We usually do gifts on Christmas Day, but this year we’re doing everything Christmas Eve. My husband will be leaving for work at 11 pm Christmas Eve to work 16 hours straight and there’s no way we’d make the kids wait until 5 or 6 Christmas night.
With my Birthday being today, all of the cheap relative who would send me a combination Birthday/Xmas present, those would be opened on the 24th.
Making my brothers and sisters jealous was great, but never offset the cheapness of some relatives.
@Oldelvis happy birthday. Mine was yesterday. But when I was a kid, I managed to get a few extra gifts because relatives who didn’t give gifts to anyone else in my family would bring me something since they were seeing me near my birthday.
Since both my and my wife’s parents are divorced, Christmas eve has historically been on one of multiple “Christmas celebrations”’ that we spend with different parts of the family. Therefore, out of necessity there is some opening of gifts on Christmas eve.
However, I answered “one gift” in the poll, since that was the tradition in my house as a kid, and what we did when my children were younger.
We go to see other family and get gifts, mostly gift cards because at this point it’s stupid to expect real gifts. (Maybe next year we won’t have to go.) No point in getting a gift card if you have to buy one to give as well, here’s $50 for Amazon, oh and you got me $50 for Amazon.
My family only opened presents on Christmas Eve. We didn’t have much money when I was growing up, so it wasn’t like some huge extravaganza, and it simply makes more sense to do it the night before unless you’re keeping up the Santa thing.
I literally can’t remember a time when I thought Santa was real, and my parents liked sleeping in, so we all had a nice Christmas Eve meal before relaxing and opening presents. Always one at a time, no frenzy. The most intense it got was when we gave our dog her wrapped treats and she went to town. Then my brother and I would stay up to play with our gifts, and we all slept in the next morning.
I got a taste of the “traditional” Christmas morning with multiple small children (cousins in-law) when I was married, and you can keep it.
None of the above? My friends and I do our gift exchange on my birthday, the 23rd. The dogs get their gifts on Christmas morning, but mine are already unwrapped and back under the tree for the time being, along with a handful of gifts for people who RSVPd to last night’s party and then canceled at the last minute. The rule is that they have till New Year’s eve to connect with me and get their gifts, because when I take down the tree on the 1st, leftover gifts get boxed up and sent to the garage for next year.
My grandmother (in her 70s then) usually gave the six grandkids money in those money envelopes with the oval cutout for the president’s picture.
Like this one:
She would caution us not to reveal to the others that had not opened their envelopes the denomination or amount of the bills inside, although we all got the same amounts most times. A “thick” envelope meant it was a very good Christmas for us.
Well that one year, she gives out the envelopes and my cousin and I being the eldest, went first. She leans over to us and whispers “Shh. Don’t tell the others what you got.”
We opened them together and on the outside she wrote
'Twas a thin Christmas this year.
We looked at each other, and knowing my grandmother’s dry wit, thought “She’s sandbagging us.” Could it be that instead of a fat wad of Washingtons or Lincolns, it would be Franklin’s visage awaiting us, along with the sugar plums dancing in our heads?
Keeping a poker face was the hardest thing to do at Grandma’s Christmas gift opening ceremonies. We couldn’t let the others know, since we (the oldest) went first, and we didn’t want to hurt the younger kids feelings if we got more just for being older.
The envelopes were thin. Only one or two bills inside, surely. Feast or famine. Would she really slip us, as a joke, a lonely Washington or Lincoln on … Christmas?
Nah! We tore into them simultaneously, hoping to see Franklin.
My cousin looks at me and sighs, “Yup. It sure was a thin Christmas”, and then I opened mine. He winked. I winked back. We both showed the disappointment in our faces.
When the others opened theirs, the howls of laughter were unstoppable.
She had taped a wallet picture in the envelope so that when you opened it, instead of a dead president, we saw her lovely face smiling back at us.
A “thin” Christmas, indeed!
And that picture is how I remember my grandmother, and it means more than all the money she gave us over the years.