski pass gift!
- SEASON TICKETS to a local sports team.
- Great for the family that loves a local team, if they’re allowing spectators next year! Give them team jerseys or hats to announce the gift!
Big Christmas gift ideas for all of the kids
- A TRAMPOLINE.
- A trampoline is always a popular idea for Christmas! Get it all set up in your backyard and send them on a scavenger hunt to go out there. Or if you have big windows facing to the backyard, cover them in wrapping paper and have them tear it down when it’s time!
- A PING PONG or FOOSBALL TABLE.
- This would be another fun one to have set up and ready to play. Put some big bows on the ping pong paddles!
- STEP2 EXTREME ROLLER COASTER.
- These are so fun for little kids!
- NUGGET COUCH.
- I’d never heard of these Nugget Couches but they’re so cool! My boys would love building them in different shapes to create a fort or a boat or a slide!
- A NEW PET!
- I love the idea of giving them a book about caring for the pet to clue them in. My parents did this for my little sister when she was young – she got a book about cats and it had a note that told her to go look in the garage. A tiny kitten was waiting for her in a little kennel!
- A TEEPEE for the playroom!
- There are so many cute ones RIGHT HERE.
- SEASON PASSES to a nearby ZOO/MUSEUM/AMUSEMENT PARK.
- I love this idea! There are water parks, children’s museums, the local zoo, and lots more that sell season passes.
- NINTENDO SWITCH.
- A nintendo switch is a fun video game console for the whole family!
- SCOOTERS or BIKES.
- Our favorite scooters are MICRO SCOOTERS. And we got bikes for everyone last year! We got tons of recommendations to purchase them at a local shop because they’re better quality. We did that and have been super happy with them.
- BACKYARD PLAYGROUND/SWINGSET or TREE HOUSE.
- This is what we gave the boys last year for Christmas, and it has been so amazing this year, especially when things were shut down during COVID. I did a whole post about our search for the right one RIGHT HERE.
Big Christmas gifts for individual kids
- It would be so special to give your child a violin, guitar, trumpet, or flute for Christmas.
- SCOOTER RAMP
- This scooter ramp would be so fun for your backyard or driveway, and works for scooters, bikes, and skateboards.
- BEDDY’S BED!
- These are zippered bed spreads that let your kid make their bed perfectly in like 10 seconds. They’re GENIUS. Seriously, the best gift for kids and moms. Also they’d be amazing for older kids going off to college — maybe they’ll actually make their bed in college! (Use code MERRICK20 for 20% off!)
- A DOLLHOUSE.
- There are so many cute ones out there. Target has a bunch of affordable ones!
- BIG LEGO SET.
- This is a very obvious choice for my kids. LEGO makes so many big sets, so the hardest part is deciding which one to get.
- AMERICAN GIRL DOLLS.
- My sisters and I got these one year for Christmas and we played with them every day for like 8 years. Target also has the knock off OUR GENERATION DOLLS for a fraction of the price!
- KEYBOARD PIANO.
- This would be a really fun one for someone learning to play!
- TRAIN SET AND TABLE
- A little boys’ dream! This wooden train is really cool looking and is a great price. But this train table comes with train pieces if you want the table!
- A DRUM SET
- Or gift them another musical instrument – whichever instrument they play.
- A TREE HOUSE.
- How cool would this be???
- AIR PODS.
- This is a great one for teenagers, if there is anyone out there who doesn’t own air pods yet (raises hand…)
- A BEDROOM MAKEOVER.
- This is a great idea for tweens and teens who need a bedroom refresh! A little paint, some wallpaper, a new bedding set, and you’re good to go!
- A NICE PAIR OF BOOTS.
- Perfect, practical winter gift. Snow boots, Ugg boots, or Hunter boots would be perfect.
- NICE CAMERA.
- Such a good gift for a child who’s into photography or a kid graduating soon and heading off to college.
- GOLF CLUBS.
- We got clubs for each of the boys for their birthdays this year. These golf clubs are the ones we bought for our boys and they’re great quality.
- APPLE WATCH.
- An Apple Watch would be a great one for a tween or teenager!
How to display or present these big Christmas gifts on Christmas morning
As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, these big Christmas gifts were very last on Christmas morning. And the thing that always made these big gifts so special and magical was how they were presented. We almost always had some kind of scavenger hunt to find the gift.
Scavenger hunts to find the big gift is fun for two reasons:
- The gift is not under the Christmas tree, so the gift receiver is completely surprised.
- The anticipation, decoding the scavenger hunt clues, and searching for the gift is almost more fun than the actual gift!
Some examples of my favorite Christmas morning scavenger hunts
After Philip and I got married, we started it in our family. I gave him a BBQ grill one year and his scavenger hunt with written clues led us to his grandpa’s house where it was waiting for him.
One year my dad set up a string scavenger hunt, all around our house, into the backyard, and then across the street to the neighbor’s house where new bikes were waiting for us! We opened an envelope that had a piece of string tied to it, and it said, “follow the string.” Since the string was white, we didn’t notice it until we opened the envelope!
On our fifth anniversary, Philip bought me a diamond ring and sent me all over his parents house with various clues to eventually find the ring.
When my little sister was 8 or 9, her last gift under the tree was a book about how to care for a kitty. Then it said, “go look in the garage,” where she found a brand new kitty! She about died of happiness.
Now that the boys are older and able to follow clues, we’ve started doing it with them too! Two years ago we hid their big LEGO sets and gave them riddles to solve to find the hidden LEGO sets.
Here’s how to set up a scavenger hunt for your Christmas morning
If you want to do a scavenger hunt this year, it’s super simple! Don’t overthink it — just hide the gift, then just put together a few clues that lead around the house. Like one in the pantry, one in mom’s sock drawer, one in the dog food, etc.
Start the hunt with an envelope with their name on it, and inside the card is the first clue. You could do a clue like the kitty care book, or riddles they have to solve to find the next location, or a puzzle that they have to put together that says the gift on the back, or a string that leads them somewhere…the most important part is to have fun!
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I’ve done this several times with my grandson. At one point, he wanted to be a spy when he grew up so the clues were all about spying … clues taped under furniture, passwords so he could find his handler who had his first clue, clues written backwards … he loved it.
In summer, we’ve done pirate hunts looking for kidnapped stuffed animals and the pirate’s treasure.
the link for the tree house/swing set options takes me to a nintendo switch. do you have the correct link you can share?
I really need help with my Christmas present. What’s the best gift to give to someone you haven’t known that long, but already want to give them the whole world?
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