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Please tell me how you organise the opening of presents on Christmas Day....

(96 Posts)
PinkPaeonies Sun 03-Dec-17 10:36:18

Every year we have the same fiasco. The whole extended family - about a dozen of us - gather around the Christmas tree for the grand ceremony of present opening, some time between breakfast and lunch, and usually after a few too many bucks fizzes have been consumed. It starts off ok. I will find and distribute 1 present from the mountain to each family member, we all open them at once and lots of thanks and hugs and kisses ensue.... then, as I try to continue the good work, everyone gets impatient and it all descends into carnage, with everyone delving in at once. Paper flying everywhere and I can't keep up with it all. By the end I am exhausted and not sure who has given me what and also whether others realise what I have given them! There has to be a better way.... please share!!

Rainbowqueeen Sun 03-Dec-17 10:41:25

In our family all the gifts are under the tree and the kids are given the job of handing them out to everyone. Once everyone has their own pile we all open them.

Once everything has been opened we go round the room and everyone has a turn at showing what they got. We usually say who gave each gift to us at this time so everyone knows and say thank you to that person.

Then generally I will have a more detailed look at my own kids presents and also go see my dad and chat to him about his.

Works for us

Flowerfae Sun 03-Dec-17 10:42:59

put them in a sack and give out one at a time, if they ask why tell them smile

Flowerfae Sun 03-Dec-17 10:44:18

actually that is a bit miserable :D Rainbow Queen has the better idea

AlexanderHamilton Sun 03-Dec-17 10:46:04

The kids wake up, come into our room & bring their stockings. Dh makes a cup of tea to wake us up & they open their stockings.

We then go downstairs, have a quick breakfast before opening the presents under the tree. Everyone has a pile. The kids take turns to open (so I can keep a mental note of who bought what for thank you's) & occasionally one of them will say mum you open something.

Grandparents are welcome to come watch if they want but we don't hang around for them.

custarddinosaur Sun 03-Dec-17 10:47:55

DH has a system whereby he doles out the presents from under the tree so we have a pile each, and then each person opens one at a time so we all get to see what's what. Very nice, except I get far fewer presents than anyone else as I don't have any relatives apart from him and dc. He's got the type of job where he gets given loads of gifts as a thank you, so there I am sitting there for what seems like an eternity after I've finished opening mine, while he and everyone else carries on oohing and aahing over all their presents.

annandale Sun 03-Dec-17 10:50:18

Stockings early and ways contain games/activities to keep us busy.

Main presents around 11. All under a rug, one at a time comes out. The first one taken out by the youngest person there, then after that the person whose present it was pulls out the next one. I love it - relaxed, always something happening, teaches a little bit of patience.

PurpleTraitor Sun 03-Dec-17 10:50:30

Presents in a jumble under the tree. Send a child in to get one, find the label, give to the correct person, who then also knows who it is from. They open it, and usually investigate it a little bit, and say thank you etc as you describe at the beginning.

Then a child goes back under the tree for another. Bit like lucky dip. It’s nice when the child in question finds one for themselves. Usually the kids take it in turns and often the kids end up with lots of gifts first because they make a beeline for the biggest and most exciting looking boxes (or the ones they already know are for them from package prodding activities in the preceding weeks)

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Sun 03-Dec-17 10:51:52

This is where a small family comes in handy! We have stockings first thing - DH and I do one for each other as well as one for DS so we are all opening together and then looking at what each other got.

Tree presents are saved for after lunch - we have lunch at normal time and then all snuggle together taking turns to open pressies. But because there’s only 3 of us, it’s not too much of an issue to wait! Plus, we’d all rather see how the pressies we bought each other are received rather tan just focusing on grabbing our own loot grin (DS is at the age where he chooses and pays for our pressies himself and he loves giving them to us).

TittyGolightly Sun 03-Dec-17 10:52:29

Wake up around 10am. DD (7) opens her stocking in our bed.

Downstairs around 11am. Coffee. Start lunch prep. Once everything is in the oven/in pans DD opens her few presents and we adults do our secret santa.

Eat main course at around 3pm and pudding around 7pm. Play with games/toys for rest of evening.

SatsukiKusakabe Sun 03-Dec-17 10:52:59

We do pretty much the same as @AlexanderHamilton (his name was *Alexander Hamilton*)

Stockings with tea and then get dressed and go down to presents. The kids have a pile each from us then those from others are under the tree.

We are alone Christmas morning so take turns ish opening between the four of us, but the kids usually give everything a good play or look before moving to the next anyway, and we don’t worry too much if they’re opening at the same time as us, we show everything round anyway.

Then we open presents from people we won’t be seeing and make a note of who gave what, and save the others for when grandparents etc come later.

It’s never been really regimented at all but it’s never been chaos.

MaidenMotherCrone Sun 03-Dec-17 10:56:49

Presents are sorted into piles for each person last thing on Christmas Eve.

The same as when the DCs were little.

We sit and open our piles. We can all read so know who each present is from. Then we have breakfast.

Can't be doing with the whole delayed gratification, is it a middle class thing?

I loved the DCs bursting into the living room when they were small and the looks on their faces. It would've been pointless making them eat breakfast before opening presents as they wouldn't have eaten anything.

