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gift opeing rant!!!!

December 23rd, 2005, 09:58 AM
I really dont understand my boyfirends family tradtion!!

we all get together for christmas lunch, but before christmas everyone carts the gifts off to the house to be opened, chrismas morning....

I really dont understand this we spend hundreds of dollars on gifts and we aren't even there to see them opened even though we all get together on christmas day!!!!!

Does anyone under stand this..... and every year i say i'm just going to give money it would have the same effect... I dont see the point in getting myu crative juices running.... and i would love to see the childrens faces...and i feel awkward opening gifts from them with out them there

sorry This bothers me year after year,

but if this is thier family tradition there is nothing i can do about it but join in... when they bring gifts over i give them the gifts to take back to put under thier tree!!!
cant beet them join them


December 23rd, 2005, 10:32 AM
This will be my first year not being with my "old" family (Mom, step-dad, sister and grandfather) on Christmas day (since I'll be with my "new" family, Cheryl, Gracie and I). My parents are coming up Christmas eve day, with gifts. My step-father insists he wants to see us open gifts (I think he wants to see Gracie open gifts. As long as it's shiny, she'll like it. She gets that from me), while my mother insists Christmas gifts are for Christmas day. As a compromise, they've some gifts to open tomorrow, some to be opened Sunday when they aren't there.

Personally, I prefer waiting until Christmas day. I always hate getting gifts early (okay, I don't "hate" it, per se) or knowing what I'm getting. When I was younger, if I knew my Christmas gift was somewhere, I would avoid that area like the plague. I'm all about the unwrapping, really. (I've had gifts that were too small or big for wrapping, so the person gave me an empty box wrapped.)

I can understand where you are coming from, but I'm also a sucker for tradition (Christmas gifts are for Christmas). At the same time, as both the giver and givee, I've made exceptions when there's a gift that someone really wants to be there for. Maybe you can ask for few "pre-ceremony" exchanges? I know myself, I'm going through the "sorting of who's Christmas tradition to honour" ceremony right now.

December 23rd, 2005, 11:18 AM
I grew up with the tradition of opening christmas gifts Christmas Eve. We would circle the Christmas tree singing Carols and if we sang loud enough Santa would come and leave gifts outside the door.
My husbands family also gets together Christmas eve. They get together for a meal either before or after church depending on what time mass is.
When we were first married we tried to go to each celebration christmas eve and ended up missing part of both. Now we take turns, this year we go to my families celebration and will get together with my husbands family on Boxing Day.
Because they have different gift giving traditions, my family still has Santa come with gifts Christmas Eve, in husbands family if you come you bring a $20.00 gift suitable for anyone (talk about creative juices) and they play a game- you pick a number and in that order you either pick a gift from the pile or you steal an opened gift from someone.
Anyway because they are so different we always have a celebration at our own home Christmas day.
If it's my husbands family Santa comes to our house and we find presents, in the morning, under the tree. If it's christmas with my family we exchange gifts from each other at home Christmas morning and Santa fills the stockings only.

There comes a time in your life that you need to start your own traditions.

Have you ever told them that you want to see them open the gifts you bring?
If you get together christmas day just tell them that you will be bringing the gifts then and could they hold onto any for you.

December 23rd, 2005, 11:31 AM
well at least my family, we all open together and enjoy what we get...
another reason why i spend more on my family... i can see the joy or disppointment on thier faces... and next christmas we will have a baby on my side of the family to see!!!! (my sisters)

every year i want to ask why they do thiss i would understand if it was big heavy or awkward gifts to lug around (we do breakie at my folks head to his folks for lunch and my grand mothers for dinner!!!! yeah my grand mother still makes the holidays diners

December 23rd, 2005, 11:48 AM
I definitely prefer to be there when someone opens a gift I bought them... I like to see the reaction... to know whether or not they liked it... plus it saves having to make a phone call to say thank you... :p

December 23rd, 2005, 12:07 PM
When my mother in-law was alive we would switch each year but at that time we lived in the same town as his parents so we would have our christmas at our house and then head to his parents for the rest of the day. We would open gifts to each other when everyone was there. Now we go to my parents Christmas Eve and stay til boxing day and then head to the father in-laws and stay over night.
We keep the same traditions that I had growing up. We have a feast Christmas Eve and are allowed to open one gift. In the morning after Santa has arrived we all get up and settle around the tree. My Dad and my kids each put on their elf or santa hats and start to hand out gifts, one at a time so everyone sees what everyone else got. Oh, we get to open our stockings as soon as we get up but we can't touch the gifts until everyone is up and ready. After the gifts are opened my Dad makes a big breakfast. We lounge around for the rest of the day, play games or whatever comes up. That evening we have our big Christmas dinner. That night we usually play some game that one of us got for christmas.
I'm getting excited now.

