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To want my DD to be able to open her presents on Xmas morning.

(338 Posts)
fifitot Tue 23-Nov-10 08:13:31

For the first time this year me, DH and the children, a baby and a 4 year old are spending xmas with DH's family. We are staying over at his brother and sils and their twin 7 year olds.

I was looking forward to this until I was told that in DH's family they never open xmas presents immediately on waking. In fact DH used to have to wait until after Xmas dinner but apparently now the practice is his brother's kids get up in the morning but the present opening doesn't start until everyone arrives at the house. On this occasion various other bits of DH's family are due to come.

Bear in mind that my DD always gets up at 6 and not everyone will arrive til around 12. That is 6 hours of her hanging around waiting for her xmas presents! I just think it's mean and it will be so disappointing for a child to be full of anticipation for Xmas morning to be told to wait for all the adults to arrive - so we can have a 'nice' sedate present opening ritual.

At my house, the kids always got up first thing and it was merry chaos as presents were opened. The adults did theirs later. Plus DD has for her life so far had her presents first thing.

I really think this is mean and pointless but there is nothing I can do as we are at someone elses house. Have had a huge row with DH about it as think it's cruel. She's only 4 FFS and the belief in Santa will be over all too soon.

What do you think? And what do you think I can do to negate it?

Theyremybiscuits Tue 23-Nov-10 08:15:37

I think you you should let her open a few, and save some for later when the others arrive.

Far too much to expect her to wait on Christmas morning! x

NorthernLurker Tue 23-Nov-10 08:15:46

Does she have a stocking? Can't she open that and then open presents from people when said people are there? If I were you I would say dd will be doing this - take her in to your room and do it with her jut the four of you.

llareggub Tue 23-Nov-10 08:16:38

If she's 4 she won't remember how it is usually done. Can you prepare her now for the way Father Christmas visits your BIL?

Not worth rowing over, I think.

Littlepurpleprincess Tue 23-Nov-10 08:16:57

I would laugh and say "No-one's that mean surely!" as if you genuinelly think they are joking.

They are mad btw. Completely bonkers.

DeckTheIceWithDragonsAndHolly Tue 23-Nov-10 08:17:55

I think to be honest that sometimes you have to compromise.

We as children has stockings after breakfast and main presents after lunch. We appreciated our toys more and it was spread out more.

When i was with my ex his family did as you do. So when we spent christmas with his family ds had his presents first thing.

Can you keep a little thing for her to open first thing if she is not getting stockings first thing?

YABU! If you visit someone else for christmas you NEED to respect THEIR christmas traditions!

DeckTheIceWithDragonsAndHolly Tue 23-Nov-10 08:19:33

And no it isnt too much to ask a child to wait on christmas morning!!!!! its just tradition to throw toys and presents at the children first thing.

How many children actually play/look at what they get in their stocking and look at their other presents!!!!!!

YunoYurbubson Tue 23-Nov-10 08:20:03

My inlaws do it that way too.

I let the children open their stockings at crazy-o-clock Christmas morning, and then they opened the rest when everyone did.

It wasn't really a problem.

In fact, it meant they took time to enjoy their stocking tat. I quite liked it.


NadiaWadia Tue 23-Nov-10 08:20:14

I remember this happened when I was a kid and we stayed at my uncle's one Christmas. I felt quite disappointed but I must have been 10 or 11.

No-one can expect this of a four-year-old, FGS! Unthinkingly cruel, like you said.

theevildead2 Tue 23-Nov-10 08:21:15

If she can wait months for XMAS she can wait a couple hours... sounds like you are the over excited one grin

FreudianSlimmery Tue 23-Nov-10 08:26:39

YABU and a teeny bit precious sorry.

You should at least compromise - fwiw I agree it's a bit U of them to expect kids to wait BUT it is their house and their rules.

Just let her choose one big present to open first thing.

seeker Tue 23-Nov-10 08:26:59

Can't see the problem. She's 4 - she has only really had one Christmas she can remember. Start telling stories to her about how Father Christmas comes to different people at different times. Suggest to BIL that the children have stockings fiorst thing and make sure hers is a particularly good one - it'll keep her perfectly happy til everyone turns up!

I don't believe in everything coming from Father Christmas anyway - I think children should thank people properly for presents, and understand about giving and recieving. So stockings come from Father Christmas, and maybe a couple of wrapped up things, but everything else comes from the person who gave it.

