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When do you do it?


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With the holiday fast approaching if you celebrate Christmas when do you and yours open presents?

I have been in situations where we have done it three ways.  We open them Christmas Eve after dinner, we open one Christmas Even and the rest Christmas Day or we open them all on Christmas Day.

Mrs. Tellurian and I open them on Christmas Eve.

Edited by Wandering Tellurian
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Member · Posted

We get up, have a nice breakfast, do a devotional (yeah, the kids love that, haha) and THEN we open presents.

We also open them one at a time, rotating from youngest to oldest.  Christmas takes an entire morning.  We open gifts the way my wife's family did when she was a kid--one gift at a time per person.  When I grew up, we had what she calls "rip-rip-toss-toss", which is basically what most  families do and everyone opens up their gifts at the same time.  The first time my wife experienced this, it blew her mind! How can you enjoy people opening their gifts?!

Of course, she was an only child and I had multiple families to visit, I had two other siblings I lived with and multiple others from remarriages.  At some point, opening gifts one at a time just isn't feasible so I know that with my HUGE family, that was never considered. But when my wife and I were married, I originally liked the idea because there were two of us.  Now as a family of four, it's tough for me because of my family history and I'm use to every present being open in 10 minutes. We aren't looking to have a third kid, but if we do, I think I'm going to have to change the rules. We can't make gift opening a two hour process.

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Editorials Team · Posted

Yep, as a kid, my dad would sit by the tree and grab presents one by one, tossing them to the recipient, and making sure nobody went too long without opening one. Everyone watched every present get opened. My wife did it the same way, so that's how we do it.

I saw some kids in my extended family literally say the sentence "ughhhh we STILL have more presents to open??" Even when they knew some were for them. So I don't know if that meant it was taking too long, or if they had already received enough to exceed their gratitude level :D

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Our tradition was always anything from the Friends/family gets put under the tree when it's received and one can be chosen the night of Christmas eve to open. 

With my son we started last year doing the same but included new pajamas and a new book to be read that night as well.

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I've had a whole lot of different experiences with this.

With my family, we would do a lot of our activities on Christmas Eve (baking cookies, putting up and decorating the tree, etc.), then choose and open one gift each before heading to bed to wait for Santa to make his visit.

When I started dating my wife and getting invited to (and expected to attend) all of her family's stuff, I ran into at least two additional, different traditions.

Presumably because her father always had to work Christmas due to being a cop, her family, then later her grandmother and extended family did all of their Christmas stuff on Christmas Eve.  This continues to this day, with most everybody showing up around 6-7 or so to eat shrimp and fingerfoods, visit, open presents, then head home (generally around 9 or so).

Her mom, though, as a kid and then after the divorce, expected everybody to come over first thing on Christmas morning to have a big breakfast, open stockings, then do gifts.  After that, it was off to do Christmas with the entire rest of her family.  If things didn't go on too long, there might have even been enough time for us to go see my family while it was still Christmas.  🙄

After my wife and I had kids, the expected tradition of showing up at her mom's house (or just spending the night on Christmas Eve) first thing in the morning continued.  This moved a few years ago to my sister-in-law's house, which was extraordinarily convenient for her, but nobody (including my wife) seemed to understand why I got more and more bent out of shape over this as each year progressed.  Everyone has been seemingly unable to comprehend why it was unfair that my kids should have to rush through their excitement of checking out, opening, and playing with whatever Santa and my wife and I had gotten them, only to abandon it all to go watch their cousins play with what they had just gotten (no sharing required when something is brand new!), get fussed at for not eating a breakfast they didn't want, then get rushed through opening what gifts they were getting from the family to be dragged over to my wife's  larger family get together (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) to maybe get one or two small things that they finally get to spend some real time playing with before having to go home and get in bed.

After being a complete grump ass last year and not being subtle about it, I finally won a fair compromise this year.  Instead of doing an insane wakeup and rush because (and only because) both sister-in-laws have to work mid-day on Christmas, everyone finally agreed that every individual family would do Christmas at their house on Christmas and any group activities would be the next day.  So, this year, my kids will get to wake up when they wake up, open their stuff as soon as they want to, and play with everything as much as they want to save for the obviously required bathroom and food breaks.  Since we're actually getting time at home, to ourselves, I've invited my brother over this year to spend the whole day and eat with us that evening, versus him making loose plans to visit some of his friends or stay home alone until we'd have time to pop in and visit briefly and exchange gifts.  (Both of our parents passed away several years ago, so we're the only close family he's got)

Sorry if this brought anyone down, I started out sharing the different traditions I'd been part of and then partially sidetracked (somewhat cathartically) into fighting against my kids getting screwed over by the inlaws' preferences and finally obtaining a fair situation (where I'm not the reviled bad guy for refusing to take my kids out of the house on Christmas).

