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Poll: when do you do presents?

(50 Posts)
siblingrevelryagain Tue 04-Nov-14 06:57:56

Just curious really!

As a child our Xmas mornings were of the frenzied kind (in a good way)-we all went downstairs to check 'he'd' been, then dived into our piles of presents all at the same time (us three children I mean).

We've pretty much done the same with my kids, which is sometimes difficult keeping tabs on who bought what, but generally feels nice as it's how I've always done.

STBXH's family are the 'one-at-a-time and everyone watch' variety, and I know of others who wait until after breakfast or after lunch.

Which type are you (and if it's the latter, how on earth do you contain the kids and get them to wait with a massive pile of pressies-mine would be too distracted to eat I think!)?

Nerf Tue 04-Nov-14 07:00:38

Farther xmas in the morning on our bed. Presents stay upstairs and are brought down just before lunch and after lunch we do them - presents from granny, then presents from auntie etc. no problem waiting as the dc have always done this. Makes it less about the presents, gives them something to look forward to, we do breakfast,play a game etc

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Tue 04-Nov-14 07:03:35

A mixture here, Father Christmas and presents between each other are done in a bit of a rush from around 8am, then after breakfast and getting dressed we move onto the presents from outside immediate family which are done slowly and methodically so we can keep track of who sent what.

elQuintoConyo Tue 04-Nov-14 07:12:55

Christmas morning stocking on our bed, then breakfast, then open the rest. DS only 3yo tjis Christmas, so a bit difficult to control. We could do as WhoKnows suggests and do bit by bit, although I like to see all presents under the tree at once.

DS is getting a bike this year, so may end up riding that around the house/garden while other gifts are ignored!

Doing gifts one by one seems so joyless - although DH's family of 6 would CLAP as each was unwrapped grin

waithorse Tue 04-Nov-14 07:18:44

We to what the op does. I love it. grin

Sunna Tue 04-Nov-14 07:30:22

Stocking with small gifts on waking.

The room with the presents in is kept closed until after dressing and breakfast. Then in we go and open one at a time.

Oldest child in charge of distribution.

Sunna Tue 04-Nov-14 07:31:22

Just to add, everyone has a present and we open at the same time, not all watch while one present is opened.

DesperatelySeekingSanity Tue 04-Nov-14 08:04:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

siblingrevelryagain Tue 04-Nov-14 08:19:24

I might adapt my method slightly after reading what you all do.

Might keep it to stockings in my bed first thing (they know these are from me), then downstairs for Santa gifts, then I might try to save family/friends gifts for later in the day-prolong the joy!

This is my first Xmas since my DH and I split, so whilst I don't want to change too much, it feels like I now have free reign to make this the perfect Xmas that the kids and I want.

Thanks for all the replies. Wishing you all a fab Xmas. 50 days! X

LeBearPolar Tue 04-Nov-14 08:24:11

Stockings first thing in the morning. Tree presents after lunch. During the morning we go for a hopefully cold and frosty walk, prepare lunch, DS plays with stocking presents/reads his annuals. We have presents one by one after lunch but it's very far from joyless, elQunito! confused - not sure why it would be. On the other hand, I would hate the idea of everyone ripping paper off in a frenzy without even stopping to look at what the gift is, so I suppose it's just a case of different tastes.

poolomoomon Tue 04-Nov-14 08:28:01

We do it the way I did it as a kid, exactly the same as you OP. Everyone rushes down, peeks around the door to see if 'he's been' and then rush in to quickly unwrap the presents.

A girl I was friends with at school had to get bathed, teeth and hair brushed and dressed in her best outfit before they went down to open presents because her mum wanted them all to look their best for the pictures confused. Part of the charm of the present opening pictures is the fact everyone's in their pjs, surely? grin

FTRsGotAShinyNewNN Tue 04-Nov-14 08:28:42

We do stockings In our bed, then downstairs for presents. Main present from mammy and daddy everything else from Santa, gifts from grandparents/family tend to be given at GP house later in the day/Boxing Day at aunts house when family all together. smile

ShutUpLegs Tue 04-Nov-14 08:30:53

Stockings in our bed first thing, one strategically bought gift to be opened mid-morning to keep the kids entertained while I cook, presents one by one round the tree starting around 5pm. A meticulous record is kept of who got what for who so that Thank you letters can be started on Boxing Day,


