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Kitchen Sink

Settling Christmas

December 22nd, 2008

Please help me out here. Someone in my family thinks that his tradition is overwhelmingly practiced across America, and someone else in my family thinks that her tradition is more common and awesome.


So: do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?


I will reveal the less awesome Christmas tradition practicer upon answer tabulation.


« « Pieces of Advice(s)    |    Next Week For Sure » »

On December 22nd, 2008, Amy said:

One present is opened on Christmas Eve, the rest on Christmas Day. Wets the appetite.

On December 22nd, 2008, robyn said:

In my family we usually open one present on Christmas Eve, and the rest on Christmas day.

On December 22nd, 2008, matteroffactmommy said:


one present on xmas eve, the rest on xmas morning.

On December 22nd, 2008, Elisabeth said:

Well, growing up it was always open all extended family gifts on Christmas Eve at Grandma’s house, then Santa/Mom/Dad on Christmas Morning.

My family now travels to great grandma’s for Christmas and ALL presents are opened on Christmas Eve. Santa visits during the night and delivers the special toys and fills everyone’s stocking.

On December 22nd, 2008, Diane said:

I’m going with the one on Xmas Eve and the rest of Xmas day group.

On December 22nd, 2008, Jenni said:

Growing up we opened NOTHING before Christmas morning; even things from family or friends when we went places.

When my husband and I were dating, it depended on when we had his son. If we had him Christmas Eve overnight to Christmas Morning, everyone opened Christmas Eve so he could be there; the other years we opened them Christmas morning once he arrived.

Now that he is an adult we typically open them Christmas Eve so that he can be there and not feel any pressure for having to see us Christmas day.

Either way, we ALWAYS wait for him. The last few years he makes his way around about 10-11pm Christmas eve, wakes everyone up, and makes us open all our presents. (said sarcastically: he really has too much power).

But, it’s still kind of fun opening them the night before because we all get to sleep in a bit in the morning and take it easy.

On December 22nd, 2008, Kizz said:

When we celebrated with my dad’s family it was one on Christmas Eve to offset the fact that the 24th was my grandfather’s birthday so he got to open all the presents then the rest on Christmas Day. When we were with my mom’s family, a family deeply rooted in depression era customs, we opened all of them on Christmas Day, one at a time, waiting until everyone’s full attention was focused on the present currently being opened.

On December 22nd, 2008, Lori said:

We used to do one on Christmas Eve and the rest of Christmas day when we got together w/ our extended extended family. Now that we don’t, they’re all on Christmas day.

On December 22nd, 2008, Last Place Finisher said:

One present on Xmas eve. Stockings are shared before brunch on Xmas morning. Presents come after brunch. AND one small gift (token gift) every night of Hannukah.

On December 22nd, 2008, Cocktail Maven said:

Christmas Day. Usually REALLY EARLY in the morning. I try to make the stockings interesting and entertaining, to buy some additional sleep-in time. (The kids have the okay to open their stockings without us). Sometimes, a small gift on Christmas Eve. This year will be a weird one, though. The kids won’t arrive until the evening of the 26th, so our Christmas day will be a bit belated.

On December 22nd, 2008, Lisa Milton said:

Each family has a matrix, it seems.

Christmas Eve is also my Mom’s birthday, so growing up, we tried to keep them separate. Which is a joke. She was always doing for us on her day.

So, we are definitely Christmas morning folk.

On December 22nd, 2008, kate said:

i prefer to open presents on christmas eve AND christmas day. and the day after christmas. and on new year’s eve. and on tuesdays.

growing up our parents woke us up in the middle of the night on christmas eve to open presents. that was freakin’s awesome. and now that i’m divorced and i get to pick? guess who’s waking up at 12:30 a.m. to open presents? oh yes-huh.

On December 22nd, 2008, Amanda @ The Mom Crowd said:

Immediate family – Christmas morning please.

Everyone else is whenever we are celebrating with them.

On December 22nd, 2008, vodkamom said:

My HUSBAND’S family opens them on Christmas EVE. My family, and also the one my husband and I have created, open them on Christmas DAY.


On December 22nd, 2008, kd@abitsquirrelly said:

One present Christmas eve and the Santa and stockings Christmas day.

On December 22nd, 2008, Blognut said:

Christmas Day. No matter what. Not one gift before Christmas Day.

