Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Of all the traditions of Christmas, my favorite has to be the opening of gifts. I’ve always loved seeing the expression on my kids faces early Christmas morning. Nothing else compared to the joy and excitement they felt one time each year. The only drawback was that it was over too quickly. Like the rush that comes from eating too much sugar, the letdown immediately following the gift opening seemed anticlimactic somehow…a little disappointing after the weeks of anticipation and buildup.

The answer came quite by accident.

Several years ago, my sister sent me a package of presents. Excited by the box, my kids scrambled about, peeking inside at all the unwrapped gifts. I couldn’t see the point in withholding the items, since they’d both already seen what was inside, so I gave them their gifts, and for the remainder of that day, my two kids enjoyed the present sent to them by that one person.

The next day, we decided rather than fight the throng of people at the movie theater, we’d stay home, pop some popcorn, and watch a movie. Pirates of the Caribbean had just come out, and since the DVD was sitting under our tree, wrapped as a gift to my daughter, we decided to let her open it, and my son of course got to open one of his. As a family, we enjoyed the gift of the movie, huddled together on our couch.

And so the tradition began. Now, every year, we start opening one gift a day, several days before Christmas. No longer do the kids rush to rip open presents, discarding one the second another one is passed to them. Inside, they savor their presents, taking time to appreciate the gift and the giver for one whole day, looking forward with anticipation to the next day, and the next person. It is and always will be, my favorite tradition of Christmas.


Marcia Gruver said...

It's a fabulous idea. With five kids and ten grandkids all slinging paper at once, we hardly know what anyone got when all is said and done. I plan to mention this idea to our kids. Thanks for sharing.

Ane Mulligan said...

That's a great tradition, Lisa! I like that one.

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