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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
SO many ways to oraganize and handle opening presents

How do you do it?

Growing up my mom had an order that you opened presents ( sort of like a go around the circle thing) You sat in present opening order and only moved from your spot if it was your turn to pick out a present at the tree. When it was announced it was your turn you picked one from under the tree and carefully opened it saving the wrapping and the decoration on the package. Then you thanked the giver ( a discussion on why the giver picked that present to give you might happen if needed) then you passed my mom your saved paper for her to set aside for next year then next persons was announced and the process started over. BUT half way through opening presents breakfast was announced and everyone would go to the table where my father would make omelets one at a time specific to the request of the one who was going to eat it. Then after everyone had finished their omelet we would finish opening the presents.

The Christmas we were at my SIL's the presents were all passed out to who they were given. Then my SIL announced we had 10 mins to open the presents and pick them up off the floor. Everything left on the floor after 10 mins was going to be thrown away. Everyone ripped into their packages at one time.
Hubby says they did something similar when he was growing up but that he liked to see what everyone else received so he often waited until the frenzy settled down to open his presents and there was no time limit and his mom only threw away trash.

Now at our house Hubby and I have sort of fallen into a mix. We open presents one at a time but no particular order. When someone wants someone to open their present from them they pass it to them or if someone wants to open a present they jump up to pick one out but one person at a time, discussions about the presents and thank yous are exchanged sometimes with hugs. Paper is torn and not saved except the gift bags my mom now wraps in. Those are saved and passed to my mom to reuse next year.

As for Breakfast that is omelets or crepes now cooked by Hubby not per request but always delish and they are served after presents are opened. ( adults sometime have coffee and small breakfast snacks are available during opening presents if needed for adults and children alike).
 

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Growing up, presents were opened up one at a time with the youngest passing out the presents.

For the past 32 years of holidays with the inlaws - everyone opens presents willynilly. I am happy to sit where I can see everything and watch as the presents are being opened - then I'll open my presents - thus enjoying the whole process.
 
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We have always had a strict one-at-a-time rule in our house, but the order can be random. Someone, usually a kid old enough to read the tags, plays "Santa" and passes out the gifts. Everyone watches the present being opened before the next recipient opens her/his package.

editing to add a variation: My DH's family has someone pass out all of the presents from under the tree while everyone adds to their piles, but doesn't open yet. Then, when all presents are handed out, recipients take turns (in order around the room) opening one gift at a time. Different from my experience, but nice, too.

I have been places where it's a paper ripping frenzy everyone-all-at-once sort of thing, and I really don't like that. To me, it makes the focus too much on what is received, instead of on what is given, because no one has a chance to see and enjoy others open packages. No thanks!\

Kara
 

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As a kid we all took turns going youngest to oldest. I have a small family.

Dh's family has a crazy free for all. Everyone at once. I will have 21 people openng presents at once in my living room!

Dh a, the kids and I open all at once.
 

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Our boys open 1 gift at a time we hand them all there gifts and they take turns opening them. When we were growing up we opened 1 at a time. At my grandmothers we handed out the gifts and everyone opened 1 at a time. At my moms (grandmother passed 10 years ago) we hand out all the gifts we let kids open 1st then we let our parents open and then dh and I and my brother and his wife open. TC
 

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We do them one at a time so everyone can ooh and ahh at them. :D
 
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growing up -
at home with just me and my parents we took turns opening gifts. we liked to distribute the gifts so everyone had theirs and we'd take turns. my mom worked in a school so she always got lots of gifts from staff and students so she did most of the opening. invariably my parents would tell me to save one gift till last and that was my 'big' gift.

my mom also did a scavenger type hunt for me christmas morning too. funny thing is we didn't start until i was older. i wanted christmas to last longer so she devised this hunt.

with my extended family it was chaos. pure chaos. gifts were distributed and everyone opens at the same time. i hate that. i love watching what everyone got and seeing how happy everybody is. it's still like that with them, but there's less actual gifts (because we are all older) and more just cards.

now-
so far with me and dh and our son it's all about him. we still take turns, but the majority of gifts are for him. i like to get him to play santa and check under the tree and give the gifts to the right person.
 

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each of the kids has a section under the tree where they know to go to that AM santas gifts are not wrapped - other guifts are in big felt santa like bag one for each child .

the kids just open as they go along . they thank whomever it came from ( parent sibling etc ) when they are done dh and i open ore gifts .

we do a family pollyanna with dhs family so when you get to the party you seek out your swap person and give them their gift
 
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Discussion Starter #9
each of the kids has a section under the tree where they know to go to that AM santas gifts are not wrapped - other guifts are in big felt santa like bag one for each child .

the kids just open as they go along . they thank whomever it came from ( parent sibling etc ) when they are done dh and i open ore gifts .

we do a family pollyanna with dhs family so when you get to the party you seek out your swap person and give them their gift
Oh Santa Sacks! Hubby's grandmother use to make each child ( adult child too) a Santa Sack filled with presents from her and grandpa. I miss her.
 

