Ideas for making the present opening last please!

(24 Posts)
NoHank Fri 23-Nov-12 15:50:01

When DS was 2 and 3 the present opening often went on til Boxing Day. Not because he had loads of gifts but because each time he opened something he spent a good deal of time playing with it before being coaxed into the opening the next.

However for the past couple of years he has tore into each one, barely given it a glance and gone searching for the next one to open.

DD will be 2.8 this year and is starting to understand a lot more, is asking to meet FC and has written a letter asking for a couple of things. I know she will be thrilled with her main gift (toy kitchen) and will happily spend ages playing with it - DS however is 6 and will probably want to tear into them all like the last couple of years.

So any ideas how to stretch it out without making it seem like a torture or punishment grin I still want DS to enjoy the day, not be moaning about where is his next gift and having me shouting at him for being so ungrateful

crispsarenotoneofyour5aday Fri 23-Nov-12 15:54:01

In our house the rule is that stockings get opened in the morning and the main presents from DP - everything else has to wait until after Christmas lunch. Gives them the morning to enjoy the main present with the anticipation of more to come! Mind you, wenormally have a housefull so plenty of distractions!

BarbecuedBillygoats Fri 23-Nov-12 15:58:06

When I was growing up we took it in turns. Or we all unwrapped one each at the same time and then had a look at each others.
It gave the person making a list time to write them down
Stockings church then presents
I've seen this slagged off on here so many times but I found it exciting and it stopped it being like we've found it (as we do Dhs method of piling in), of lots of presents then boredom
I now have the job of guessing who had what from whom and organising thank you letters as a guess

ChocolateCoins Fri 23-Nov-12 16:04:15

Could you keep some back and hide them. Then later on when he's busy, you could put them on his bed and let him find them. FC must have forgotten them last night and sneaked them in. wink

Sorry I know that's not going to make it last that much longer, but it's what my mum used to do for me which i found really exciting. Extra presents! smile

Themumsnot Fri 23-Nov-12 16:17:31

We get the children to forage under the tree, find one for everyone and bring it to them. Then everyone opens theirs in turn and marvels at it (thank you MIL for this lovely, er, um, thing) before we move on to the next round. If there is a lot is a good idea to say half now and after lunch as well.
IMO it is possible to institute this without being a killjoy if you use DS as the message bearer - mine always really enjoy finding out who all the parcels are for and delivering them to the right person.

Rosa Fri 23-Nov-12 16:20:33

We take it in turns as well, often using the dds to hand out the gifts. DD2 is a bit 'its my turn' now , but generally they like helping and giving out - especially if something is 'from' them to somebody.

rotavirusrita Fri 23-Nov-12 16:25:14

we are a bit controversial in this house! presents from father christmas/stockings are unwrapped by the children in the morning.

then everything under the tree gets handed out by children and unwrapped one thing at a time but only once the table is cleared from lunch.

That way the children get to go mad unwrapping things first thing, but there is a calmer unwrapping session later in the day. smile

Its the way i did it when i was a child and although DH wasnt keen the first yr he's come round to this way

We used to take it in turns too and will do that with ours when they're a bit older.

We've always done turn taking, even when they were little. So they'd have stockings in our bed when tiny and in own rooms when big enough, then turn taking for the 'pillow case' presents and then we'd always hold back a 'big' or 'family' present until an hour or so later and then suddenly 'discover' it.

NoHank Fri 23-Nov-12 20:42:11

Thanks everyone. We usually do stocking presents first thing upstairs on our bed. I like the idea of maybe doing the stockings upstairs then downstairs for the main ones from the big man himself. Usually only a couple each but I'm hoping they will keep them entertained for a short while. I'd like to hold off on the rest till after lunch but not sure how that will go down!
I think I might keep one or two back also either for evening or maybe even the following day?
Has anyone tried a treasure hunt? Is it quite easy to do or too fiddly and time consuming to set up?

MonthlyAFIWish Fri 23-Nov-12 21:08:11

Always did stockings in morning, then later on around 11am presents. now do them after lunch. Always opened them one at a time in turn, so you could watch other people opening theirs, and as the gift giver you can watch your present received. Dont this since a baby. DH family just piled in and I didn't like that i couldn't watch my gifts being opened.

I really hate when parents just tell their children to rip them all open, just seems spoilt and grabby to me

yomellamoHelly Fri 23-Nov-12 21:15:59

Can your dd not open them at her own pace regardless of what your eldest does? (Is what happened here last year. Youngest then 2 eldest 8.)

anja1cam Fri 23-Nov-12 22:23:53

It's like what everyone has said - we take turns, or near-turns and the kids (5+8) are the ones who bring out the presents from under the tree. We tend to open the stockings later, they hang up in the kitchen smile. We've always done it this way so no problems with them getting stroppy or impatient.

