Opening presents - holiday fluff

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fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955
Opening presents - holiday fluff

Some families don't allow any presents to be opened till Christmas Day and some allow for select early openings. What kind of family is yours? Also, does your family have any cool holiday traditions?

What are we all going to be doing for the next couple of days?

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

My family (my mom, my sister and I) are terrible for trying to open things ahead of time. We get a box of goodies that come from relatives and one year my mom opened all her stuff about 3 days ahead. We were not happy! lol. Bad Mom! We always open that box at our Christmas eve dinner. We have a big ukrainian feat and talk to the relatives.

For my kids I have advocated a few early things. DD's birthday is the week before Christmas and if we didn't spread it out a bit she wouldn't even know what she got my the end. She gets some stuff in early December at her kid party and then presents as people see her from then on till Christmas. It is nuts. So we let the older kids have one early thing too. They get a whole nother pile of stuff on Christmas day anyways. MIL goes pretty nuts with the presents.

We are so bad about it. If it wasn't for DH, DSD and I would have probably given all our gifts by now. We suck at waiting! lol.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

Ha! Funny.

We open on Christmas morning. We do stockings for the kids so they do that first thing, and then we have a special breakfast, usually some kind of egg/potato/bacon/cheese scramble. (Not sure my stomach is up to that post-flu but we'll see.)

Then the guests start coming, it's my husband's parents and his nephew, my dad & his husband and my sister (my other siblings don't live nearby), and I have a friend coming with her 6-year-old son as well. We open presents and put out a big spread for lunch -- a big bagel brunch! I bake for days ahead of time so there are lots of treats: cookies, loaves, and this year I'm also doing banana nutella muffins since everyone loves them so much.

Christmas night is always quiet, we pull together leftovers and hang out and the kids play with their new stuff.

Christmas Eve is going to be just the 3 of us since my husband is going to church, so I was thinking we'd watch a movie and drink hot chocolate and eat popcorn. And snuggle.

This is a hard holiday for me with my mom being so sick so I am going to really pay attention to the time I get to spend with my family and friends, and enjoy every minute of it. And we'll Skype with my mom & other siblings.

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

If we are at a Christmas party or it's a secret santa gift we open at that time, otherwise In try to hide the gift under the tree without DS seeing there is a gift for opening on Christmas day

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

Most of Robbie's presents do not go under the tree until he is in bed Christmas eve. I try to have pajamas for him to open Christmas eve and this year I have a recorded book "T'was the Night Before Christmas" for him to open as well. I am dyslexic and one of the things that is really hard for me is to read out loud. I am happy that I was able to do this and so he can have it forever, I was crying when I made the dedication - did it last...

We open Christmas presents in the morning and then have breakfast. This year we are going to my MIL's about lunch time, she wanted us to come for dinner but we already had plans and she is a HORRIBLE cook!!! We will come home and have Christmas dinner with just the 3 of us. My one friend might join us.

Some things my family does (we are too far away to join them). My one sister has a huge family brunch - she makes a peameal bacon roast (yummy and have to be Canadian to understand what it is), has bacon, sausages, eggs, fruit, toast,french toast, etc There is usually 30-40 people there. On New Year's Eve my one sister's family leave their shoes outside their bedroom doors and in the morning they are filled with candies and small presents.

I try to make a Ukrainian meal for January 6th. DH is half Ukrainian and any excuse for pyrogies and kobassa is good with me Biggrin

Before Robbie we were horrible at opening presents early! The Christmas before we married I was laid off 2 weeks before Christmas - we opened our presents that night I was so upset.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

We switch Christmas Eve and Christmas each year with each family. This year it is Christmas Eve with my in laws so we will open their presents (his parents, 2 brothers and their families). We don't typically have them open a present on Christmas Eve besides those. In the morning, they play with their Santa gifts and can open stockings. My parents come over for breakfast and we open the rest of our presents and then dinner at my parents and there is more there. (I'm terrified at what my house will look like!)

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

A couple of things I forgot that we do... twice a year before Robbie's birthday in June and at Christmas we go through the old toys and pick what is being kept, what is broken and what is to be donated. We talk about how other kids don't have all the wonderful toys Robbie does and it makes room for the new stuff.

