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Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?

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Christa

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When I was a kid we opened gifts and did our whole Christmas thing on Christmas morning, but my husband grew up opening gifts on Christmas Eve and just doing stockings in the morning. We do it his way now, and I like it because it spreads it out a little. I remember the stockings being kind of lost in the shuffle when I was a kid, but we spread out the gift opening over several hours on the 24th (we stay home and do "just us" for Christmas, but that''s another topic
) and then the stockings are still exciting the next morning.

So what do you do, and why? What do you like or not like about your traditions?
 

Mara

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well we have the best of all worlds i think, because we have our extended family get together on christmas eve...where the aunts, uncles, cousins etc all get together and we have dinner and hang out and open our gifts to each other. then on christmas morning, greg and i open our gifts to each other with portia, and also do our stockings. then we go to my parents house and have lunch and open up gifts with my parents and sisters. so it's like a virtual gift-gasm for a straight 24 hours!! hehee.
i think i'd be sad if we only had gifts on xmas eve OR xmas morning, because it would seem like it's over too fast...but that is because i grew up with having basically 2-3 gatherings so the fun is extended. it always seems so funny to have all this anticipation and stress about the holiday, and have it over in like one night. at least this way it's a full 24 hours. hehe.
 

Kaleigh

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We open one gift on Christmas eve, and then the rest on Christmas morning.
 

Christa

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That''s what my husband talked me into our first Christmas . . . then eventually I came over to his dark side.
 

Sundial

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As a kid we opened ours on Christmas Eve, but I have adopted my husband''s tradition of opening all the gifts on Christmas morning. After all these years it has become my tradition now too.
 

Dee*Jay

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Christmas morning--which was (and is!) pure torture. I used to beg my family (and now my husband) for *just one* to open on Christmas eve -- PLEEEEEEZE! But no dice... (Damn, I''m surrounded by strong willed people.
)
 

indecisive

Brilliant_Rock
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Date: 12/4/2006 6:02:00 PM
Author: Kaleigh
We open one gift on Christmas eve, and then the rest on Christmas morning.
That''s how we do it too! My Dad grew up opening gifts on Christmas Eve and they opened them all at once. How we do it now(and how my mom did it growing up) is Christmas morning and one at a time (the person that opens picks out the next gift and so on). It takes a long time but I love it!
 

snlee

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I''ve always done the opening gifts on Christmas Eve with family and stockings in the morning. I''ve always loved it and like you said, you get to spread it out a little. I plan on doing this when we have kids.
 

MINE!!

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Date: 12/4/2006 6:02:00 PM
Author: Kaleigh
We open one gift on Christmas eve, and then the rest on Christmas morning.
We have always done it this way as well.
 

sumbride

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My dad''s family grew up opening everything on Christmas Eve, after church. My mom''s family did Christmas morning. So as kids, we did our immediate family on Christmas Eve, but before church as we were too young to be up that late! and then on Christmas morning we would go to my grandparents'' house (maternal) and open all the presents from them, the ones that Santa brought, and the stockings. Now that we''re all grown up, we still do Christmas Eve with our parents, and then everybody does Christmas morning at their own houses/with their own families. For a while it was kind of sad for me because I "didn''t have a family" but now M and I do our exchange on Christmas morning. I definitely like spreading it out!
 

therighttime

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Feb 20, 2006
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It''s interesting to read how other families celebrate!

Growing up we always opened all presents from each other on Christmas Eve about 5:00. Then we went to church for service (and got that "treat bag of an orange, candy cane, walnut, etc... did anyone else get that??) and when we got home from church Santa had arrived and we opened that then. My parents got divorced when I got older so I don''t know what the tradition would have been when I stopped believing in santa.

As for me, I wanted my child to wake up and be excited about opening presents christmas morning. We still go to my mom on christmas eve, then to church. But we open all our presents and santa gifts on christmas morning.
 

Linda W

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We open our gifts on Christmas Eve. The little ones open gifts from Santa on Christmas morning. Both of my grandpas were from Germany. I was told this was the German way. After the Candle Light Service at church, we would always go back to my grandma''s house for a buffet dinner and to open gifts. We still carry on this tradition.

