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How do you unwrap gifts? (Santa/Christmas/other winter holiday content)


How do you unwrap gifts on Christmas morning?  

  1. 1. How do you unwrap gifts on Christmas morning?

    • Taking turns, in a slow elaborate process that takes hours
      23
    • Taking turns, but briskly
      42
    • Simultaneously, but with some ritual involved
      7
    • All at once, dig in, kids! It's over in a second!
      5
    • Wrapped gifts? We don't wrap gifts.
      0
    • The required other. I'm betting on a lot of "other"s.
      1


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We have a very elaborate Christmas unwrapping tradition. After the stockings are opened (lots of little stuff to play with during the rest of the unwrapping), then opening the real gifts begins.

 

First the gifts are distributed into piles next to each recipient--this allows us to balance the turn taking. Then we take turns: one person holds up a gift and announces who it is from (mom takes notes for thank you's later), then everyone in turn guesses what it might be (a tradition that goes back to an elderly aunt on my dh's side who has down syndrome and loves guessing games... we guess silly/creative things, not real guesses), then the gift is unwrapped by the recipient, who must spend an appropriate amount of time exclaiming about how wonderful/perfect/special the gift is.

 

Then the next person picks one gift, announces who it is from, we all guess in turn... you get the idea.

 

If we wake up at 7am, we are usually done with gift opening by about 11am. Of course, we do eat cinnamon rolls and have hot cocoa and all that sort of thing during gift opening time.

 

I knew we were elaborate, but both dh and I were raised in taking turns and admiring gifts households--then I discover that some people just all dig in together! I'm mostly thinking about Christmas, but really this could apply to any sort of gift giving holiday, so feel free to join in if it applies to you.

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At home and with my family, we take turns because I insist on it. I grew up doing that and I dislike any other way. We hold up the gift, say who it is from, unwrap, and don't spend too much time on it. I feel it shows respect and is more pleasant. At DH's family, it is a crazy free for all and I despise it! I have no idea who gave my kids what, the kids don't know because they either can't read or didn't bother, and then I don't even know if the recipients of the gifts we brought found their gift. It isn't unheard of for some child to unwrap a gift that isn't his or hers and then you have the awkward taking away and finding the real owner experience or you never really know how it turns out unless you can keep track in the chaos. My MIL will sometimes randomly bring all the presents in when me and Dh are out of the room and then we miss the whole thing and ugh!! Hate it!!! DH is ok with doing things my way at home but he doesn't see the problem with his family's way of doing things and thinks I'm a little uptight. My MIL has a song she sings about me, "Every party has its pooper and that's why we invited you!" :thumbdown:

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At my brother's house with my family, it is a free for all but the kids only have about 2 maybe 3 gifts each for 5 kids. The adults don't do presents. On Christmas morning our house, we do a little bit of both. Mostly, the kids open theirs and then dh and I open ours. Then, we do stockings. We have tried to do the one at a time thing and to me, it is just too drawn out and sucks some of the joy out of it. For me, the frantic pace of it all is part of the excitement. We never eat before presents either on Christmas morning. It is not unheard of to have stocking treats for breakfast.

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We used to open all at once, but last year we started opening the family gifts in turns so that we can enjoy the gift opening longer and enjoy seeing everyone open their gifts.

 

Stockings and Santa gifts get opened before breakfast as people trickle downstairs in the morning. We don't take turns for those.

 

Cat

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We take turns. If the gift is in a box, it is removed from the box and examined and exclaimed over. If it is a toy, it must be played with until the recipient is ready to open another gift.

 

One year it took us two days to open gifts. It would have taken longer if DH had not insisted that the boys sit down and open them. The first gifts the boys saw that year were little tikes cars large enough for them to ride. They had no interest in any other gift that year!

 

Paige, DH's family does gifts the same way your in-laws do. I hate it. I want my children to appreciate their gifts and show their appreciation. The free-for-all and is that all the gifts there are method just seems wrong.

