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Zoethe

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Ho ho ho! [Dec. 24th, 2012|10:15 am]
Zoethe
Merry Christmas Eve! When do you open presents?

I grew up with lots of relatives around, so we would get together on Christmas Eve at the great grandparents' to open relative presents, then our own family was Christmas morning. When I was raising my kids far from family, it was Christmas morning. Now in my second marriage they are Christmas Eve people, so when we are with them it's Christmas Eve and if we are at home it's the morning.

When I was a kid we liked to stretch out the present opening, so we would get up, admire the tree, make coffee and breakfast, turn on Christmas music, and then finally start opening presents. We would open them one at a time, taking turns. Halfway through, we might take a break.

This would drive my gramma CRAZY. She was the impatient one, while we kids were happy to drag out the experience, knowing it would all be over far too soon.
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[User Picture]From: jume
2012-12-24 06:55 pm (UTC)
Christmas starts Dec 24 around 5pm with dinner at my aunt and uncle's. There's a couple of presents, but it's mostly an inter-family thing.

Then, Christmas morning is when my parents' Christmas is. drink coffee, open presents, then my sister's kids will start running up the road to open their presents from grammy and jim-pa.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-12-25 04:11 am (UTC)
It's great that you have lots of family around.
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[User Picture]From: kathrynrose
2012-12-24 07:21 pm (UTC)
I'm not really celebrating this year, but when I was a kid, my mom always played the organ at the midnight service, and I stayed home watching my sister and helping Santa Clause. I'd always make cocoa or cider and have it ready for when mom came home, and I'd wait for her with all the lights off in the house except for the tree. I liked to take my glasses off so the lights were fuzzy. :)

We did presents Christmas morning, one at a time.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-12-25 04:12 am (UTC)
I remember those babysitting evenings with all the lights out, listening to Christmas music and looking at the tree. Fond memories.
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[User Picture]From: parachles
2012-12-24 07:28 pm (UTC)
Bill and I will, typically, open our gifts to each other before we go to sleep. We are more night owls so our present opening happens very early Christmas morning.

My parents insist on having their respective gatherings on Christmas day. My Mom's is around noon... there is a small gift exchange, but mostly it's a shared meal and fun for my niece and nephew. My Dad's gathering is usually just a brief gift exchange.

We like to end the evening with our good friends who host a lovely, kitchy, family and friend-oriented Christmas dinner and gift exchange for the benefit of their 4 young children.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-12-25 04:14 am (UTC)
Your Christmas sounds busy and lovely.
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[User Picture]From: dragonsflame71
2012-12-24 07:44 pm (UTC)
We start Christmas Eve at my mom's house. We exchange gifts & stuff ourselves silly. Then Christmas morning is breakfast at my gramma's present opening, lunch, nap, card games, more food, & sleep.
Because my sister in law works holidays as a emergency vet tech, we spent last saturday with the in laws.
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[User Picture]From: dragonsflame71
2012-12-24 07:46 pm (UTC)
I should add that the in laws like to open one at a time, taking turns. My grammas house is a free for all LOL
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[User Picture]From: perseph12
2012-12-24 07:45 pm (UTC)
Happy Holidays, m'dear :). Give my love to the hubby, but do save plenty for yourself.

I also grew up with a Christmas Eve tradition involving grandparents: we had orgy of presents bestowed upon us during a get-together, along with way too much rich food. (I regret nothing!) It was usually the only time I saw many of my relatives...who lived one town over ;)! My parents insisted we take our time with Santa's offerings on Christmas Day, and as we grew older, we took more time to get to the unwrapping.

This year will be all over the place, an experiment of sorts. Let's see how it goes...:)

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-12-25 04:18 am (UTC)
Happy Christmas to you, and lots of love. Your holiday trads sound like great fun.
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[User Picture]From: brujah
2012-12-24 08:05 pm (UTC)
We always, throughout my life, opened the presents under the tree on Christmas Eve. Santa would, of course, bring a few things while the little ones were snug in their beds and he'd fill the stockings.

I don't know what started the tradition, just that my parents, grandparents, etc did so. I suppose it might've been a way to keep the children busy and out from under foot while cooking all day Christmas Day.