My one sister's inlaws always celebrate Christmas on boxing day (Dec 26th for the Americans). They feel that they do not want to "contaminate" the reason for Christmas by all the gifts and such. Made it easy for her - Christmas day was with our family and the next day with her ILs.

We also buy Robbie a lot of books - last year he got 23 books for Christmas just from us!!! I buy books through the year and put them aside, sometimes I forget about some of them... For every gift giving time he gets at least one book. For Valentine's I always get a "love" book that is special and kept separately from his other books.

I also buy a special ornament for Robbie each year. I am now starting a spreadsheet to remember what year what ornament. When he leaves home they will go with him. I also buy whatever ones I find with his name on them. I try and buy or make a special ornament for the whole family as well.

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 781

All presents wrapped under the tree are opened on xmas eve. That way, it is completely bare when we go upstairs to bed and in the morning there are unwrapped presents (usually the presents that were too hard to wrap and I don't mind if Santa takes the credit for them, haha!) under the tree left from Santa. Have always done it this way ever since I was a kiddo. I actually thought this was the way to do it until a couple years ago when I found out most people open all the gifts xmas day.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

All the presents are already under the tree. I ran out of room in my closet to store them so I just wrapped them and stored them under the tree. Thus far it looks like they haven't been tampered with. I wish I had the right storage to hide them all till Christmas morning, but we just don't have big enough closets.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6561

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

This is a hard holiday for me with my mom being so sick so I am going to really pay attention to the time I get to spend with my family and friends, and enjoy every minute of it. And we'll Skype with my mom & other siblings.

Sorry your mom is so sick.

Most years we travel to NY to be with family but this year we are staying home. It is normally crazy with 4 or 5 get togethers that one day. This year we will open one gift each Christmas Eve. Then Christmas AM the girls will wake us up early and we will dive into the gifts. Then I am going to make a large breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausage, and toast. The girls will play with their new gifts while Mom and Dad take a nap. Then we will get up and spend time together. I am planning to make a nice Turkey dinner around 4. I am looking forward to being able to do Christmas at home so much although I will miss seeing everyone.

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

Christmas is a work/school day where I am, so the only thing we open on that morning is stockings and Santa gifts (although none of these are wrapped so it's less opening and more just receiving).

We have our Christmas dinner and turkey with the inlaws on the Sunday before Christmas. Then on Christmas Eve we open all other presents while video chatting with my parents and brother. In the evening we get together with some other international families for a big dinner, it really feels like a big extended family Christmas, and it's nice for all of us.

We too celebrate Ukrainian Christmas, although we are not Ukrainian by any stretch! Just a prairie thing I think. Big Ukrainian feast on Jan. 6 with braided bread, cabbage rolls, borscht, perogies, and kielbasa.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

All this talk of Ukrainian food is making me hungry!

I am on perogy (and perogy toppings) duty tomorrow. My mom already made the cabbage rolls. And I am baking up some sausage rolls using some elk sausage that my mom's SO provided for the family. (The years where the hunting goes well are always so much tastier!)

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I want them! I had no idea of such a thing as a Ukrainian Christmas~is it just the food part that makes it different?

I'm of Polish and Lithuanian descent and we eat a lot of pierogies and kielbasa etc Smile

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

I think it's the date- Orthodox Christians celebrate later due to the Gregorian calendar. And who wouldn't want to eat all that food? For us it's just a family get-together day with no presents, so a little less commercial.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

"blather" wrote:

I think it's the date- Orthodox Christians celebrate later due to the Gregorian calendar.

Exactly. We do the celebration on december 24th because it works for our family. The traditional meal is supposed to happen on Christmas eve, not Christmas day. There are 12 dishes involved if you go all the way with it (one for each apostle).