On December 22nd, 2008, Renee aka Mekhismom said:

We do Christmas Day but when I was a child one on Christmas Eve. When my son is old enough to understand what is going on we will probably do the Christmas Eve gift.

On December 22nd, 2008, Eden said:

Flora, who was ruled by nothing greater than greed, bullied everyone into opening on Xmas Eve. I tried unsuccessfully for years to do “one present Xmas Eve, the rest Xmas day” but she would literally throw gifts at us, berate us with how we didn’t really want our gifts, etc. So the evening would end on a sour note and we had nothing to look forward to on Xmas Day except the dinner (which was a similar story).

So we open our gifts here on Xmas Day.

There are other special things to do Xmas Eve, like make cookies, watch “It’s A Wonderful Life,” go to church if you do that (we don’t), etc. I think Xmas morning is far more fun & adds to the specialness of the day.

On December 22nd, 2008, deborah said:

In our family, it was only ever on Xmas Day. In fact, there were no presents under the tree until we woke up on Xmas morning, so there wasn’t exactly any choice!

I think the Xmas Eve gift came about because children cajoled their parents into opening at least that one gift (using that whining please, please, please voice that is akin to having a drill bore into your ear canal) after which they’d agree to leave them alone and not send them completely and irreversably insane.

On December 22nd, 2008, stephanie (bad mom) said:

We have a very complicated formula involving parents, grandparents, neighbors and the quadriatic equation but essentially, I prefer opening nothing until Christmas morning.

However, I do not claim that this is the most awesome tradition and have no beef with other methods. Enjoy :D

On December 22nd, 2008, g said:

My understanding is that opening presents on Christmas eve is more of a Catholic/Mediterranean/Latino thing and opening them on Christmas morning is more of a Anglo-Saxon kind of thing.

But whatever. My family’s always done Christmas morning, and so has my husbands family. But since we are greedy people, we have decided to open ONE present on Christmas eve, and then the rest on the morning.

This year we are not really doing presents and we don’t have a tree, so I’m not sure what we’re doing. This year it will be All About Food.

On December 22nd, 2008, myra said:

We open a couple of token gifts on Christmas Eve. My son gets a pair of pj’s and a Hess truck each year, and then we open the rest on Christmas morning.

On December 22nd, 2008, "THE ROCK" said:


In the xmas spirit I won’t rub it in. My hearty HO! HO! HO! will suffice.

On December 22nd, 2008, Me said:

I say you make your own tradition and open them on Christmas night.


On December 23rd, 2008, Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said:

One on Eve.
Remainder on Day.

And? We don’t put ANY presents under the tree. Santa does it. Then on Christmas morning it is more wow.

On December 23rd, 2008, foradifferentkindofgirl said:

We open presents on Christmas morning, a tradition that has been passed down in my family through the ages!

(p.s. – The package arrived yesterday! The boys will be thrilled with their stocking stuffers!)

On December 23rd, 2008, » Blog Archive » Next Week For Sure said:

[…] you for your input. This whole exercise in thinking I’m always right reaching out to the community for backing […]

On December 23rd, 2008, Jenn @ Juggling Life said:

We are of the one present on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas Day persuasion. I say whatever floats your boat.

On December 23rd, 2008, deborah said:

Just a further two cents in light of “g”s comment. Since we elected to buy fewer presents this year and have decided not to get each other anything at all, having the kids open theirs on Xmas morning makes even more sense.

(Sorry Deb – you crazy, against the grain girl. However, privately I think your kids will think you’re AWESOME and always remember how fun and out of the box you made everything. I on the other hand, as my youngest so sweetly told me, am “annoying” for sticking to tradition.)

On December 23rd, 2008, Cactus Petunia said:

Both! Christmas too short. I say why not make it last eight days, like Hannukah?

On December 23rd, 2008, Kristen M. said:

One present on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas morning. But I love the idea of cheese fondue. :)

On December 24th, 2008, ilinap said:

Also a dilemma in my family. My Wisconsin husband thinks you open presents on Christmas Eve. I say Santa comes on Christmas Eve, meaning there are no presents to open until the next morning. Duh! Santa doesn’t come on the 23rd. You crazy midwesterners.

On December 24th, 2008, Da Goddess said:

When I was growing up, it was Christmas day ONLY.

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