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AIBU about not wanting to open Christmas presents early?

(108 Posts)
blindhorse1 Sun 15-Nov-15 21:42:12

Hi, We are spending the weekend before Christmas with my husbands family and they want us to open their presents that weekend, so that they and the SILs can see our children open their gifts. We feel strongly that presents are for Christmas Day and we don't open any other presents from anyone else ahead of the big day. We want our kids to wake up on Christmas Day with a complete sense of excitement and wonder at the whole day, all the presents being under the tree being one part of that. That's the whole anticipation of Christmas! Last year we explained to the children why we didn't open them early, and they were fine with that, as the in law gathering was in early Dec, but this year as it is the weekend before, we are already being asked "if we will open them early this year". I feel awkward about it, they seemingly don't respect our views at all and it caused a huge argument last year. Should I just go for the easy option and open some early, or AIBU in my views on this?

BeStrongAndCourageous Sun 15-Nov-15 21:46:35

I understand where you're coming from, but I'm afraid YABabitU. You have all the gifts you're giving them to provide "the wonder" of Christmas. Let your inlaws enjoy "the wonder" of the delight on your DCs faces as they open their gifts from them, eh?

ghostyslovesheep Sun 15-Nov-15 21:48:41


Gobletofgin Sun 15-Nov-15 21:48:53

Well I love seeing people open the presents that I have chosen for them, so I think you should let them open them early, the excitement on Christmas Day is that Santa has been santa

BYOSnowman Sun 15-Nov-15 21:51:00


Your kids will have enough to open on Xmas day and the presents will get lost in the pile. Let your ils have the pleasure.

DinosaursRoar Sun 15-Nov-15 21:50:55

I wouldn't like it either. DH's family have this view that you must see the person open the gift you have given them (and will make you take in turns to open gifts if you are there for Christmas day so everyone can stop and check your reaction).

I have got round this by seeing them on christmas day or afterwards, so no early gifts.

I also don't like birthday gifts opened before birthdays either - and I hate being watched while I open gifts incase I can't arrange my face correctly quickly enough...

GabiSolis Sun 15-Nov-15 21:52:19

YABU. If someone has been kind enough to buy presents for your DCs, they will naturally want to see their reaction.

The solution if you feel so strongly about this is to have the gathering after Christmas so you can have the first present opening at home and any others at a later date.

ButEmilylovedhim Sun 15-Nov-15 21:52:52

Your relatives no doubt want to see your children's reactions when they open their carefully chosen with much love, presents. The rels won't be there on Christmas Day I'm assuming, so won't see their delight. This is very important to some. I can't see why present opening can't be spread out, especially when it will give such joy to the givers.

redcaryellowcar Sun 15-Nov-15 21:53:35

I think yabu. The grandparents will enjoy seeing the grandchildren open their presents. Christmas will still be magical and less overwhelming.

Karoleann Sun 15-Nov-15 21:54:22

It depends. is it their choice or yours that you're not spending Christmas Day with them again? If it's yours then yabu, they don't have the option of seeing the children unwrap their presents.

If you're not happy then say so this year, but then invite them the following year for Christmas Day.

BathshebaDarkstone Sun 15-Nov-15 21:55:16


OurBlanche Sun 15-Nov-15 21:55:45

Now way are you BU. Who are the presents for?

Tell the grown ups that Father Christmas is for the kids,as they should well know. They had their joy with their own kids. Why should you give them yours too?

What is it about extended families these days?

Jinglebells99 Sun 15-Nov-15 21:57:50

I think if your in laws have bought presents and want to see them opened, you should open them early. I remember one of my friends getting annoyed that her in laws wanted to do this, but it was because she'd hardly bought anything for her children snd wanted to pad the gifts out with the gifts from in laws. We have always seen extended family after Christmas and opened presents together. It was like having three Christmas days.

BrandNewAndImproved Sun 15-Nov-15 21:57:58

YABU. Stop being so precious this will make the dc even more excited about actual Xmas morning then take anything away.

BYOSnowman Sun 15-Nov-15 21:58:35

It's nothing to do with Father Christmas. These presents are from the ils.

Xmas day is for Father Christmas presents, presents from parents and presents sent by post etc.

Also, how old are the kids?

Passmethecrisps Sun 15-Nov-15 21:59:02

I get where you are coming from but I think YABU.

My dc is only young still by I know the last birthday and Christmas she has been completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume of gifts.

I feel that part of what she has to learn is about how to be a grateful recipient. She is much more likely to do that if she is given things in the company of those who have gifted.

OurBlanche Sun 15-Nov-15 22:00:15

OK! Sorry. I shall step away carefully.

In my mad, old fashioned world ALL presents are officially from Father Christmas. Such quaint fuckwittery I know, but hey ho!

BYOSnowman Sun 15-Nov-15 22:01:24

Really? In our house he only brings one and the stocking. I guess it depends how you do it in your family!

MarkRuffaloCrumble Sun 15-Nov-15 22:02:04

I think yabu as its nice for the children to know who has given them gifts as well as parents/Santa. When all the gifts are given together on the same day they forget who gave them what and the relatives miss out on the joy of giving.

My DB tells his DCs that Santa brings ALL the gifts, so we had to sneak ours into their house and they were hidden until Xmas day, which meant they had no idea we'd given them anything. I found that really odd.

I like to spread it out a bit, we have separate days with my family, ex's family, dp and me with our DCs together, then actual Xmas day with XH, me and DCs! It means they get to celebrate with everyone and get a weeks worth of giving/receiving. They understand that Santa brings some presents and that friends and relatives give them gifts too.

AtSea1979 Sun 15-Nov-15 22:05:40

The only thing I would be concerned about is if they'd bought something and I'd bought something similar and they opened theirs first. But assuming you will be there then it's not like you are missing out. It means your DC have a prolonged Xmas which is nice for them. My family visits at New Year so my DC have an 'extra' Xmas.

mamapants Sun 15-Nov-15 22:06:09

I'm jumping in to say yanbu.
We were never allowed to open presents before Xmas and it was all part of the anticipation.
People get to see birthday presents being opened but not Christmas presents.

EastMidsMummy Sun 15-Nov-15 22:06:13


ThatsNotMyHouseItIsTooClean Sun 15-Nov-15 22:07:13

On Xmas Day, our DC only open presents from Santa & whichever set of GPs are staying. All the others get opened when we see the giver of the present or, if something has been posted, at some point between Xmas & NY. A craft set or book from a great aunt may be ignored in the excitement of Xmas Day but will be really appreciated a few days later.

ftmsoon Sun 15-Nov-15 22:07:44

Another argument against FC.
<misses point of thread>

OurBlanche Sun 15-Nov-15 22:07:45

Oh you are all doing it wrong then.

Father Christmas delivers ALL presents. He consults his lists and delivers the right presents from the right people. So the box of wooden skittles FC delivers are from Aunt Sally.

Easy... cognitive dissonance is a wonderful thing... and that's what the tags are for smile

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