Linda
 

Molly1024

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When I was growing up, I had a large family that was always in town for Christmas, so Christmas Eve was my mom''s side get together, and we got to open our gift from our (late) grandmother plus the gift from our aunts & uncles (each set drew three names to buy one gift for). The next morning was stockings & presents from mom & dad, followed by presents at my dad''s mother''s house. Now we still get one gift on Christmas Eve (OOTers still send them in) and then stockings & gifts from my mom, then over to DH''s parents'' house for presents, then to my dad''s mom''s house for presents from my dad and my nana.
 

monarch64

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Fun thread! I grew up opening ONE gift (usually my mother''s choice--a gift from her sister, or our aunt, who lived in another state and had taken the trouble to ship things to us) on Christmas Eve, after our traditional oyster stew dinner, lol! Then on Christmas morning we opened our stockings first, then our gifts from Santa, then our gifts from our parents, then grandma and extended family came over or we went to their homes and opened the rest of our gifts there and ate a holiday dinner.

Things are totally different since I''ve gotten married...we go to my family''s home before Christmas (they don''t go to church anymore), and then we travel back to Chicago and attend midnight Mass with his DH''s mother on Christmas Eve which is always nice, and celebrate the holiday and open our stockings the next morning before we go to my SIL''s house on Christmas Day to celebrate and open gifts with the rest of his family. It works out pretty well!
 

Ann

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Sep 24, 2004
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This is a great thread, I''ve had this question poised by friends just recently.

Growing up we opened gifts from Santa on Christmas morning, then would go to my Grandmothers for
a large lunch, where we opened more gifts.

But for my past 30 married years, we have had Christmas Eve with my DH side of the family
and then Christmas morning we had Santa at our house for the 4 of us. Then we''d gather up and travel to
my sisters house for more gifts and late lunch. Whew!

Just to add, one tradition that has become very dear to us, is the tradition of having tamales Christmas
Eve with my husband''s side of the family. His dad was returning from WWII, traveling from California to Texas by train.
When the train stopped in San Antonio, Texas, hubby''s dad and a few other soldiers got off the train for a walk.
There was a tamale vendor selling hot tamales along side the train. It was Christmas Eve. One of the other soldiers
had never had a tamale, so DH''s dad bought tamales for all. They said it was the best thing ever! DH''s dad is now gone,
but we still have tamales every Christmas Eve.
 

KimberlyH

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My dad has always been a shift worker, which means there''s no such thing as a normal Christmas. When we were little we opened presents on Christmas day whenever he woke up. He often worked graveyards, would come home and sleep part of the morning then make us all a big breakfast before opening presents and going back to bed. My sister and I hated it when we were little but my mom reminded us that our dad was keeping other people''s lights on so that they could celebrate, which made it easier to swallow. Often we''d go to his work and hang out there, they would have breakfast for the families of people working. As my sister and I got older we began to celebrate on his days off and that has become the way we celebrate all holidays: we choose his day off closest to the actual holiday and all get together to open gifts and such.

My husbands family opened gifts and went out to dinner on Christmas Eve. Now his mom is his only living relative and she has Alzheimer''s and doesn''t know what Christmas is anymore.

This will be our first married and living in the same house Christmas so I have no clue what our traditions will be. We have decided to spend time in Chicago every year to see A Christmas Carol and go shopping because that is where we got engaged a few years back. Other traditions haven''t been established yet, it will be fun to do so!

Ann: the tamale story is so touching and sweet. I make Christmas baskets every year and I think this year I''m going to include tamales. I made my first attempt at them last weekend, with my husbands help, and they came out great for a first try.
 

Mara

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Ann we also make tamales for Christmas...all the ladies on my Mom''s side get together and make them usually on Dec 22 then we eat them on Xmas Eve AND Day...and then for days afterwards...lol. Usually we make WAY too many. And freeze some!
 

indecisive

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Joined
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Date: 12/5/2006 11:06:16 AM
Author: Mara
Ann we also make tamales for Christmas...all the ladies on my Mom''s side get together and make them usually on Dec 22 then we eat them on Xmas Eve AND Day...and then for days afterwards...lol. Usually we make WAY too many. And freeze some!
We make tamales and enchiladas (New Mexico style) every year for Christmas dinner. They are sooo good but we always make too many too... but we all eat too many too
Red and green chile is christmasy!
 

fire&ice

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We open all the gifts to/from each other on Christmas Eve. We open all "Santa" gifts Christmas morning.
 

belle

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Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
10,285
tamales and posole

one present on christmas eve (unless we can finagle two!) and the rest on christmas
more tamales and posole
of course we can always look forward to biscochitos at christmas too!

i love this time of year!
 