<the rules are there to control the fun, people>

TheFantasticMrsFox Tue 04-Nov-14 08:32:43

DS is 10 now and our lifestyle has changed quite dramatically in the last couple of years.
So....... we do stockings downstairs (adults as well) My DP's will be here, the fire will be lit and we will drink Buck's Fizz. Then it's bacon sandwiches, showers, dogs out for a quick walk, all in a mad frenzy ready for church at 11am.
After church we go to the pub to see friends and neighbours, then back home for 10 minutes lunch prep and then main presents.
It's lovely, relaxed apart from DF moaning about church and about so much more than the presents smile

BiddyPop Tue 04-Nov-14 08:33:18

We had always got Santa things first thing, but presents under the tree (from everyone including wider family, our parents, and all DCs to each other!!) were all late afternoon (after Mass, breakfast, and entertaining neighbours for a few hours of drinks and nibbles) before dinner in the evening.

We do similar in our house, except that when we stay at home, we do breakfast, Mass, and visiting extended family for drinks before coming home to put on turkey, light fire and do presents, before eating about 6ish.

My parents still do as they did when we were small.

DH's family throw the presents at you as soon as you appear, bleary-eyed and in pjs, in the morning. (DH's DSis and DM are both likely to have opened theirs late the night before when others have gone to bed!! shock).

So when we go "down home", we tend to stay in a rented cottage (only at Christmas, with family any other time), so DD gets her stocking first thing, and we would share our own presents to each other around doing breakfast before going to Mass. Then we go to DH's house for lunch and bring theirs to do as soon as we arrive. Then we go to my house for dinner and bring theirs to do as soon as we arrive. Then we come home to fall into bed and groan at our poor, over-filled tummies again.....

LegoAcquaintance Tue 04-Nov-14 08:34:15

Stocking presents from Father Christmas opened first thing (children only)

DC open main present mid morning, so they have something to do while lunch is cooking.

Other presents opened after lunch. My family take it in turns to give one while everyone else watches, Dh family have theirs in piles and everyone opens together - we go along with whichever family we are with (but I prefer my families way)

Swifey Tue 04-Nov-14 08:47:57

We do stockings in bed, and our presents to each other, all other family that are staying do the same. We then get up, let the dogs out, have breakfast, croissants with homemade salmon pate/homemade jam, then showers etc. We then do the rest of the prep for lunch, we also prep the canapés and open the fizz ( we mix this with homemade sloe vodka and call it a 'blackthorn') we then all head into the sitting room and open all the presents whilst listing down what everyone got, and enjoying our nibbles. This usually takes a couple of hours! Then finish off the lunch and the little ones play with their toys, light the candles and eat! After lunch, usually about 6, it bed and bath for the little ones, and then we play a type of secret Santa (Swedish game) with the adults and eat chocolate if anyone has any room!

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Tue 04-Nov-14 09:10:42

I think it's quite insulting to say that people who don't do it one at a time are in a frenzied rush of not looking at the presents, or that people who do it one at a time are joyless, I'm sure they are both very good ways of doing it that suit those particular families. We don't do ours in a controlled, one at a time manner, but it still takes all morning and part of the afternoon

We don't go out at all on Christmas Day, it's the one day of the year when we have the luxury of just staying in all day and we really enjoy that.

DCs aged 10 and 8 - we do stockings upstairs around 7, downstairs for main presents and presents to each other, breakfast and dressed around 10, I disappear for my bath with a glass of Bucks Fizz, then we open absent extended family presents before lunch prep starts in earnest around 12, guests arrive around 1pm with more presents which are opened in a lull in the lunch preparation, then the DCs enjoy the presents, lunch around 3, more playing/snoozing/bit of telly/nibbles till it's time for guests to go home and the day to draw to a nice relaxed close around 10pm.

CaisleanDraiochta Tue 04-Nov-14 09:14:44

Stockings are opened (DC only) in my bed in the morning. Then we have a special Christmas breakfast (DC help plan and we prepare it altogether) and get dressed. Usually we go to DM's for lunch and gifts under the tree (from friends and family not FC) are opened afterwards, around 4-5pm. Much the same as when I was a child. DC go first, then while they play with their new toys, adults exchange and open their gifts at a leisurely pace.

Only slight variation is if there are gifts at home under the tree from friends and family, that we won't be seeing on the day or shortly afterwards. DC are allowed to open those late morning, so they can ring to thank the giver before we go out for lunch. This is because in the past we would get calls at 9am (mainly from XP's family) asking if the DC liked their gifts, only to be told the wouldn't be opening them for another 7-8 hours!

