Opening Frenzy: X-mas Eve or X-mas Day?

My family has always opened gifts on Christmas Eve. (Except Santa’s presents, which were left during the night.) Specifically, it’s: (1) Eat an enormous meal; (2) open all the presents – the present giver-outer wearing the requisite Santa hat; (3) go to Christmas Eve church services. Christmas Day is for sleeping in. Those of you who open gifts on Christmas Day just ain’t right. :wink:

So who’s an Eve’er and who’s a Day’er? Fess up.


Fiat Justitia

Oh come on! Everyone knows that you get to open ONE gift on Christmas Eve, two gifts only if one of them is special Christmas Pajamas that your mother made you to wear to bed on Christmas Eve.

You go to bed, try and try and try to fall asleep, then get up at 5am. At that point you can creep down and get your stocking and open it. But for the other things, you have to wait until everyone is up and THEN you can go down and everyone opens presents together while you eat special Christmas-only candy cane shaped coffee cakes. If you’re an adult, you get coffee with a shot of Irish Cream in it.

That’s how Christmas is supposed to be.

Family presents were that night, and Santa presents the next day.

This year the one present I get will be on Christmas day when my siblings and mother get together.

I seem to recall a couple of childhood Christmases where we opened presents on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day, but those were the exception, not the rule.

Normally we would open just one present on Christmas Eve, then try in vain to get to sleep. When I was in high school, I took to sitting up all night listening to the Christmas program on the local top 40 station. From midnight Christmas Eve to 6:00 AM Christmas morning, then again from 6:00 AM to noon, they would have a program of “modern” Christmas music (this was my introduction to the Kink’s “Father Christmas” and the Christmas song from “Tommy”) and Dr. Demento-type parody songs, plus traditional music and sound clips from different Christmas TV programs and movies.

Christmas morning, we would usually sleep in because we’d end up falling asleep so late we’d be pooped. It might have been all of about 7:00 when we got up, but my sister and I would get up first and look in our Christmas stockings while mom and dad tried desperately to get a few more minutes of sleep. When we’d eaten all the candy and scratched all the lottery tickets in our stockings, then we’d start clamoring for the real presents under the tree and mom and dad would eventually give up and come in.

I don’t think we ever really ate breakfast on Christmas morning. We’d nibble on candy and cookies all morning while mom worked on dinner, which we’d usually eat around 2:00 or 4:00 or whenever it was ready. Christmas night would feel so anticlimactic. The presents were open, the food was eaten, the anticipation was over. It was a real let down. I remember crying one year because I got exactly what I wanted (the Decepticon Starscream) so the thrill of waiting and hoping and anticipating was over. Playing with the damn thing wasn’t as fun as wishing for it. (Plus the Transformers never transformed as easily in real life as they did in the cartoons.) Ah, youth.

“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy

The Kat House
Join the FSH Webring

We open present that come in the mail on the eve, from friends uncles etc. Usually not very good stuff that would get tossed in the corner when the “real” presents are opened. Two years ago we were on vacation, so all presents were left for new year.

We’ll be having supper at my mom’s house on Christmas Eve, and exchanging gifts there. When we get home, we’ll get our stocking stuffers and go to bed. On Christmas morning, we’ll open our presents and then clean up really really quickly so that when Grandma gets here, there’s room under the tree for all of the presents that she bought for EVERYONE. Then when the rest of my huge family gets here for Christmas dinner (which takes place in the afternoon, and should technically be called “lunch”) we’ll eat and then open presents again.

The guys who pick up my recyclables are going to love me.

“Wednesday the 15th - Chris made one of her rare good points today.”