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Imagine, we had something like yours growing up, the difference was everyone had to be dressed and had to have eaten breakfast (the only time of year mom actually cooked breakfast) before present opening could begin. Mom didn't save paper, but boxes and bows.

DH's family had a casual dinner of sandwiches and cookies and opened presents Christmas Eve as fast as they could be handed out.

I still prefer to open them in the morning after breakfast. It kills DH to wait, so we open one each in the evening, and the rest in the morning over tea and cinnamon rolls. We take turns.

I don't like the big paper tearing frenzy, either. It just seems too "grabby", with no thoughts of sharing the moment or enjoying seeing the others as they receive what you gave them.
 
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Growing up my dad played Santa. He would give each person a gift to open. We would open them, show them to the others and thank the giver. Then the process would repeat.
In my DH's family, they open one gift at a time. He said that growing up it took all day to open gifts.
In our home, we tend to open gifts like we did in my family.
 
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We used to do just our family first thing in the morning. The boys would open their gifts squealing with glee. Lots of hugs and how did you know I wanted this? A quick paper clean up then quickly shower because guests would begin to arrive for an early breakfast buffet. As each guest arrived we'd pass out their gifts for them to open. It was always orderly, with lots of thank you's and picture taking. Then we all would eat and as the day progressed, more and more company would arrive, open their gifts and eat from a continuing buffet that changed from breakfast, to brunch to finally a supper menu. It was refilled all day long. It was quite nice and very festive. Many people used to pass through our door on Christmas day.

Now it's much more subdued. Christmas morning will pass without fanfare. No gift opening. The Christmas guest list has been greatly reduced. Guests will begin to arrive after noon, there will be a table set up with sandwiches, chips, pickles etc. The men will sit and talk, the women will work in the kitchen. Supper will be a sit down at 4pm. After supper there will be gift opening. The gifts will be passed out as before and everyone will open them, unhurried, thanking the giver. Following gift opening a dessert buffet table with coffee and hot tea will be set up. We are taking the focus off of gifts this year and focusing on fellowship with family and friends.
 
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Growing up my family opened one at a time starting with the oldest so that kids learned to be patient and look at what other people got. I loved it when there were lots of us around to open gifts!Dh's family just opened everything all at once. At our home now, one of the kids will pass out all of the gifts and then it's a free-for-all with them and dh and I open ours slower...I usually wait til the end to make sure I don't miss seeing someone open their stuff. Dh has to tell me to open something. At my parents' house (which is where we go later in the day) we pass everything out and start with the youngest and go one by one. I actually like that better since it's like what I did as a child.
 

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My sister usually hands out the gifts, and then we open them however we want. I understand the aspect of wanting to see what everyone else got, or gave, but rules and normalcy should go out the window during present opening time. I usually wait a bit before opening my own, and then I throw all of the wrapping items at my sister.

Oh, and I THRASH through the paper. I'm frugal all year long, this is one time I don't care.
 

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We open one at a time with my parent's family and at our house. I prefer it that way- love seeing what everyone is getting and seeing everyone's reactions. It takes a while, but the kids learn patience and it works fine. No particular order (thank GOD, because we don't always do the same quantity per person). Usually someone passes out the presents one at a time as we open. I like it - it is relaxed. We usually open all and then eat breakfast (quiche or casserole that cooks while we open)- sometimes we'll pause to eat or I'll get out some snacky stuff- fruit or something. On Christmas eve it is usually just our family and my inlaws. Last year, however, my sister in law and her husband and child were there. All of the order was thrown out the window. It was make piles and tear into it. I almost had a panic attack because it felt so "wrong" to me. They were happy with everything and polite and everything, but we didn't get to cherish each item or take the time to even see what everyone got. Very strange. If we end up all together again I may have to make husband say something to slow things down a little. Oh- we don't save any paper or bows, but will save gift bags.
 

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When we open gifts varies between Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or the day after (also a holiday here).

Anyhow this year there will be nine of us (us, our kids and 2 of the kids' so's).

We usually have nice things to eat and drinks standing by so that anyone can take what they like (not Christmas Dinner but snacks - this also varies depending on the time of day and the day itself).

I usually pick the first gift and give it to the recipient. They open it and thank the person who gave it to them. The recipient of the first gift then picks out a gift for someone else and so on.
We make sure that there is attention and thanks for the people buying the gifts.

This has been our tradition for years now and the kids absolutely LOVE it.

So's who come into the family are told by the kids beforehand that this is our tradition and that they have to love it too or in any case deal with it. It is usually never a problem.

It is a HUGE amount of fun and the great thing is that the kids spend no more than around $12 on each person but do their utmost to get nice gifts. It is definitely more about the being together.

It actually makes me smile just thinking about it.
 
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We have the kid(s) pass out all the presents to everyone. Then you sit at your pile of presents. Then they are opened one at a time, youngest opening first, oldest opening last. Then repeat from youngest to oldest. So the focus is on the one person who is opening a present at any given time.

By the way, it was never acceptable to open any presents before Christmas morning!
 
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