Also DC don't get their main present (from me) until Boxing Day. This started when they were small and the sheer volume of gifts was overwhelming (not so bad now they are bigger and want expensive gadgetery!) so I kept things back to open over the following few days. Also as we are never at home in the afternoons, it save carting DC's gifts over to DM's to open and then bringing them all back again plus others they receive too.

I have experienced the frenzied, rush of opening all presents first thing in the morning, when staying at XP's family, and I did not enjoy it at all. It was too chaotic for me personally. All about grabbing and tearing open as much as possible as quick as possible, with no time given to appreciate each gift and thank the giver.

KnittedJimmyChoos Tue 04-Nov-14 09:53:19

the only presents for dc under our tree are from us and FCwink so no tabs to keep.

Stockings, come down open all presents and I hold a couple back to open during each course of the meal, i find it makes meal more exciting and gives something to talk about etc.

KnittedJimmyChoos Tue 04-Nov-14 09:56:22

think it's quite insulting to say that people who don't do it one at a time are in a frenzied rush of not looking at the presents, or that people who do it one at a time are joyless, I'm sure they are both very good ways of doing it that suit those particular families. We don't do ours in a controlled, one at a time manner, but it still takes all morning and part of the afternoon


no control here however DD opens all in frenzy then spends rest of day and next few days going back to see what each thing is, and playing with it or whatever it does so although in the second of opening she may not pause, she certainly does over next few days and over life of the product.

After the immense build up and wait I couldnt reign her in, nor would want too!

steppemum Tue 04-Nov-14 10:06:33

we have stockings which are full of bits and bobs and sweets etc. No big pressies.

Kids bring those into our rooms and we all open together in a big friendly heap on the bed.
(they have been downstairs to see if santa has left anything under the tree)

Then breakfast, dressed, everyone has a cup of coffee, wait for Granny etc to arrive if they are coming (delicious agony)

Then youngest are postmen, and give out all the presents.
Once the tree is empty, they start opening. The rule is they have to show me every present, that way I can say 'Wow what a lovely xx from Auntie Flo!' and it helps them to remember it is from someone and it helps me remember who gave what.

Ragwort Tue 04-Nov-14 10:12:37

Christmas stocking present first thing in the morning (ie: before breakfast) and remainder of presents after church/light lunch.

We have an 'only' child and I think to some extent that avoids the build up/excitement about presents ....... and we do the 'one at a time' thing as well.

That's the way we always had presents as a family although I know my brother does it differently now - proabably the way his wife's family always did it. grin.

One year we had to wait for Boxing Day for some reason, it wasn't a big deal ............ I am afraid I am one of those miserable people who likes to say Christmas isn't really all about the presents grin.

whatsagoodusername Tue 04-Nov-14 12:40:08

The night before, a wake up time is agreed upon. Nobody is allowed downstairs before that time. Usually 7am.

We eat breakfast first. Nobody is even allowed to look at the tree/stockings/presents until after everyone has had breakfast. It is comical having everyone pretending there isn't a giant tree with massive pile of presents underneath, all sneaking looks.

Stockings next, all at the same time.

Presents under the tree after everyone has opened their stockings. One at a time, but when the wrapping paper is off and everyone has seen what it is, the next present is handed out promptly so it's still pretty quick.

Wrapping paper goes flying so there is a sea of paper afterwards. This usually is tidied after all the presents are open.

Takes a few hours altogether.

crazykat Tue 04-Nov-14 13:02:00

We do stockings on the end of beds which generally get brought in to our room (totally defying the point of buying us an extra few mins kip).

Then we go downstairs and everyone opens presents. We only have presents from us under the tree anyway so no need to keep track.

My dad has Christmas dinner with us and brings the presents from him which are opened when he gets here.

We go to the in-laws on Boxing Day around lunchtime. We all exchange gifts when we get there.

The kids only get presents off us, my dad, SIL and DH parents and grandparents. We exchange gifts in person so no need to keep track of who gave what to write thank you cards as they say thank you straight away. Its also worked out naturally that the presents are spread over the two days. I couldn't do the one present at a time thing tbh. It would take forever with six/seven of us and four kids between the age of 2 and 6 have no impulse control when faced with a pile of presents.

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