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How do you open Christmas presents?

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I know different families have different traditions. What's yours?

When i was a kid, we were allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve and then everything else on Christmas morning. If we were visiting relatives we were then permitted to bring one toy with us.

Friends of mine at the time weren't allowed to open anything on Christmas Eve -- they had to wait until Christmas morning for everything.

But some people I met recently have a tradition of opening everything on Christmas Eve.

What is the protocol in your family?

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My extended family gets together on Christma eve, and opens gifts at midnight, when it's technically Christmas day. Actually, now we open them more at like 10pm. We might go back to midnight since we've got some new young ones to replace myself, my sister and cousins.

But my immediate family simply wakes up in the morning, says the Lord's Prayer together and then opens gifts.

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When I was a small kid and we had Christmas with the extended family at my grandparents, it was all Christmas Eve. We went to midnight mass, came back and opened presents and had the Big Italian Christmas Eve feast. Christmas Day was for sleeping in and and visiting.

If my immediate family was on its own, we did presents and big meal on Christmas Day, although we usually went to early mass on Christmas Eve followed by going out for Mexican food (a south texas thing of my father's family). My mom didn't like staying up late. These days, my SO and I do presents and fancy dinner on Christmas Eve, and visit family/lounge around on christmas day.

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On Christmas Eve Eve... or there abouts... spend time with the SO in Houston, have our christmas. Open presents and eat. Then, I drive 100 miles to visit my dad and his wife, in East Tex. The following day, on Christmas Eve (also Dad's b-day)... we open presents and eat, again. And then, that night, I get in the car. And drive another 200 miles, to Central Texas. Spend the night. Then on Christmas day, open presents and eat yet again, this time with mom and her husband. Then. That night, or maybe the next day... get in the car and drive back to Houston where fire and rescue crews await my arrival with the jaws of life ready to cut me out of my car, given all the meals I have eaten.

I've been doing this every Thanksgiving and Christmas for the past 10 to 15 years. Kind of sad, in a way... being on the road with all the others that are probably doing the same thing.

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Old stick-in-the-mud, reporting in.

Christmas morning. After breakfast. And it can be a nice, leisurely breakfast, too. No opening presents before the sun is well up in the sky. You've waited 364 days already, why lose sleep or go hungry just so you can trash your house with torn wrapping paper a few hours earlier? :)

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When I was a kid it'd be open one present either on Christmas Eve, and sometimes even a week or more in advance, and everything else Christmas morning....

Now its pretty much the same, altho some years it's open everything Christmas Eve after having dinner. Usually depends if I'm single, or not, or feeling blue, or happy as hell. This year I'll be spending Christmas Eve with my mom, then heading down to my girlfriend's house to exchange gifts with her... so all gifts will probably be opened before midnight.

Christmas Day has now become a sit around, eat a big breakfast (or not), ooo and ahh at newly unwrapped stuff, then hit the Movie Theater, and go out for dinner after.

I think that is the trend for a lot of American families is now... obvious since so many movies now open Christmas Day... this year seems like more than past years by far!

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Lately it seems to be a have Christmas when we can type thing. Got together with my parents last weekend since they'll be gone a while over the holidays proper, and playing everything else by ear.

Growing up it was presents Christmas morning. My stepdad's family has a big Christmas eve party, then everyone goes to the "other family" for Christmas day.

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We open gifts that we have received from everyone (friends and family) on Christmas Eve. Then overnight Santa comes with more gifts (that are not wrapped) that we get in the morning.

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Growing up:

On Christmas Eve, I was allowed to choose one present from under the tree to open. On Christmas Day, we had to open our presents one at a time, and we had to preserve the wrapping as much as possible. Due to the fact that my mother and my aunt believed that one or two presents was inadequate, and that Christmas was the best time to restock necessities like socks and underwear, opening presents went on for a few hours.

Now:

Mrs. Porchman and I return late from her godparents house. Still working on digesting the large meals we have there, we find it convenient to stay up and unwrap the packages under the tree, while we sip our club soda. This works well because it frees us up on Christmas morning to prep for the family who come to our house on Christmas afternoon. (Santa doesn't scrub the toity, you know).

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Then overnight Santa comes with more gifts (that are not wrapped) that we get in the morning.

Oh, yeah. We did that too. The gifts from Santa would be in front of the fireplace, unwrapped, under our stockings.

Which brings up a previously repressed christmas memory: My dad did used to hang gifts for my mom on the tree, like ornaments: jewelry, and underwear. What a freak. Bracelets and necklaces are one thing. But Fredericks of Hollywood lingerie? Mom would get all embarrased and my brother and I would try to ignore them. No wonder I turned out the way I did. Emotionally scarred over christmas presents.