Crumbs1 Sun 03-Dec-17 11:06:15

After lunch we assemble by the tree. Someone sorts presents into piles. Then we all take one from our pile at a time and all ooh and aah together. The better people amongst us write a list for thank you notes.

We used to do one at a time but it went on forever and ever. One cousin always got far more than anyone else so all the other children were sat for an hour watching, which seemed unreasonable.

MrsDrSpencerReid Sun 03-Dec-17 11:08:50

A 7 year old that sleeps til 10am on Christmas shock I want one of those! grin

Our kids try and start the day around the 3am mark (and are promptly sent back to bed)
They open their presents and occasionally DH and I will pass them a present to give to the other.

Grandma & Grandpa’s house around 10:30am, same deal there, kids open their pile of pressies and the adults watch while occasionally getting them to hand out the other presents.

weechops Sun 03-Dec-17 11:11:25

Whoever wakes first comes into our room and if it’s not still the middle of the night they’re allowed to wake their siblings.
Dh goes downstairs first to turn the Christmas lights on and then shouts up ‘he’s been!’ And we all run downstairs.
We used to have presents jumbled under the tree but with 4dc it’s easier to have their own piles.
Then they’re allowed to go wild! If they want to rip all the wrapping first then look at the toys that’s fine, if they want to do one at a time that’s fine too.
Me and dh swap gifts in between taking photos and clearing the wrapping.
No one else buys for our kids (except in laws and we go there at some point during the day) so no need to keep track.
Selection boxes for breakfast grin

titchy Sun 03-Dec-17 11:12:27

Stocking, then breakfast then tree presents. Ds dishes out presents and we open one by one, waiting for everyone else to do one before the next. Then we get bored and just open everything left. blush

SatsukiKusakabe Sun 03-Dec-17 11:13:54

Yes, we only get dressed because the kids prefer that and stockings are fairly decent and come with a bigger present from Santa so they’re quite happy with all that for a bit.

I think a bit of structure is nice so they don’t race through it and not enjoy it, but on the other hand it seems a bit joyless to make it too rehearsed - in fact OP I will bet that the very thing which drives you crazy at the moment will be what you look back on with the most warmth when they are grown up!

EchidnasPhone Sun 03-Dec-17 11:23:21

We do Santa & stockings downstairs, breakfast of chocolate coins & coffee, then dressed & off to church. Home about 11ish where DH hands out the gifts under the tree so the kids open them one by one. Last year we got a bit bored as dh's family seriously over bought so we went for a walk then lunch then more gift opening.

Natsku Sun 03-Dec-17 11:23:35

DD opens her stocking as soon as she wakes up, then we go downstairs and some of our presents are under the tree and we take turns opening them. In the afternoon we go to FIL's for the meal and after that the neighbour or grandma's gentleman-friend dresses up as Father Christmas and brings the rest of the presents and hands them out and then we all open at once.

AlexanderHamilton Sun 03-Dec-17 12:05:48

We only started to get dressed when the kids got a bit older. We do have a bit of breakfast because ever since she was little Dd has always woke up starving. Now as a teen she feels nauseous in the mornings until she's eaten.

I can't imagine having to wait until after lunch. Why?

BearSoFair Sun 03-Dec-17 12:22:09

DC do stockings in their room, if it's after 7 they can wake us up. DH goes to pick up MIL (who is always up by 5:30 regardless of day!) while DC have breakfast and get dressed (and me, obviously). We bring presents into the living room in one of those giant gift bags (can't leave them under the tree - destructive cats!), DC hand them out so everyone has their pile then go round taking turns to open. Wasn't always so calm when DC were younger!

TeenTimesTwo Sun 03-Dec-17 12:30:40

Stockings for the DCs on our bed at some point after 7am.
Up and dressed and turkey on and breakfast.
A few presents for the DC normally including a DVD.
DC watch DVD.
GPs arrive.
A few presents. Everyone gets 1 or 2, and opens and shows. I know who has most so they get 2 to others one. (Mainly I don't both with opening mine until the end of the day, I've usually bought most of them anyway!)
Lunch, washing up, Queen.
A few presents.
Walk, tea, a few presents.

My DCs wouldn't be able to cope well with a free for all. We've done it this way since their first Christmas with us when DD1 was 8 and DD2 was 3.

PinkPaeonies Sun 03-Dec-17 12:31:02

Wow! So many great ideas - thank you so much. Part of the problem is that my niece and nephew are are a bit spoilt and uncontrolled - they have masses more presents than DD and they don't have the patience to wait - their parents just let them dive in and ruin everything. So I think the idea of dividing the presents up and only doing the family ones together is great. I will use all your lovely comments to formulate a cunning strategy! xx

Afterallalways Sun 03-Dec-17 13:12:32

Can't imagine waiting until after lunch or even breakfast! My mum would go down and put the tree lights on and check that he'd been and then we would dive in. Wasn't until we were older that we would properly take turns opening presents.

I think being to strict or organised can take away some of the joy tbh.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Sun 03-Dec-17 13:17:26

I think being to strict or organised can take away some of the joy tbh.

I think diving in and doing everything before breakfast can take away some of the joy tbh.

Or - if that sounds bitchy and judgemental about how other people choose to do their Christmases hmm - I could just say that clearly every family finds a way that works for them and that they believe helps create the magic of Christmas for them as a family and never mind what some randoms on the internet do.

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