December 23rd, 2005, 07:00 PM
My family does a "home" and "away" year it is our "home Christmas where us 6 kids & spouses & kids are here & we celebrate somehow together; the "away" Christmas is when we go to our in-laws for Christmas. This year is an away Christmas but me & my hubby are fortunate to be able to spend Christmas Eve with my parents (who live 1/2 hour away) and then go to in-laws Christmas day for dinner.

My sister & her hubby are being the "poops" & saying they want "THEIR" Christmas with their kids only & are totally screwing up our family traditions. I know they need to start their own traditions, but my sister is still part of "our" that selfish of me to think that? My hubby & I don't have kids & probably won' it just seems silly that we can't all just be together since we are fortunate enough to all live within 45 min. of each other (except my oldest bro who lives in Ont.)

It's neat to read different traditions! I'm a teacher & I often hear a lot of very different traditions from my students too!! Very cool!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!!! Sorry I've been hiding lately!!

Rick C
December 23rd, 2005, 07:24 PM
Our tradition, going back to when I was a kid in the 60's, was to open one gift Christmas Eve just before bed . . . . . . and then gather the next morning together to open all the rest.

Naturally, this can lead to a lot of pushing and prodding to get people out of bed early in the morning!!!

. . . . . the Christmas Eve thing is something I imposed on Carol 20 years ago while the thing about everyone gathering all together is probably something everyone does.

As kids, we were getting up at 3 and 4 in the morning trying to convince our parents to let us open presents . . . . then we'd all go back to bed for awhile and snooze the largesse off.

Rick C

December 23rd, 2005, 09:45 PM
Nice traditions everyone!!

Rick C--we open 1 gift also on Christmas Eve!!! That would also lead to a lot of "box shaking" and parcel mauling!! ;)

We had to let my parents sleep in the morning--"At least until the indian shut off.." (For those who don't know, "the indian" was what was on t.v. between 3-5 a.m. when cable shut off for the night, you know, the olden days.) :party:

December 24th, 2005, 02:00 AM
I'm a little bit sad this year because in the midst of doing everything for everybody else, this is the first Christmas my brothers and I won't have any of our childhood traditions. It's a bit hard because my dad is scrooge and the grinch all wrapped into one and he just let things get taken over by the stepmom. None of her traditions have changed at all (except maybe that she has salad on Christmas eve, instead of just fish), and ours are totally gone. My dad even broke all our childhood ornaments last year while putting them away. This year, he wants to have a "talk" with us because he thinks buying presents for us is too big of a hassle and he doesn't want to do it again next year.

I wanted to start my own Christmas stuff this year, but the bf isn't getting me anything at all, so I'm going to scrap those plans (it's kind of sad watching the dogs get presents, the bf get presents and me not get a thing... Makes somebody feel really special, you know?).

And then yesterday, on the last mail day till Christmas is over, we got a bill from the govt for $1200. Add that to the $500 they asked for last week, and the year is starting off great. (For those of you in Quebec, NEVER file as conjoints. Never! The bills and back-taxes never stop.)

So I don't know what this year will be like, but every year, I get my hopes up and every year I'm more disappointed than the last. Eventually, I'm going to lose my Christmas spirit all together. My family doesn't understand the point of giving gifts. Not at all. They just buy everybody the same thing because they got a deal on it. No thought there, nothing personal... I'd rather you pick out a charity that you think I'd like and give them money, you know? Some thought, please! I think as Christmas approaches, I should stop talking about it. I'm turning into my dad.

December 24th, 2005, 06:48 AM

AAAAW Prin I'm sorry to hear you feel this way. I haven't been on the board for very long but I can tell you ARE special .
Starting traditions isn't that hard and needn't be exspencive either, You probably have started some and didn't even reallise it. IE a christmas eve walk with the dogs, watching some movie on TV that you won't admit to if asked IE animated cartoons about Rudolf.

I hope your Christmas is better than you expect.