Joined: 05/13/02
Posts: 414

We celebrate Christmas with my ILs on Christmas Eve, so we open presents from them at their house that day. Then one tradition we started a few years ago was having pjs for them to open at our house after our church's Christmas Eve service, and then they wear them to bed that night. The rest of the presents from us are wrapped and under the tree before Christmas Eve, but they don't open anything else until Christmas morning. The stuff from Santa isn't wrapped, although I do use special tags on those things. We head to my parents around 10:30 or so in the morning and then open presents at their house.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

Someone I know just told me that she is 34 and her dad still buys her a present from Santa. She has her own kids and he still does it. I think that's adorable.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

My in laws live about 90 minutes away ~ they came down this past week and stayed for 2 days, we do some christmasy things like garden/light tours and museums and the kids get their gifts from them during that visit. We had our extended family party (my side, with all of my cousins and aunts/uncles) on Sat night. We do a pig roast/roast pork with long hots, roasted peppers, provolone etc and pasta. Last night we celebrated our seven fish dinner (though we cheated and had 9 this year) with my immediate family ~ the cousins exchanged gifts ~ with 6 kids 5 and under that is a wild scene. They also get the annual gift of pajamas/slippers from their grandparents. Tonight we go to my brothers where "santa" visits and brings each child a book, which we read when we come home after driving around and admiring the lights/luminaries. We set out the cookies, throw out the reindeer food, read, and once the kids are asleep my husband and I usually have king crab and a filet, then set out the gifts and stuff the stockings. The presents are already all wrapped, so its an easy process. They each get 3 gifts from santa, which they open in the morning, then do their stockings. Tomorrow we host my parents and sister and BIL in the the AM, they open their presents from their grandparents then. We spend the afternoon/evening at my BIL/SIL's, and exchange gifts with those cousins then. Its a nice mix as they get to see both sides of the family in one day.

Laurie I'm so sorry that your mom is so sick and hope that she heals quickly and that if she is in pain that it is managed well.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

Early December we have a family party with my Stepdad's family. It is always a good time - chili dinner, silly games, and a white elephant gift exchange. Late December we have a family get together at my Grandma's. Very casual thing - we order pizza, Grandma & Grandpa give gifts to kids/grandkids/great-grandkids and we give to them. Christmas Eve hubby and I take the kids to his parents' house. MIL cooks a nice dinner and we exchange gifts. Christmas morning the kids open the gifts from Santa and from us (we usually buy them 1 or 2 presents a piece, the rest from Santa) and then we head to my Mom's for breakfast. More exchanging gifts there. Then back to my inlaws for a big lunch and gift exchange with the extended family.

After all that we're ready to crash! I love buying for others but sometimes the pressure can be overwhelming. I'd be content with just getting together, eating, and enjoying each other's company.

smsturner's picture
Joined: 05/11/09
Posts: 1303

"Alana*sMommy" wrote:

Early December.....

After all that we're ready to crash! I love buying for others but sometimes the pressure can be overwhelming. I'd be content with just getting together, eating, and enjoying each other's company.

Hey hun! I haven't seen you in awhile! Smile Hope you are doing well!

Margaret, it's funny, your holiday and mine sound almost the same!! We do the jammies the night before and then put out presents Smile

We don't really have many good hard traditions we do every year. I miss my family, but my mom is coming on Saturday.

As far as anything ethnic, we do nothing really cool like most of you! The only thing I can't do without is tom's family's portuguese stuffing with the churico and linguisa in it. (mmmmmmm.....) Most of the other portuguese christmas stuff is hardcore catholic, and we just don't go for that. (although the idea of midnight christmas mass always sounds beautiful and festive to me)

Minx_Kristi's picture
Joined: 01/02/09
Posts: 1261

I let DD open any gifts she might get from visiting Santa in the mall and if people visit on Christmas Eve then she can open those gifts.

Everything from me is wrapped and put under the tree once she is in bed on Christmas Eve, so she wakes up to find lots of presents because Santa has been!

xx

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

Santa comes to our house on the Winter Solstice and he only fills stockings. Everything else is from us. Our kids get three gifts: something they want, something they need, and something we want them to have. All of our gifts get put under the tree as they get wrapped. I always try to have at least one gift ready to put under the tree the same night we get it decorated. I love watching the tree get filled up with gifts as the days & weeks go by. Blum 3 If someone is visiting us, or we're visiting them, and gives a gift, it can be opened right then & there so the giver can see their reaction & get thanked in person. Anything that arrives in the mail is put under the tree.

When I was a kid my dad usually worked both of his jobs on Christmas Day because no one else wanted to be there & he liked the double or triple overtime pay. We'd spend Christmas Eve with his side of the family, then he'd take us to our mom's church in time for Midnight Mass. We'd move all our gifts from his car to hers, then he'd leave & we'd go home after the service with her & have Christmas Day with her side of the family.