Growing up, my family had a lot of Christmas traditions. There was the annual reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” lots of games and every year my dad would say, “Let’s wait until after Christmas to open these presents” just to get a scream out of us kids.
Christmas Eve night was when we’d open our presents that had been under the tree for weeks. The mystery of what was in those boxes drove me crazy every year. Trying to get a little hint of what might be in those beautifully wrapped little treasures, I would shake them, sniff them, lick them and touch them at least 82 times before we finally got to open them.
One of the biggest Christmas traditions my family had growing up involved opening presents. We never really just opened the presents, we made a production out of each one of them. They were never opened all at once. I guess to make it last longer, we’d pass out all the packages, and then one person at a time (from youngest to oldest) would open one. We weren’t allowed to start opening our gift until the younger brother or sister in front of us had completely opened theirs and everyone would say, “ooh and aah.” It was a one-at-a-time thing even if we had 40 people there for Christmas.
I clearly remember the first year I did Christmas with Lea’s family. We were newlyweds. Her family sat down to open presents and all of a sudden everybody just started ripping them open as fast as they could. No “one at a time” for anyone and no “oohing or aahing” could be heard over all the commotion. I remember wanting to stand up and shout, “STOP YOU HEATHENS! You people don’t have a clue how to do Christmas presents!” But I quickly learned that that was her family’s Christmas tradition.
Lea and I have incorporated traditions from both of our families into our Morgan family. This weekend when our little family of six sits down to unwrap our Christmas gifts, we’ll do it the civilized way. Yep, one present at a time, and if you listen clearly, you’ll hear from our house lots of “oohs and aahs.” It’s just become our Christmas tradition.
- So, what were some of your family’s traditions when you were growing up?
- Have you incorporated them into your current family?