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Oh, yeah. We did that too. The gifts from Santa would be in front of the fireplace, unwrapped, under our stockings.

Which brings up a previously repressed christmas memory: My dad did used to hang gifts for my mom on the tree, like ornaments: jewelry, and underwear. What a freak. Bracelets and necklaces are one thing. But Fredericks of Hollywood lingerie? Mom would get all embarrased and my brother and I would try to ignore them. No wonder I turned out the way I did. Emotionally scarred over christmas presents.

Wow. An underpants tree! It just feels like a song waiting to be written!

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Apparently Ed and I do have alot in common. I grew up the EXACT same way. Now, our kiddos follow this tradition, and the wife and I spend nothing, nada, zilch on each other. It is all for the kiddies, and the grandparents are advised of the same, don't spend a dime on us, only the kids.

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Oh, yeah. We did that too. The gifts from Santa would be in front of the fireplace, unwrapped, under our stockings.

LOL this is exactly what we do? Are you my brother!!! I remember that each of us boys would have a group of presents from Santa. We would try to get downstairs first to "pick" the best group of toys. But our parents would tell us which group of toys would go to which boy. It was so fun back then!

The best stocking present I get is about $100 worth of dollar lottery tickets.... that is a blast!

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We open gifts that we have received from everyone (friends and family) on Christmas Eve. Then overnight Santa comes with more gifts (that are not wrapped) that we get in the morning.

That's how my family did it as well. I met someone from Germany a few years ago and discovered that's apparently how they do it in Germany as well. My family is originally German, so maybe it's a cultural tradition I just wasn't aware of.

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Which brings up a previously repressed christmas memory: My dad did used to hang gifts for my mom on the tree, like ornaments: jewelry, and underwear. What a freak. Bracelets and necklaces are one thing. But Fredericks of Hollywood lingerie?
....let's just hope she wasn't finding needles 6 months later. LOL

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I was prepared to say "like a rotweiler", but then it turned out to be about traditons, so...

Since I'm back in the area more often these days, it's a bit easier to handle. Basically, a couple of days preceeding Xmas is spent at a few friends/adopted families just doing the "party circuit". The big day, however, is mostly at my mom's place. It's the smaller of the two families so it's easier to pull off. Presents are done early on and since that side has always had the early eaters of the two, we're done with the big meal by 2 usually.

After that, I visit my dad's family and that set of grandparents for the remainder of the day. Good stuff over there since I've been helping out with some of the dishes in the past few years. Haven't done the Christmas Eve tamale "factory" session in a few though.

It's pretty much been the same way the entire time, just the gifts have changed. Thought I may have missed it a few years ago when I was doing radio full-time and hadn't bought tickets since I was unsure of the schedule. Luckily things all worked out!

Edited by ChannelTwoNews

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Wow. An underpants tree! It just feels like a song waiting to be written!

I can only imagine how that song would go! I guess you can chalk it up to the 70s, when dad had sideburns and 3 motorcycles and mom took bellydancing lessons, and god-knows-what went on at those pinochle games they went to.

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I was prepared to say "like a rotweiler", but then it turned out to be about traditons, so...

That was my first reaction as well. Bows, ribbons, all that, just get in the way of ripping the paper.

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I have no idea how we do it any more. Last year my wife was crazy pregnant so we did a nice, quiet Christmas at home together, no traveling. Typically we do Christmas Eve at my family's and Christmas Day at my wife's family's. But, when kid(s) get older, we'll want to stay home and do Santa. My daughter isn't yet 1 and doesn't care, yet.

Growing up we always opened 1 on Christmas Eve night. Christmas morning there were all the rest of the wrapped presents, and Santa brought unwrapped ones for us. For a while my mom did stocking with little things, but she got bored and it eventually turned into a scavenger hunt type thing with clues that led us to places all over the house before we got the goods.

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For a while my mom did stocking with little things, but she got bored and it eventually turned into a scavenger hunt type thing with clues that led us to places all over the house before we got the goods.

Interesting. My mom continued with fully stuffed stockings when my brother and I were well past childhood. The scavenger hunt sounds fun if you've got a lot of kids.

OK, so next question: stockings. Ours were always traditional and had an orange and some nuts in the very bottom, and some good chocolate. (Not like the nasty easter candy.) In the spirit of embarassing family holiday secrets, my grandfather always put a jar of pickled okra and a tin of sardines in mine. I would actually eat them, just not with the candy. My mom would put lip gloss and stuff.

