Do yourself a favor: if buns are on your Christmas morning menu, make the dough ahead of time. Why? Cinnamon buns need two rises—one after the dough is made and another after it’s shaped. The trick is to break the process up. Prep the dough at least one day before you’ll want to dig in, and then wrap it well and pop it in the fridge for up to three days. (In fact, the longer the better; it’s time that helps the dough develop a delicious yeasty flavor.)
On the day you plan to bake the buns, simply roll out the cold dough, fill and shape it, and set it aside for a final rise. Plan to shape the dough 60 to 90 minutes before breakfast, as the cold dough will need a little extra time to warm up. You can always get up early, shape the dough and set it to rise, and then get back into bed!