Growing up my family always had little traditions that I loved and had me looking forward to this time of year and I always wanted the same for my daughter. We would drive around looking at christmas lights, bake cookies, pick out a tree, see family that we only saw at Christmas, and try to find the stash of presents before they got wrapped.
It was just always a magical time of year.
I felt bad that after the split my daughter might not have that. Looking back I see that she does have it, it may not be the same as what I had, but she has her own traditions now.
The media sends out this message that kids needs a whole family unit to be happy and I honestly think that isn't true. Kids need to know they are loved and cared for and parents do not have to be together to make that happen. Without realizing it, new traditions started to form and the past few years Christmas has been less stressful then when I thought it would have been when we first split up.
The only advice I can give is to make sure your children are comfortable and happy at this time of year. For me I thought it was best she had her normal routine in the morning [wake up, open presents, breakfast, play with toys/stockings, relax] then see her father for a few hours for dinner.
Only you know what is best for your children, and kids pick up on tension easily. Just because parents aren't together doesn't mean the kids won’t have a great Christmas.
It is better that they have great memories with mom and great memories with dad instead of memories of a potentially awkward Christmas morning with both parents.