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!

Ideas for big Christmas gifts

Big Christmas gifts for the whole family

  • A TRIP TO DISNEYLAND or DISNEY WORLD.
    • Last year we surprised the kids with a trip to Disneyland, and their final gift on Christmas morning was some Mickey Mouse sweatshirts!
  • 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???
  • CAMPING GEAR.
    • Sleeping bags and a tent would be so fun to give, and then start planning your next camping trip.
  • 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.
  • TICKETS TO A SHOW.
    • You could do a concert, a broadway production, a comedy show, or some other fun show for the entire family!
  • DIRT BIKES 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!
  • SKIS.
    • Another great idea — you could also do a ski pass gift!
  • A HOT TUB for the backyard!
    • Perfect for winter — the whole family will want to jump right in.
  • SEASON TICKETS to a local sports team.
    • Great for the family that loves a local team! 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, 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!
  • INDOOR JUMP HOUSE.
    • My kids would die of happiness.
  • SEASON PASSES to a nearby ZOO/MUSEUM/AMUSEMENT PARK
    • I love this idea! There are water parks, children’s museums, the local zoo, and so much more than sell season passes.
  • NINTENDO SWITCH.
    • This one is fun for the whole family!
  • SCOOTERS or BIKES.
  • BACKYARD PLAYGROUND/SWINGSET or TREE HOUSE.
    • This is what we’re planning to give the boys this year for Christmas. I’ll be doing a whole post soon with all the research results we did, and which one we’ve decided on. But there are lots of good ones right here!

Big Christmas gifts for individual kids

  • A DOLLHOUSE.
    • There are so many cute ones out there, but I especially love THIS ONE.
  • 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.
  • KEYBOARD PIANO.
    • This would be a really fun one for someone learning to play!
  • A DRUM SET 
    • Or gift them another musical instrument – whichever instrument they play.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • This 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:

  1. The gift is not under the Christmas tree, so the gift receiver is completely surprised.
  2. 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!

You might also like:

Big Christmas Gifts (and a Fun Christmas Morning Tradition)

These are the big Christmas gifts that either Santa brings, or you save for last on Christmas morning.

lego advent calendar

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!

holiday gift guide

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18

Ideas for big Christmas gifts

 

Big Christmas gifts for the whole family

  • A TRIP TO DISNEYLAND or DISNEY WORLD.
    • Last year we surprised the kids with a trip to Disneyland, and their final gift on Christmas morning was some Mickey Mouse sweatshirts!
  • SOFT SERVE ICE CREAM MACHINE.
  • A BASKETBALL HOOP FOR OUTDOORS
  • 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???
  • 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.
  • PROJECTOR FOR THE MEDIA ROOM
    • Time to start doing those family movie nights every week! Pack up some popcorn, a new movie, a few movie candies, and you’re good to go! You could even get a stand up popcorn machine!
  • 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!
  • TICKETS TO A SHOW.
    • You could do a concert, a broadway production, a comedy show, or some other fun show for the entire family!
  • DIRT BIKES 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!
  • SKIS.
    • Another great idea — you could also do a ski pass gift!
  • A HOT TUB for the backyard!
    • Perfect for winter — the whole family will want to jump right in.
  • SEASON TICKETS to a local sports team.
    • Great for the family that loves a local team! 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, 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!
  • INDOOR JUMP HOUSE.
    • My kids would die of happiness.
  • SEASON PASSES to a nearby ZOO/MUSEUM/AMUSEMENT PARK
    • I love this idea! There are water parks, children’s museums, the local zoo, and so much more than sell season passes.
  • NINTENDO SWITCH.
    • This one is fun 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’re planning to give the boys this year for Christmas. I’ll be doing a whole post soon with all the research results we did, and which one we’ve decided on. But there are lots of good ones right here!

 

Big Christmas gifts for individual kids

  • 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, but I especially love THIS ONE.
  • 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.
  • KEYBOARD PIANO.
    • This would be a really fun one for someone learning to play!
  • TRAIN SET AND 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.
  • 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.
    • This would be a great one for a tween or teenager!
  • A CHROMEBOOK
    • Lots of schools require or use these now, so get ahead of the game and get one for your kiddo!

 

 

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:

  1. The gift is not under the Christmas tree, so the gift receiver is completely surprised.
  2. 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!

 

 

You might also like:

boys holding wrapped presents brothers

3 Comments

  1. Patricia says:

    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.

  2. Jaime says:

    the link for the tree house/swing set options takes me to a nintendo switch. do you have the correct link you can share?

    thanks!

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