December 24th, 2005, 07:00 AM
Well,opening presents and having our Christmas celebration Christmas-Eve,is one tradition from Sweden I still hold on to.
Having no grandchildren(:sad: )opening presents is not what it used to be when my kids were small,but we still celebrate Christmas-Eve and sleep in Christmas Day(if my furry kids allow it:D )

December 24th, 2005, 07:59 AM
The first time I had Christmas with my husband's family I was shocked at how cold and impersonal it was. They opened their presents very seriously, one at a time. No excitement at all. When they were done they went around the room and gave each other a peck on the cheek. The females that is. My husband and his father shook hands. Then my MIL called me into the kitchen. She said "We have something for you." and she handed me a paper calendar. One sheet with all twelve months. I don't know why she wouldn't give ti to me while everyone else was opening gifts. I sat and watched and then was taken into the kitchen to open mine.

This isn't my craziest in-law story. If I had a dime for every tear those people have made me shed I could take every one here on a cruise and pay the cruies line enough to let us bring our pets.:crazy:

Prin-I wish I livednear you. You are very special and I always look for your posts. You'rs so helpful and you have such a generous spirit. You deserve a wonderful present. I'm going to pray that you receive incredible blessings this year because you certainly deserve them.

Rick C
December 24th, 2005, 09:55 AM
Nice traditions everyone!!

Rick C--we open 1 gift also on Christmas Eve!!! That would also lead to a lot of "box shaking" and parcel mauling!! ;)

We had to let my parents sleep in the morning--"At least until the indian shut off.." (For those who don't know, "the indian" was what was on t.v. between 3-5 a.m. when cable shut off for the night, you know, the olden days.) :party:

If you have satellite and have Saskatchewan television stations, I'm pretty sure you can still see the Indian. . . . . a last gasp of Canadiana.

Rick C

December 24th, 2005, 02:58 PM
Thanks Joeysmama and Bushfire. :o

One of my friends is getting annoyed with me because she says every year, I expect my family to be different and they aren't. But it's still hard to grasp the idea that you can't ever have a good old fashioned family Christmas, you know?

And I told my boyfriend this morning that I never wanted a long-term boyfriend and if I had to choose one myself, I probably wouldn't pick a grinch.:D He is already much better this year, but he still has a way to go. Maybe next year, it'll be much better. I don't think after 25 Christmasses I'll ever stop getting my hopes up. I don't know. It was just a really bad day yesterday.:)

Santa could still come right? I mean it's not Christmas yet.:fingerscr
I was going to leave some dog cookies out for Santa's reindeer (lol they'd get eaten by the dogs while we sleep, but it's a fun illusion...).:D

December 26th, 2005, 08:59 PM
You may think this little tradition is a bit weird. For years, we used to exchange small gifts with neighbors on the street. It was difficult because we didn't really know each other that well to be able to choose a neat gift. We had a $20 limit and picked names. Some were easy to buy for, some so difficult. Generic gifts, regifting, really disappointing gifts. Then we decided to try something different. With the same $20 limit, we each bought our own gift "from Santa" and opened it in front of the others. What fun! It had to be something we really wanted, that we would normally not buy because it was indulgent or impractical. We had so much fun watching to see what each person bought. And, we learned alot about each other! I laughed when my Mom bought herself a black bra! My hubby would buy a tool of some kind. One teenager opened her gift to reveal a $20 bill! This year, I bought myself a faceted, crystal drop to hang in my window to create rainbows inside when the sun hits it. I got the idea from Luba who wished me rainbows. I need rainbows this year!

December 26th, 2005, 10:01 PM
I hope you get your rainbows too, Glasslass.:fingerscr :fingerscr :grouphug:

December 27th, 2005, 06:07 AM
I am sorry your Christmas is a disappointment. I think that it will be impossible to change how your bf feels or how your father, brothers celebrate the holiday.
At this point you will have to create your own traditions. It need not be an expensive one. It can be the way you decorate or by giving the same silly thing to someone every year. Years ago I started giving my kids underwear and socks from the dogs. Every year now they expect the same thing. Now my daughter's boyfriend gets socks and/or underwear signed from Chloe and Hunter.
Because I work in a school I get to experience the excitement of the season through the kids eyes. I am also a volunteer for Special Olympics. When I can I attend their Christmas party to help out. These kind of things make Christmas special. If you want you can try volunteering somewhere, attending church where they have a community that will welcome you and will make you feel part of it, serve Christmas dinner to the homeless, or deliver Christmas baskets to people in need. It puts life into perspective and you will feel wonderful for giving something back. Perhaps it will start a tradition that will bring that "holiday spirit" back to you.
Remember Christmas is a "season" and not just a day.

December 27th, 2005, 01:48 PM
I know. I should volunteer. I don't do enough of it and I know it would help.

This Christmas wasn't all bad though (I wrote that post very early the 24th...). This year was bad enough that next year will be different, but good enough to not be a total waste of time. :thumbs up