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Christmas traditions

(9 Posts)
Climbingmama Mon 02-Dec-19 09:31:59

Not sure where to put this thread so here it is!
This is our first proper Christmas in our new forever home, hosting my parents & brother too. Parents to a 2 year old and 3 month old.

Growing up, my brother and I and my mum and dad sat around the tree and each person unwrapped a present at a time. We’d ooh and aah then move on to next person. As you can imagine, v long and tedious as a small child but absolutely taught me patience, empathy and not to be greedy. I loved seeing my family’s reactions to my gifts for them.

Fast forward 30 odd years and current hubby had the tradition of everyone getting all their pressies and it just being a free for all, opening them all at once.
I like the chaos of this but seems individual reactions/appreciation is lost.

What is a happy medium?? Please tell me your present opening traditions for inspiration- I have a golden opportunity to start our own family tradition! Thanks in advance!

elQuintoConyo Mon 02-Dec-19 09:39:06

We have one 8yo and spend Christmas just the three of us (it's blissfully unstressful!).

DS unwraps everything at once, I'll keep an eye on who bought what so he can thank Aunty X for specific Y present later.

He does tend to open something, take a good look at the box, "ooh" and "wow" about it, then onto the next, rather than rip-add to pile-rip- add to pile.

Gifts from others are wrapped in paper, gifts from us are in festive fabric drawstring bags. I remember my dsis threw something away that was still wrapped, as the pile of paper and unwrapping was so chaotic! She was about 9yo and gutted.

As an aside, I've read on here the idea of wrapping the outside of an open box in Xmas paper, then keeping it at hand to put used wrapping paper in as kids unwrap. Looks better in photos than a black bin liner grin easier to sort for recycling, too, and check for missed gifts.

retiredand Mon 02-Dec-19 09:42:32

Wouldn't have time for the individual opening but I do leave mine aside and watch the kids as they open theirs.

There is a Christmas board under fun and games grin

mogtheexcellent Mon 02-Dec-19 09:44:33

PILs open presents the way you described. Tedious. I cant stand it. They all ooh and ahh and have a long discussion about the present (then return it the next day) hmm

My families way is mum hands a present to everyone and we all open it at the same time. Polite thanks if giver is present.

It's not a free for all but 20 times quicker than PILs.
It's taken 5 years of training to get DH used to it though.

BiddyPop Mon 02-Dec-19 09:48:22

From when we were small, it was individual present opening in our house. 6DCs so it took a long time. But it was what you did.

We still do that in our house. Instead of DM handing out the presents, as when we were small, I have allowed DD do that job since she was about 7 and could read the tags well.

Make sure either a new toy from Santa that is being enjoyed is in the room with you for DS to play with or that he gets to open something that he can play with early on - don’t make him “sit still and watch while we all do our thing” - he’s in the room, opens his when it is his turn, but can play (relatively quietly - not running around the room style) with new things while others enjoy their gifts.

TheElfFellOffTheShelf Mon 02-Dec-19 10:02:20

It's just the 4 of us on Xmas morning and dh & I only get 1 thing for each other so it's really only our dc who have things to open. They don't get very many presents either, so they just tend to open them at the same time without it feeling like a free for all. We don't receive gifts from, or buy them for, wider family members so we don't have to remember who got what either.

The handing out one gift at a time thing sounds very long-winded and formal and to be honest I'd hate it! I don't like being watched at the best of times and would feel under so much pressure to act happy, grateful and surprised for each gift that it would take all the joy and excitement out of the whole thing.

Growing up we used to come downstairs on Xmas morning to our presents all sorted out into separate piles and would just open them in one big, excited, noisy rabble but then it was all over and done with after 10 minutes. After that, everything calmed down and the rest of the day would be as quiet as it could be with 20+ people all coming round for dinner.

Climbingmama Mon 02-Dec-19 11:30:43

Thanks for the responses! Some good ideas here. Maybe everyone each doing one together is a good solution.

marymungoandminge Mon 02-Dec-19 12:38:05

My cousinds were always allowed to do the "free for all" approach.

This resulted in they (and of course their parents) having no idea who had bought what.....not that that really mattered much as they never said thank you for anything anyway.

Vouchers and fivers would end up discarded with the wrapping paper and "what did X get you for Christmas" would be met with a shrug.

Climbingmama Mon 02-Dec-19 13:07:56

Ugh that’s exactly what I want to avoid!

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