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On 12/17/2019 at 3:03 PM, darkchylde28 said:

I've had a whole lot of different experiences with this.

With my family, we would do a lot of our activities on Christmas Eve (baking cookies, putting up and decorating the tree, etc.), then choose and open one gift each before heading to bed to wait for Santa to make his visit.

When I started dating my wife and getting invited to (and expected to attend) all of her family's stuff, I ran into at least two additional, different traditions.

Presumably because her father always had to work Christmas due to being a cop, her family, then later her grandmother and extended family did all of their Christmas stuff on Christmas Eve.  This continues to this day, with most everybody showing up around 6-7 or so to eat shrimp and fingerfoods, visit, open presents, then head home (generally around 9 or so).

Her mom, though, as a kid and then after the divorce, expected everybody to come over first thing on Christmas morning to have a big breakfast, open stockings, then do gifts.  After that, it was off to do Christmas with the entire rest of her family.  If things didn't go on too long, there might have even been enough time for us to go see my family while it was still Christmas.  🙄

After my wife and I had kids, the expected tradition of showing up at her mom's house (or just spending the night on Christmas Eve) first thing in the morning continued.  This moved a few years ago to my sister-in-law's house, which was extraordinarily convenient for her, but nobody (including my wife) seemed to understand why I got more and more bent out of shape over this as each year progressed.  Everyone has been seemingly unable to comprehend why it was unfair that my kids should have to rush through their excitement of checking out, opening, and playing with whatever Santa and my wife and I had gotten them, only to abandon it all to go watch their cousins play with what they had just gotten (no sharing required when something is brand new!), get fussed at for not eating a breakfast they didn't want, then get rushed through opening what gifts they were getting from the family to be dragged over to my wife's  larger family get together (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) to maybe get one or two small things that they finally get to spend some real time playing with before having to go home and get in bed.

After being a complete grump ass last year and not being subtle about it, I finally won a fair compromise this year.  Instead of doing an insane wakeup and rush because (and only because) both sister-in-laws have to work mid-day on Christmas, everyone finally agreed that every individual family would do Christmas at their house on Christmas and any group activities would be the next day.  So, this year, my kids will get to wake up when they wake up, open their stuff as soon as they want to, and play with everything as much as they want to save for the obviously required bathroom and food breaks.  Since we're actually getting time at home, to ourselves, I've invited my brother over this year to spend the whole day and eat with us that evening, versus him making loose plans to visit some of his friends or stay home alone until we'd have time to pop in and visit briefly and exchange gifts.  (Both of our parents passed away several years ago, so we're the only close family he's got)

Sorry if this brought anyone down, I started out sharing the different traditions I'd been part of and then partially sidetracked (somewhat cathartically) into fighting against my kids getting screwed over by the inlaws' preferences and finally obtaining a fair situation (where I'm not the reviled bad guy for refusing to take my kids out of the house on Christmas).

See, I think that it makes sense once you have children of your own that you can set some ground rules on where you go on what day and for how long.

Luckily my parents eons ago mentioned that we can do their Christmas stuff the day after, just to make it easy on everybody and other family considerations.    Wife's family has a get-together on Christmas Eve, so that has worked out well.

Your post didn't bring me down, and I'm glad you finally planted your flag when it comes to your kiddos.

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2 minutes ago, captmorgandrinker said:

See, I think that it makes sense once you have children of your own that you can set some ground rules on where you go on what day and for how long.

Luckily my parents eons ago mentioned that we can do their Christmas stuff the day after, just to make it easy on everybody and other family considerations.    Wife's family has a get-together on Christmas Eve, so that has worked out well.

Your post didn't bring me down, and I'm glad you finally planted your flag when it comes to your kiddos.

Thanks, makes me feel a bit better of getting caught up in a bit of a rant.  I kept getting grumpier and grumpier each time we got forced to drag my son, then my son and my daughter, away from their Christmas to wallow in everybody else's.  Honestly, I nearly held my ground last year but gave in when my wife pushed and begged and started trying to get my son excited about seeing his cousins.  Before I was born, my mom apparently planted that flag at our original house and told both sets of my grandparents (and, through them, the rest of the family) that she wouldn't tear her kids away from their toys on Christmas, she'd be happy to pack everybody up the day after, but that if anybody wanted to see any of us on Christmas they'd have to come knocking on our door.  Glad that that's no longer a battle for me and can't wait to see what a full day of my kinds tearing into and playing with everything looks like.

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