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OK, so next question: stockings. Ours were always traditional and had an orange and some nuts in the very bottom, and some good chocolate. (Not like the nasty easter candy.) In the spirit of embarassing family holiday secrets, my grandfather always put a jar of pickled okra and a tin of sardines in mine. I would actually eat them, just not with the candy. My mom would put lip gloss and stuff.

Non traditional. Batteries for the other stuff we got, socks, boxers, sometimes snacks. Socks and boxers mostly after I moved out in college. This was a good idea.

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When I was little we'd go to my grandparents' house on Christmas Eve and open gifts and eat finger foods, like sandwiches, dips, cookies, etc. Then at home my sister and I would open our presents from each other, I think. Then do our "Santa" presents Christmas morning. For lunch we'd do Christmas presents and the whole turkey thing at my other grandma's house. Actually I think sometimes things were reversed, the Christmases at grandparents'.

Now we still do Christmas Eve at my grandma's house (my grandfather died). Still do immediate family late Christmas morning/early afternoon. My other grandma passed away, so now we have Christmas day dinner at my aunt's house at around 4:00. We don't do presents with them.

Something funny: I remember being so excited one year that I got out of bed and asked my parents if it was time to open presents only to have them tell me that the 10 o' clock news just went off. I could never sleep on Christmas Eve.

Edited by KimberlySayWhat

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When i was a kid, we were allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve and then everything else on Christmas morning. If we were visiting relatives we were then permitted to bring one toy with us.

We did the same exact thing. The catch was that our parents determined if the present we picked on Christmas Eve was safe to open earlier, as its revelation would not ruin the surprise of any accompanying presents opened the next morning (i.e. Atari game on Christmas eve with the Atari still being wrapped under the tree).

Now we just open everything on Christmas morning, at least while my kids still believe in Santa.

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Growing up, we always went to my grandma's for Christmas Eve. Rest of that side of the family (dad's side) would come, too, and mostly it was just visiting & eating. When we got home, though, Santa would have already come (never did catch on to my dad sneaking out every year) and we'd open our presents. Christmas Day was just for lounging around, more eating, & perhaps more relative-visiting. Now that I have my own immediate family, we pretty much do it the same way. Santa comes after the kiddo has finally passed out on Christmas Eve, though, so she gets that stuff on Christmas morning.

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I guess you can chalk it up to the 70s, when dad had sideburns and 3 motorcycles

I read that as "dad had motorcycles and 3 sideburns."

Time for sleep.

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I know different families have different traditions. What's yours? When i was a kid, we were allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve and then everything else on Christmas morning. If we were visiting relatives we were then permitted to bring one toy with us. Friends of mine at the time weren't allowed to open anything on Christmas Eve -- they had to wait until Christmas morning for everything. But some people I met recently have a tradition of opening everything on Christmas Eve. What is the protocol in your family?

We don't really exchange a lot of gifts, but tonight we'll be meeting for dinner and do a gift exchange (I won't participate because that's not really my thing)... anyhow, you are expected to open them at dinner.

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We kids would bug the hell out of mom when we could open them and she always threw it on Dad's shoulders (very scary by the way) :blink:

When he finally gave in we all ran & nearly knocked over the tree in the melee'. Paper flying every where with lots of Oooo's and Ahh's.

and always on Christmas Eve of course. Our family never had patience.

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In the early days, on Christmas eve, friends & family gathered for a huge get-together at the original NenaE's bungalow in Magnolia Park...my sister & I always brought home many presents from that party...from people I didn't even know. It was great...our job was to help pass out presents.

I'm one of those people who opens my presents very carefully...no ripping for me. And I don't try to shake or guess, I like surprises. Others in my family are not like that.

And my tree was twirling like a carousel the other day...Reason for that - I have a Marley dog (she is sitting on my feet right now, all 95 lbs of her)...At least the tree is still standing.

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I often wonder if others opened or spyied on presents like we did?

We used to put the wrapped package up to the lamplight or sunlight to try to see thru the wrap paper. I could vaguely see Tinker Toy label or Hot Wheels or Tonka thru the paper. Of course we would throw them down when adults voice could be heard coming close. :ph34r::D

Sometimes we even camped out under the tree in hopes we would bust Santa actually coming down the chimney. Joke was on us since we had a "mock chimney" so not even a mouse could squeeze into it. I always wondered why Santa's rear never caught fire when he would chimmee down the smoke stack? We assumed he wore fire retardant suits, etc. ^_^

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