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Mostly, the kids open theirs and then dh and I open ours. Then, we do stockings. We have tried to do the one at a time thing and to me, it is just too drawn out and sucks some of the joy out of it. For me, the frantic pace of it all is part of the excitement. We never eat before presents either on Christmas morning. It is not unheard of to have stocking treats for breakfast.

 

Letting the kids open theirs first is the only way I get pictures! If we all took turns, I'd be putting the camera down, picking it back up, putting it down, losing it in the wrapping paper, etc. Stockings are always last, and there is always Aussie candy in theirs (DH is Aussie, and Santa respects that ;))

 

The one thing I *do* do that sometimes slows down the pace a little bit is to let one of the kids "play Santa." That means that the kid hands out the presents, so he or she decides whether to hand out all the gifts and have us open them all at once or to hand out one at a time. I even let them wear a Santa hat while they do it :)

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We take turns and I like to have the trash dealt with as we unwrap, so you unwrap, we ooo and then the trash goes in the bag and then the next person's turn. Santa gifts are the exception, my littles are told they can't come out of their rooms until 7 AM (which is our usual rule, it took us maybe two 4 or 5 AM wake ups to realize that rule needed to apply to Christmas as well) and are allowed to open their stocking gifts and the pickle gift (whoever finds the pickle that Santa hides on the tree gets the honor of opening that one) before Mom and Dad are up.

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We take turns...but not quite as elaborately as your family. We do try to make the focus on the gift at hand..not the mass unwrapping of my childhood that left a bit of disappointment and shallowness that I didn't want to continue with my kids.

 

However, stockings are first to do with as you please...pull out individually or just dump the thing :)

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First the girls get to see what is in their stockings and then the unwrapped Santa gifts. This can take up to 45 minutes. Then dh plays Santa complete with Santa hat and distributes the gifts to one person at a time. That person announces who the gift is from, unwraps it, and holds it up for everyone to see. Then on to the next person. We might take a break to fill the coffee cups. We eat brunch after all the gifts have been opened.

 

The girls are usually up by 6:00 AM (mom and dad take a nap later), and we don't usually eat until around 10:00 or so.

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I'm probably boring everyone with my stories about Sinterklaas :D, but I really like seeing all the different ways people celebrate Santa, so I'm just adding Sinterklaas to all the fun.

 

Sinterklaas's presents are brought by a Zwarte Piet on the evening of december 5th. The gifts are all in one brown, cloth bag and the bag is put outside our house, in front of the door (our elderly neighbours do this, while dh and I are inside singing Sinterklaas songs with the kids). Zwarte Piet (neighbours) knocks on the door and the kids run out to get the bag and carry it inside.

 

The children take turns getting one present out of the bag and everyone watches while that present is unwrapped. All presents are from Sinterklaas (aka me :lol:), but usually when the kids visit the grandparents in the next few days Sinterklaas has also brought some presents there.

 

Reading about all the Christmas shopping you all do, the amount of people you give gifts to, the note taking and writing thankyou's....makes me really appreciate how simple Sinterklaas is.

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I am loving the Zwarte Piet stories! I had never heard of them until this year.

 

We elect one family member to be "Santa" and that person hands a gift to one person at a time. They unwrap and the rest of us ooh and ahh. There might be some shaking or guessing(usually jokes) before they unwrap.

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We open stockings first, taking turns, then the dc eat the ridiculously expensive and sugary cereal that St. Nick left on the tree for them (in cones that they made as ornaments), then we go on to opening the presents, in reverse age order, taking turns. As there are 9 people in our family, it takes a while, and yes, I take notes into our special Christmas notebook, as well as jotting down anything funny somebody says.

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We usually start around 7...the kids see their Santa presents and go through their stockings first. Then we open presents one at a time. This whole process goes on until my mom and stepdad and my brother and SIL come over with more presents, usually around 8:30 or 9. Then it's more unwrapping, one at a time, for another hour or so.

