Gift opening traditions

Finally, back to the Christmas related questions! Answering questions about holiday traditions is the reason why I wanted to do these prompts in the first place, so I’m glad to be back to it. Today’s prompt is about gift opening traditions!

If you celebrate Christmas, what is your gift-opening tradition? If you don’t celebrate Christmas, do you have a favorite way to open gifts on other holidays or your birthday?

As an adult, I haven’t had a set way of opening gifts, mainly because I’ve spent my Christmases doing so many different things. Usually, my significant other at the time and I would exchange our gifts the evening before we were to depart for one of our family’s houses, but there wasn’t much fanfare or tradition.

Growing up, however, we opened gifts the same way year after year. When I was a kid, I’d barely sleep through the night on Christmas, waking up at 6am to open presents from my family. We’d open our stockings first, my brother, sister, and I, and then my parents would open theirs. My mom and dad would label their gifts from funny recipients – a bag of M&Ms, for example, might be from our family dentist.

Star ornament

After stockings, we moved to gifts under the tree! Only the three of us would open gifts – my parents would exchange gifts to each other late at night on Christmas Eve and only open stockings on Christmas Day. We’d take turns and thank ‘Santa’ for all the gifts we received. We were grateful.

Gift opening didn’t stop there, however. At around 10am, we’d drive over to my grandmother’s house to spend Christmas morning with my mom’s side of the family. All of us kids would open stocking presents from my grandmother, then we’d hang around in my grandmother’s dining room to play with our toys as the adults opened their gifts. As soon as they were done, we’d come back to the living room to open presents under the tree from my grandmother and my aunts and uncles, with one of them playing Santa and passing gifts for us to open. Christmas morning at my grandmother’s house was loud and chaotic, just how I like my holidays to be.

When my grandmother passed away, the gift opening traditions changed a bit. Instead of going to my grandmother’s house in the morning to open gifts, everyone would come to my parents’ house for Christmas dinner and gift opening. I missed going to my grandmother’s, but I still liked seeing my family.

4 thoughts on “Gift opening traditions”

  1. Loud and choatic, that’s how I remember my mom’s mom’s house on holidays as well. :)

    1. My family is pretty loud, so that’s how I always remember holidays!

  2. teresa

    that’s actually a good idea for the adults to open at a different time than the kids. were your stocking gifts wrapped or just as is in the stocking?

    1. Most of them were wrapped, but there’d sometimes be one or two that weren’t, mostly chocolates and candies of some sort. It was nice that my parents got their own time to open gifts together without the kids!

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