But then, we actually manage to get dressed and everyone to have an unrushed breakfast together before we start on the presents. We're not late sleepers though grin

anja1cam Fri 23-Nov-12 22:24:52

Oh and PS = yes the list of who gave what is ESSENTIAL... it's usually DH's job to keep that list up to date...

Taffeta Fri 23-Nov-12 22:26:27

Exactly the same as rotavirusrita - ie stocking and main present at silly o'clock.

All other presents one at a time round the room so can aaahh at each person's after lunch, about 4pm. Takes ages and love it. Also the way I did it as a child. smile

minsmum Fri 23-Nov-12 22:28:49

When the kids were small we did stocking in the morning the rest of the presents after dinner when all washing up etc done. handed out one at a time & everyone oohing & aahing.

When they got bigger they were allowed to open one present in the morning and the same process after dinner.

We still do this and they can be opening presents at 8 in the evening. its great

timeforachangebaby Fri 23-Nov-12 22:30:18

stocking in bed with new DVD (for Christmas lie in)

Then we take it in turns (which is sad for adults and DH and I dont get anything)

We never have time to open everything!

Then we go out for dinner and have presents after dinner

Then it takes til the end of boxing day to open the rest!

We take turns opening main presents after breakfast (DC are 3 & 6yrs). Stockings upstairs in bed. It's how I did it when I was a child and DH has said that he prefers it as his family followed the paper ripping frenzy line.

MiL stayed last Christmas and was constantly saying how surprised she was that DC weren't just diving in...

Rosvita Fri 23-Nov-12 22:50:04

We do stockings in bed in morning then all downstairs for presents.i tend to put them all into piles for each person then we all take it in turns to pick a present from our pile.in the afternoon we go to in laws for christmas dinner so the kids have more presents to open then.leave all their presents from the morning at home (have had a bit of time playing with them in the morning but leave them at home to come back to Boxing Day-may take 1 to in laws if they want to). As a child my parents demonstrated little excitement for christmas.i'd wake up and open my stocking then have to wait until they got up to star opening the 'big' presents.even then I'd be made to wait until after breakfast etc. and even now you'll hand my dad a present at 9 in the morn and it will still be sitting there unopened at 9 at night!

steppemum Fri 23-Nov-12 23:13:39

we do stockings upstairs, then down to go wow at the tree

then breakfast, all together at table, and then clear, make coffee put roasties in oven

(we go to church too after breakfast, and come back for coffee and presents)

then all sitting in lounge, dcs act as postpeople. They have to deliver all the presents to everyone. No opening allowed.

Then opening, but if person is in room, they have to go and say thank you. If person not there, you take present to show mummy or daddy so we remember who gave what we ask who gave you that and they find paper or the tag, so we can say, wow that is nice of Auntie Flo etc.

This does spin it out and make them take it more seriously.

Often we see other aunties etc on boxing day, so we get second round of opening then.

NoHank Sat 24-Nov-12 07:39:53

Thanks again everyone. Should've said, we do take turns, we don't just let him pile in and rip them all open but it still seems over too quickly!

Maybe I need to invest in some heavy duty sellotape grin

NoHank Sat 24-Nov-12 07:49:57

yomellamoHelly DD would probably do her own thing but she adores DS and wants to copy him all the time even when she has no idea what he is actually doing. If he is opening present after present while she is playing away quite happily I'm pretty sure she will notice and want to do the same.

I think I'll talk to DH and agree how we want to do it and then probably mention it to DS at some point before the day itself so it's not too much of a shock. He really is a good kid and definitely not grabby the other 364 days of the year so I know he won't mind really.

We don't tend to eat til around 3ish so I might even hide a few to bring out after the meal that he doesn't know about so they are not sitting under the tree taunting him all day!

LadyLetch Sat 24-Nov-12 08:50:13

I agree with the turntaking and opening presents in batches.

My girls get...

FC presents as soon as they wake up. (about 7 ish)
Presents from me after breakfast (about 9 ish)
(Then we go to my parents)
Presents from my parents when we get there (about 11 ish)
Presents from other family after lunch (about 3 ish)
Small presents from family friends at tea time (about 7ish)

Other little presents from people when we return on boxing day and then some other friends, we swap when we see them!

We also do a joke present that is wrapped up loads with clues inside. (it is put out under the tree when the tree goes up, and every day you can feel, touch, sniff the present and make a guess. If you guess exactly, you get to open the present.) You are not allowed to open the present until you know what it is (at this age, the last clue makes it pretty damn obvious). This prolongs the opening, and my DDs love it. They've already checked they're still going to get their joke present this year!

Our routine started when DS1 was 2 is still followed now he is nearly 17.
Stockings in bed upstairs. Washed and dressed, then breakfast. No going into the living room until after breakfast. Then we all go in together where FC has left the parcels by the tree.
When they were little FC often used to leave presents in the wrong place and we would "find" them much later.

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