indecisive

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2005
Messages
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Date: 12/5/2006 12:29:20 PM
Author: belle
tamales and posole

one present on christmas eve (unless we can finagle two!) and the rest on christmas
more tamales and posole
of course we can always look forward to biscochitos at christmas too!

i love this time of year!
I have just started to appreciate biscochitos last year... I think that is because our anise is old though. Are most of the people that have tamales and all that Hispanic/part Hispanic? If not, when/why did your family start? I heard the President Bush and his family have tamales every year as well. I am part Hispanic and my mom''s family has always eaten tamales. When they lived in New Mexico it was really easy to get everything but here in VA masa and chile isn''t as easy to get!
 

belle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
10,285
Date: 12/5/2006 1:03:21 PM
Author: indecisive

Date: 12/5/2006 12:29:20 PM
Author: belle
tamales and posole

one present on christmas eve (unless we can finagle two!) and the rest on christmas
more tamales and posole
of course we can always look forward to biscochitos at christmas too!

i love this time of year!
I have just started to appreciate biscochitos last year... I think that is because our anise is old though. Are most of the people that have tamales and all that Hispanic/part Hispanic? If not, when/why did your family start? I heard the President Bush and his family have tamales every year as well. I am part Hispanic and my mom''s family has always eaten tamales. When they lived in New Mexico it was really easy to get everything but here in VA masa and chile isn''t as easy to get!
i don''t have a big sweet tooth (gasp!) so the bisochitos are right up my alley. and yes, the anise makes a difference. try some new and see if you notice a better taste.

i''m not hispanic but i have lived in new mexico for over 25 years.
we''ve been doing them for quite some time because everything is readily available. i know it is hard to get good chile outside of nm, my sister stocks up everytime she is here and she is only a state away!
there''s nothing like nm chile!
 

indecisive

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2005
Messages
1,240
Date: 12/5/2006 1:23:31 PM
Author: belle

Date: 12/5/2006 1:03:21 PM
Author: indecisive


Date: 12/5/2006 12:29:20 PM
Author: belle
tamales and posole

one present on christmas eve (unless we can finagle two!) and the rest on christmas
more tamales and posole
of course we can always look forward to biscochitos at christmas too!

i love this time of year!
I have just started to appreciate biscochitos last year... I think that is because our anise is old though. Are most of the people that have tamales and all that Hispanic/part Hispanic? If not, when/why did your family start? I heard the President Bush and his family have tamales every year as well. I am part Hispanic and my mom''s family has always eaten tamales. When they lived in New Mexico it was really easy to get everything but here in VA masa and chile isn''t as easy to get!
i don''t have a big sweet tooth (gasp!) so the bisochitos are right up my alley. and yes, the anise makes a difference. try some new and see if you notice a better taste.

i''m not hispanic but i have lived in new mexico for over 25 years.
we''ve been doing them for quite some time because everything is readily available. i know it is hard to get good chile outside of nm, my sister stocks up everytime she is here and she is only a state away!
there''s nothing like nm chile!
So true!! We take 2 empty suitcases each when we visit my family in NM
.
 

FireGoddess

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
12,145
We open on Christmas eve. We kids all used to huddle in our rooms and pretend to sleep and we would hear ''Santa'' arrive (on the roof!...don''t know how dad ever did that)....complete with sleigh bells and foot sounds above our heads. He would walk down the hallway and *almost* catch us not asleep (which would mean no presents) but somehow he never did catch us...


After Santa left we would tear down the hall, see all the new presents under the tree, and we''d rip them all open. Then we''d go to bed and play with them the next day.

As we got older, it turned into us having Christmas eve dinner, then going to midnight mass, and then coming home and opening the gifts.
 

anchor31

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Messages
7,074
Date: 12/5/2006 5:11:40 PM
Author: FireGoddess
As we got older, it turned into us having Christmas eve dinner, then going to midnight mass, and then coming home and opening the gifts.
That''s exactly what we do too! I love it.
 

poptart

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Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
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Date: 12/4/2006 11:28:39 PM
Author: Linda W
We open our gifts on Christmas Eve. The little ones open gifts from Santa on Christmas morning. Both of my grandpas were from Germany. I was told this was the German way. After the Candle Light Service at church, we would always go back to my grandma''s house for a buffet dinner and to open gifts. We still carry on this tradition.

Linda
This is the exact way my family does it too. My DH''s family opens one gift on Christmas Eve and it is always new pajamas that they usually change into that night, haha. Then they open everything on Christmas day.

*M*
 
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