Now, I follow the traditions my husbeast's family follows of Christmas Day. But I always allow my offspring to open one or two on Christmas Eve. Old habits die hard.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-12-25 04:21 am (UTC)
We got to open our pretty new jammies the night before. Love!
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[User Picture]From: weirman
2012-12-24 08:07 pm (UTC)
I've done it both ways. Nowadays though, my wife and I open one present on Christmas Eve and the rest of them on Christmas day. We like to stretch it out. We've even started opening a special present on the Solstice/ Yule, just because.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-12-25 04:22 am (UTC)
Stretching it out is fun!
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[User Picture]From: cinema_babe
2012-12-24 08:41 pm (UTC)
Before the kids came we used to open one present on Christmas Eve and the rest after Christmas dinner the next day. Now we open everything on Christmas Day
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-12-25 04:23 am (UTC)
Morning, or after dinner?
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[User Picture]From: throbinson
2012-12-24 08:59 pm (UTC)
Our family has never been Christmas Eve people... we've always opened on Christmas morning. This year is sort of Christmas Lite... we are again empty nesters since my stepdaughter moved out in October. My husband's father died this year, so he is very far out of the celebratory mode, especially after today's visit to his mother in the assisted living home. My family is tense and tentative. The cousin who usually has the big Christmas Eve do, backed out of it a few days ago, so for the first time since I can remember, there is no family gathering on Christmas Eve.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-12-25 04:24 am (UTC)
I'm sorry that it's a tough year. Hugs.
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[User Picture]From: fallconsmate
2012-12-24 09:46 pm (UTC)
we have gift-mas as it comes. Solstice is my religious observance, and we open presents at mama's whenever we have the holiday meal. this year it was on saturday.

TheEngineer and i had already exchanged our major presents...he got a new recliner and he got me a beautiful ring. i had some minor surpises for him and the beastlyboy, plus things for my parents.

since they had their second robbery last month (and had to replace things AGAIN plus replace their [glass] front door plus get a security system) they didnt have as much money available for presenting, and that was fine. dinner was good, and we had a decent time.
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From: anonymousalex
2012-12-24 10:35 pm (UTC)
I love the term "gift-mas." Also, now I know what I've been celebrating all these years.

-Alex
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[User Picture]From: blessed_oak
2012-12-25 05:00 am (UTC)
When I was young, we always went to my Slovak grandparents' house Christmas Eve for the Slovak dinner (bread balls you dip in honey, a soup made of dried mushrooms sauerkraut and onions, and a bean soup), and presents there. Christmas Day was our own presents at home and then at my Mom's family gathering (my Italian side).

So now we continue the Slovak Christmas Eve at my mom and dad's, and usually just have Christmas at home with our presents in the morning. This year's a bit different, since my oldest daughter just got back from out of the country. She's spending up to Christmas morning at her boyfriend's family, then the two of them are driving up here Christmas day. So we are having Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on Christmas evening. Just this once. ;)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-12-25 06:08 am (UTC)
How lovely to have her home! And what great traditions.
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[User Picture]From: jumpinfool
2012-12-25 06:57 am (UTC)
We go with The One True Way(tm)--Christmas day, after Santa has had a chance to visit. But the full ritual was always in 3 acts:

1) Christmas Eve - 5:00 Mass, followed by dinner at Grandma & Grandpa's house. Feasting, but no presents.

2) Christmas Morning--breakfast at our house, with G&G and usually at least one family-less friend. Dress code was strictly jammies/nighties & housecoats. My brother & I were allowed to open our stockings before breakfast, but the main "gift-mas" was after breakfast, in the long-ish, drawn-out form (not exactly one at a time, but close).

3) Christmas afternoon & Dinner - the whole extended family on my Dad's side, rotating among the 3 houses in the Chicago area. More gifts exchanged.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-12-25 03:23 pm (UTC)
That's quite a set of rituals! Sounds like great fun!
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[User Picture]From: clodia_risa
2012-12-25 09:28 pm (UTC)
As a kid, it was always Christmas morning. When I got a little older, it was one present on Eve, the rest in the morning. This is the first year I've opened all of them on Eve. My husband and I will have that tradition henceforth. He sleeps in much later than I do, and I don't want to have to wait on him. Plus, this year he got me all of Revolutionary Girl Utena, so last night was a good time to sit and watch a few episodes.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-12-29 02:50 am (UTC)
That's a valid reason to open on the Eve. I kind of liked it this year, since it made our morning very lazy and relaxed.
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[User Picture]From: hippie_mamabear
2012-12-30 10:47 pm (UTC)
My mom's parents are divorced, so since i was a tiny kid, the tradition was Christmas Eve with Grandma M. and all the aunts, uncles, and cousins, then Christmas Day with Grandpa D. and his wife, their kids, and all the aunts, uncles, and cousins again. More gifts were opened on Christmas Eve because my aunts couldn't wait, and Grandma M. spoiled us.

My kids have never been into Santa, so we do the same thing with them (Christmas Eve, then Christmas) with my family, and then at some later date (mid January, usually) we have a "Christmas" with my husband's parents.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-12-30 11:17 pm (UTC)
I love a good, spread out Christmas. We will be doing presents into next week.
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