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our kids usually arise around 6:30ish...but usually in shifts...so they are allowed to go downstairs and open their stocking...which helps keep them happy and occupied until the other kids are awake. Last year bcauase I wanted to make sure that certain gifts got opened at the same time....I put numbers on the tags and the kids took turns playing Santa...so the youngest went to the tree and found the gifts with the #1 on the tag...we all opened them...ohhed and ahhed some and then the next kid fouind the #2 gifts. etc. Worked really well....will probably do that again this year...it helped with one of the presents were sheets and others were big toys...that way the kids all opened the sheets together, the toys together, the clothes together etc. Maybe I work to hard at this kind of thing....but I like to prevent problems...instead of dealing with them later...even at Christmas time.

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Hubby's family used to do the elaborate gift opening ritual at their house. I came from dig in and go crazy group. I used to sit BORED out of mind watching everyone open gifts, ooh and ah,. Because honestly it felt fake. It turned out more to give the two spoiled brat cousins their complete 15 minutes of fame . Amazingly, after making my two kids suffer each year (they were the youngest and got gifts last)once the cousin's had kids, they switched to the dig in and rip it open type.

 

Here at home, we open up stockings, admire all that is in it and then move to gifts. One kid hands out presents (all wrapped in a different paper for each kid) and then we watch them open. Everyone stops to look up and see what each person opened and then goes back to getting their present open. SO it's kind of a free for all but we all make sure we ooh and ah over each gift as they open it.Hubby and I do ours last after all the kids are done and toys are operational. The kids then watch us.

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I love the Sinterklaas stories! When I was growing up we lived in Germany for a while, and we had St. Nicholas day... he'd leave toys and presents in your shoes, tucked in a bundle of sticks. The gifts were for the times you were good, the "switches" for when you had been bad.

 

I also lived in Norway, and my carry over from then has been leaving out a bowl of porridge for the JuleNisse on the kitchen floor on Christmas eve.

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Since being on our own, dh & I have realized that it's *ok* to let the kids play w/ their toys as they unwrap them. When I was a kid, my little bro was pushed to tears having toys taken away just as he'd unwrapped them so he'd hurry up & open the next thing. Doesn't seem to foster much gratitude, imo.

 

Anyway, since we've decided not to rush our dc (in our own house), we sometimes take a week to open presents. It doesn't really matter. (Ok, maybe a week is an exaggeration, but *we* don't suggest opening the next thing; we wait for them to ask.)

 

Stockings are always last, like a bit of lingering magic after it looks like everything is gone. And the tiny gifts inside? Individually wrapped.

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The kids can have at their stockings as soon as they get up. Then adults get up and we make breakfast and then we do a turn-taking routine with the gifts - letting the kids hand out a present so that everyone has one to open. Every year I try to not make it as big as the previous year... Around Dec. 1, I'll say things about how everyone only gets one gift, etc... but somehow, by Dec. 25, I find a gigantic pile of presents. I don't know what happens!

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The kids aren't allowed out into the den until we're all together. So, someone wakes us up, and we all go around like a train picking up the kiddies from their bedrooms, waking them if necessary! :D Santa doesn't wrap, as disclosed in the other poll, lol. So, the kids look at all of that first. This can take awhile. There are boxes to open, and toys to play with, etc. They can also look in their stocking whenever. It's usually filled with candy and small toys, chapstick, etc. Sometimes there will be a card, like an iTunes or Club Penguin membership. Once all of this is done, we unwrap the gifts from under the tree. We usually get the kids 3 gifts each from us. The kids give each other a gift also. So, typically there are 6 gifts to be opened by each of them. I don't number the gifts, but I do know which ones I want them to open first and last, etc. We try to get paper as we go, or at least throw it to the side. I don't want to worry about losing things that get tangled in with the paper.

We enjoy our traditional favorites for breakfast. This is blueberry muffins (while we open) and a breakfast casserole with sausage and hashbrowns (yum) once it comes out of the oven. I do like the crazy, sugary cereal idea though. Dd15 practically begs for Reese's cereal, which I never allow. She saw the cereal idea on here, and has been mentioning that she hopes Santa brings that tradition to our house, lol. So, we may have to put a word in with the jolly guy to see if he'll leave some over here.

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