I was just thinking back to my childhood Christmases. In my family we did not wrap presents from Santa. So when I came out on Christmas Morning, the Santa presents were set up in front of the tree, and my exhausted parents could sleep through my sneaking out to the tree at 4am.
One Christmas, the VERY BEST Christmas, I got a siamese kitten. But I already knew I was getting it.
Because the kitten was locked in my parents room on Christmas Eve. But being a kitten it did not particularly like that, so it kept putting its little paws under the door. And being Siamese, it was not particularly quiet. In middle of the night, they finally put the kitten on my bed and I woke up to my feet being attacked by a small white fuzz of fur.
My mother did NOT put labels on presents. All presents were anonymous. And she just remembered and handed them out on Christmas Day. Well, mostly she remembered. The memory failures were hysterical though.
She was a genius at adding an extra bit of excitement to an event. She hid our birthday presents and made us find them when we woke up in the morning.
We did not open all the presents at once together. We opened them one at a time, watching each person and enjoying each gift. This makes gift opening last at least an hour. Sometimes longer. But it also makes it so much more fun. Because for me giving the gift is most enjoyable, and watching someone open a gift I was excited to give them made the day feel like it was about giving and not about getting. Actually, maybe that is how she taught us that. hmmm.
But we couldn’t open the gifts (except the Santa ones) until after breakfast. And breakfast on Christmas isn’t cereal and milk. Nope. Its a big wonderful sit down with egg casseroles and bacon and biscuits and gravy and fresh orange juice.
And torture for children. Deep dark torture for children. My parents would deliberately take their time and bring up how we could just put off opening the presents until after dinner, that way we could make a wonderful day stretch… and then just watch the children’s reactions with glee. Oh they were mean sometimes. 😉
We were lucky.