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Family presents - how and when!

(44 Posts)
VamonosPest Sat 29-Nov-14 20:08:25

DH and I have just had a heated discussion about presents! My family always exchange presents for children before Christmas so they are there to open on Christmas morning. Everything is from Father Christmas and I think this keeps the magic going. DH's family exchange gifts whenever you see the people over the Christmas period. This has always been fine but DC1 is 2.5 and well aware of Christmas this year so there is now a clash! I would ideally like all the DCs' presents at home for them to open on Xmas morning. DH disagrees. We are at a bit of an impasse. I have said we can do it his way with his family but if so I don't want his parents to get and 'key' gifts as I want Father Christmas to have left these under the tree on Xmas morning.

What does everyone else do? And what would you do in this situation? Am I being unreasonable?

wintersdawn Sat 29-Nov-14 20:13:56

Watching with interest, I'm thinking that most gifts are from people (this will lay the path for thank you letters in the future) but there will be some from Father Christmas, though all presents will be opened on Christmas Day and not before, regardless of who they are from.

marne2 Sat 29-Nov-14 20:22:19

We get family presents when we visit family, often this is Boxing Day and the day after. Family presents are from family and the dd's either write thank you letters or they thank the family members as soon as they open the gift, the presents they open at home on Christmas Day are from us and Father Christmas.

Letthemtalk Sat 29-Nov-14 20:25:29

Whenever they get exchanged they only get opened on Christmas morning. Here we do the whole secret present run on Christmas eve. And Santa always gets first dibs on presents, so make sure everyone (apart from DC!) Knows what Santa's bringing.

2kidsintow Sat 29-Nov-14 20:26:02

I've always bought the 'Father Christmas' presents. Then any presents that have been exchanged before hand are handed out and the child is told which family member it is from.

I remember a friend being asked by their DD "Why don't YOU buy me anything at Christmas?" as everything was put down as from FC. So I've always held a couple of presents back as from us too.

I'd be annoyed if I bought presents for someone's child and it was put on the father Christmas pile. I get my children to say thankyou for their gifts to the person who gave them, that can't happen if the child doesn't know that the gift came from that person.

VamonosPest Sat 29-Nov-14 20:26:34

Thanks both. It seems like maybe DH's family's way is more common then... Is it mean if I don't let them get any of the important pressies though?

WD41 Sat 29-Nov-14 20:27:53

Family gifts are from family and opened when DD sees said family which could be Xmas day itself or afterwards.

Father Christmas presents are bought by us and are small value, we also give "main" presents

That's how it was done when I was growing up. I don't think Father Christmas should take credit for family presents! Wouldn't your DC wonder why granny never gets them anything?

fuzzpig Sat 29-Nov-14 20:27:54

I don't think it's very fair to say a present that somebody else has bought is from Santa. Unless they are specifically happy for it to happen (a grandparent might be for example).

We do a few presents from Santa and the rest is from us, and anything else is from whoever buys it for them, so they know who to thank

LoonvanBoon Sat 29-Nov-14 20:29:03

When our boys were younger we generally kept gifts that had been given by relatives in advance away from them until Christmas morning. Actually, we still do, although there's less secrecy if something comes through the post now. It still adds to the awe & wonder aspect when they came downstairs to piles of presents!

Having said that, we never, ever said that gifts from other family members were from Father Christmas. I actually do think that's unreasonable - how will they start to appreciate that someone has bought something for them, or recognize the need for thank-yous (in one form or another) if everything's from Santa?

Most of our relatives put tags on presents anyway - surely nobody would remove them in order to pretend they weren't actually from the person in question? Interested to see how other people approach(ed) this one now!

LoonvanBoon Sat 29-Nov-14 20:29:49

x-posted with everyone else.

dragonfly007 Sat 29-Nov-14 20:31:15

Santa delivers his presents from us at home, other gifts are given and received later from family members when we see them. I hate being given gifts early and won't give presents to family members early, I want to enjoy seeing t.v. the magic of Christmas through a child's eye

MissLurkalot Sat 29-Nov-14 21:04:57

My kids will be opening some family presents on the day after boxing day. I'm very happy about this, as it spaces things out a bit.

MissLurkalot Sat 29-Nov-14 21:05:49

Oh, those presents are from them, their aunts and uncles, not Santa

Mrsgrumble Sat 29-Nov-14 21:08:14

I would have I agree with your dh, some things are from santy but something from auntie or neighbour is from auntie or neighbour -
I think that's nice.