Littlepurpleprincess Tue 23-Nov-10 08:27:23

It sounds like this has been made about the adults though. Why not just let the kids get up and have fun? Why would you impose rules on children that needn't be? They sound boring and stuffy. Tell em to lighten up a bit. Chill out. It's chritmas!

What is gained by doing it their way? Nothing that I can see.

What is gained by doing it the kids way? Over-excited, happy, a bit spoiled kids. Great! Kids are allowed that for one day of the year aren't they?

Galena Tue 23-Nov-10 08:35:54

We used to open stockings (from Santa) in the morning, then go to church. Once home from church, and when dinner was under control, then we could open the rest of our presents (from named people) - except for one small present (from the Christmas Tree!) which we had at tea time.

It made things last - we had some bits and pieces in the stocking to enjoy when we were first up and then we opened the rest of our presents as a family.

Littlepurple - what is gained by doing it their way? A family Christmas, as opposed to a completely child-centred one.

I like my Christmas to be a family time.

QuintessentialShadows Tue 23-Nov-10 08:37:32

hmm Mean?
You want to make an issue over this? Sorry, that is just daft!

We don't usually open Christmas presents until 7 pm! Waiting for the presents, looking at them under the tree, all wrapped and tempting, is part of the fun! We are enjoying the day together, watching some nice Christmassy films, have a very light Christmas lunch around 12, eat Christmas dinner 4pm, and we dont open presents until after coffee and cake!

Meanwhile, the kids have been playing, they have been allowed to open ONE smallish present, watching films, and just chilling enjoying eachothers company.

Then we unwrap presents, one at the time, everybody looking at what the other person is getting, going Oooh and aaahhh over presents, it takes a few hours!!! The kids are kept up late, go to bed knackered, and have LOTS to play with the next day.

But of course, my children still wait less than yours, because we do all this on the 24th...... grin

fifitot Tue 23-Nov-10 08:40:04

IMo Xmas should be child centred though. If I didn't have kids I really wouldn't give a toss about it and probably go on holiday!

LaurieScaryCake Tue 23-Nov-10 08:40:42

DD has her stocking from when she wakes up. This always contains a dvd, a ds game and a craft kit. This all easily keeps her going for hours.

I don't think it will do her any harm - put a dvd in the stocking and then snuggle down on the sofa together.

Then encourage her to help making breakfast and getting stuff ready for dinner.

The time will fly past smile

susitwoshoes Tue 23-Nov-10 08:41:57

we had stockings in the morning, then mass, helping get lunch ready, people round for drinks, lunch and then - ta-da! - main pressies! Meant the anticpation carried on all day, and there was always something going on. Don't think it does any harm to wait, in fact, I really don't like the idea of people (children or adults) being unable to wait a wee bit - and as someone else said, surely far more fun to open pressies when everyone is there rather than in solitary splendour. Or is Christmas just about presents to you?

Yabu. Cruel, ffs. Get a grip.

Laquitar Tue 23-Nov-10 08:46:19

You are making a mountain here.
'Cruel' ?
I'm sure your dd doesn't mind as much as you do (although she will if she sees you stressing over this)

TheBolter Tue 23-Nov-10 08:46:43

It can stil be child centred without an orgy of presents first thing in the morning though!

I was brought up to wait until after Christmas dinner (which often went on until about 5pm!). We had stocking after midnight mass / first thing in the morning which we really APPRECIATED and were allowed a small tree present later on, before dinner.

The anticipation was unbearable, but also absolutely delicious, and made the day seem so exciting!

I think it teaches children a valuable lesson in restraint and to remember what Christmas is actually about - whether religious or not, it is actually about the magical feeling of being close to family. Sorry if I sound dour, but I love Christmas and amas excited as my dds when it comes to them opening their presents. But they wil be doing it after dinner in our house too!

Unrulysun Tue 23-Nov-10 08:46:47

Are the NSPCC aware of this practice?

Gay40 Tue 23-Nov-10 08:46:48

If you think making a kid wait a few hours for her Christmas presents is cruel, you have no idea about real cruelty.

I wouldn't be allowing that "always gets up at 6" nonsense either.

Let her have a few to keep her going, then open them all together later.

Perspective please.

TheBolter Tue 23-Nov-10 08:46:56


ilovesooty Tue 23-Nov-10 08:47:29

YABU. Let her have a small stocking first thing.

If you're in other people's houses, you respect their customs.

clam Tue 23-Nov-10 08:47:55

Did someone really say this was "unspeakably cruel?"

<wanders off, shaking head in disbelief>

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