Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Gifts


We have a firm rule in our household. The Children are allowed to open their stocking presents when they wake up on Christmas Day, just as long as they don't disturb us! They generally end up doing so in the early hours and then going back to sleep.... And then I wake up early, and lie there wondering if it's too early yet to get everyone up!


The rest of the gifts are under the tree, and we don't open those till after breakfast. For the last couple of years The Mother has spent Christmas Day with us, so we need to wait for her to arrive, too. Luckily The Children are very good and patient about this.


After breakfast, we all gather in the dining room, and The Girl sorts out the presents and piles them up at each person's feet. (She doesn't allow anyone to help with this!) We then take it in turns to open a present each, so that we can all see what everyone else gets, and so the unwrapping frenzy doesn't get too out of control.... It also gives me the chance to write down who gave what ready for the thank you letters. Of course, The Children have more gifts to open than we do, so we let them have more turns to make up for that!


We also have a tradition, begun by The Mother, that each of us receives a present directly from 'Father Christmas'. It's often a game of some sort for The Children, and a slightly silly present for the adults! The Doctor's parents have another tradition - they keep back one extra gift to be opened later in the day, partly to sustain the magic that little bit longer, and partly (because this gift is usually a book) to provide a quiet activity to calm over-excited children. These are the 'Tree Presents' - which often means that a gift can be labelled, for example, 'To: Mel, From: Tree' which I must confess affords me some quiet amusement each year!

Some of these traditions and rules have evolved gradually over time. Some I hope to preserve, and others work for us as a family where we are now, with The Children at their current ages, and once they reach their teens and would rather stay in bed than get up even for presents, we'll have to think again! But this is a snapshot of us and how we do things, right here, right now.

16 comments:

K said...

When my big bro & I were teens we'd still get up before anyone, and we still do :)
some lovely traditions there.

Maria Ontiveros said...

Love the tree present. And the game present. We do immediate family presents right away then the rest when all the family arrives. Santa brings 1 big unwrapped gift, too.
Rinda

Rhona said...

I love hearing all the different traditions people have. I did, however, have to laugh at the bit about once they're teenagers and want to stay in bed longer!! Emily wakes any time from 2am and is allowed to go and wake her elder brother and sister at 4.30am-ish. They certainly haven't ever slept in later than 5.30. I go and pick my Mum up at 6am so that she can come round to see everyone open presents (as soon as she gets here). I don't think this year will be any different ;o) xx

Melissa said...

Enjoyed reading about your gift traditions. Love the idea of a book gift later in the day.

Linda said...

I love learning about your Christmas traditions. I'm going to have to sit sometime and write down some of the things we do.

I love the tree gift idea of a book. Our day is so harried with going to My Mann's side of the family for Christmas breakfast then my side for Christmas dinner. I think a tree gift of a book found in the tree when we come home later that evening would be a nice treat.

Thanks for sharing and for the ideas. xx

Cheri said...

Our traditions are much the same, minus The Mother, but I think the "tree" gift is a swell idea!

Beverly said...

Must admit you are the first family I have ever heard of that receives gifts from the tree :) but love the idea of a later quietr gift such as a book or music or game. The boys are now 18 and 22 and they don't sleep in...first one up wakes the other but at least it's 6:30, 7ish.

Kirsty.a said...

I also like the tree book idea, but mine always get lots of books from Santa anyway - he is very conscientious like that!

scrappyjacky said...

We had similar traditions when our kids were younger....though we had[actually still have!!] our 'tree' presents on Boxing Day....the kids also always had a joint board game present from the dogs!!

Mary B said...

That sounds perfect, the day will always hold more that way.
the present from Tree sounds great made me giggle

JO SOWERBY said...

normally it is my sister who hands out the presents in a similar fashion but as she is in dubai this year will be different. i can imagine the girl being very careful of her role. i love the idea of holding back some oresents too as i have always done that myself,
Jo xxx

Latharia said...

Love that you're documenting things in such detail. Much of what you describe is what we do as well -- stockings can be emptied & enjoyed without anyone else present, but all other gifts must wait ... and people must take turns ... and items are written down for future thank you notes!

Karen said...

I, too, love reading about your traditions. It made me think how things have changed as our kids have grown up and become adults. I think you've prompted a needed JYC layout.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I love the tree idea! We let the demons open their stockings when they get up since it's 6am and I am still the Grinch at that hour.

Sian said...

I love the idea of getting a present from the tree. I really enjoyed reading about your traditions!

Totally unrealated - did you watch Mary Beard last night?

Rachel B said...

We have very similar traditions here with the presents. We start after breakfast too and I write down what everyone has for thank you notes.

I really like the tree gift idea, its so cute to have something labelled from the tree! :)