DaisyFlowerChain Sat 29-Nov-14 21:09:08

Family presents go under the tree as they arrive, I want DS to know who they are off so he can say thank you and know people care.

He knew the Santa presents were from us and they are a surprise for the actual morning.

Hulababy Sat 29-Nov-14 21:09:58

We exchange gifts before Christmas. They go under the tree. They have tags on to say who they are from. This means that dd can write/day thanks to the right people and also she has always taken part in choosing gifts so this makes sense. Also means you don't have the nightmare of trying to hide presents.

Dd is 12 now but done this since she was small.

Father Christmas brings one main gift.

pinksomething Sat 29-Nov-14 21:10:41

I don't think you can decide or predict which are the 'important' or special anyway. Sometimes the most random gift which you didn't pick or suggest turns out to be the one which is never put down!

ChangedToday Sat 29-Nov-14 21:13:22

Santa brings one or two presents to each DC. All others are from named people given whenever suitable. Santa might or might not be involved with filling the separate stocking, I'm never quite sure fsmile

MissLurkalot Sat 29-Nov-14 21:14:16

Sorry for drip feed... I think you are worrying too much about it. Accept that his family have their ways and yours have their ways, and, you, oh and your kids will have your way. You can't control other people's traditions.

I understand what you mean about them not giving 'key' Christmas list presents though. So give them free reign or other present ideas. We always get the key ones.

temporaryusername Sat 29-Nov-14 21:16:29

I agree it isn't fair to say that presents from other people are from Santa. I think it is up to you to do that unless they specifically want to. In fact, for me a big part of the magic of Christmas was that your stocking presents were from Father Christmas and ones round the tree (except perhaps one or two) were from family or friends. I think it is just that everyone likes what they are used to if they have happy memories of Christmas. As long as your dc have something to open on the day, I'd compromise. If I were their GPs/ Aunts/ Uncles I'd really want to be there when they opened them, and to label them from me.

We've always exchanged gifts when we see people, and opened them in their presence. If you're not going to see them around Christmas then maybe ask to have them for Christmas Day.

Chennai Sat 29-Nov-14 21:17:05

We always kept back any presents our children were given before Christmas to put under the tree ready for Christmas day (unless someone particularly wanted to see them open the gift and share the fun, which was fine by us).

All presents under the tree were from whoever gave them, including us.

Some family members gave presents after Christmas when we saw them, which was lovely and spread the fun out.

They also had a stocking from Father Christmas (they're adults now and this will be the first year we don't do them!)

The Santa-as-delivery-person stuff was way too complicated for us and we didn't do any footprints etc either. The filled stocking on the foot of the bed when they woke in the morning really thrilled them and I don't remember really going into much of an explanation - just left it all a bit vague and let their imaginations do the work. Perhaps we had very un-inquisitive kids but I suspect they didn't want the magic to end so just didn't ask!

Redglitter Sat 29-Nov-14 21:52:10

We always had our main pressie as being from Santa. Then the others were from mum & dad. then we had the ones from grans etc. I remember a friend at school being baffled how she got nothing from her parents etc

My brother has carried on the tradition. nieces get something like a bike from Santa the rest are from who bought them. I spend a lot of money on my nieces presents and a lot of time on choosing them or if I'm stuck it's things which are 'left over' from their Christmas list. I'd be furious if my present was passed off as being from Santa and I didn't get to see them opening it.

PesoPenguin Sat 29-Nov-14 21:55:34

Tbh I don't think its really up to you to dictate when/ what presents relatives give. If the ask, you can avoid suggesting the things that you want Santa to bring, but you really can't insist that presents are handed over before Christmas, whether you say they are from Santa or not. I think it's nice for relatives to give the children their presents in person and see their faces/ so the children can say thanks. My parents live abroad and I was happy for ds to wait til the end of Jan to receive his presents from them so that they/he can experience that together.

squiggleirl Sat 29-Nov-14 23:12:35

I think it's awful to give presents that family members have given as being from Santa. I posted before about SIL doing that with some of our presents that we gave to DN, and it is a horrible thing for her to have done. People care about your daughter enough to buy her presents. Why would you destroy the opportunity for her to know that?

If our kids receive presents before Christmas, we put them away until Christmas Eve, when we put them under the tree after DCs go to bed. DCs get a small present from us. All other gifts that we buy are from Santa.

mamababa Sat 29-Nov-14 23:15:29

In my world, Father Christmas brings the pressies. So everyone who buys my kids a gift give it to us in secret before the big day. That's the magic isn't it?

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