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Christmas Morning: Slow the Gift Opening and Enjoy It More

Chaos doesn't have to reign on Christmas morning. This year, build more meaning with these easy tips.

Ready, set, RIP! Um … no. This year, put on some classical Christmas music (low, soothing volume) and make present opening more meaningul, taking breaks throughout the morning … and for some families, extending through the day. Most people make such an effort to find the just-right gifts, it’s only right that we should share more in the giving, receiving and oohing aahing Here’s how:

1. Have everyone sit in your Christmas room so you can all see one another.

2. Give a stack of presents to everyone present (choose who gets to be your “Santa” distributor, or let the kids do it, your call). Give each person a trash bag for their paper to eliminate mess during gift giving.

When handing out presents from under the tree, don’t let your “Santa” start until you give the “OK.” Make a stack of presents for each person, three or four at a time.

3. Santa gets to decide who opens first, then go around the circle opening one by one.

One person can keep pen and paper handy to write down special gifts that may require a thank you note to someone not present. Also, one person can be the

4. Wait Until Everyone Has Opened a Present Before Going on to the Next One

After everyone has that first present, tell them that nobody opens a second present until all of the first presents have been opened and the last person to open a present indicates readiness for the next one. Nobody is allowed to push the last people who are still opening presents, so the adults will be able to control the speed simply by opening their presents in a sane manner.

Not everyone will have the same number of presents. You can make this rule last until people start dropping out because they’ve opened their last present. Usually by this time, a pace has been tacitly set, and it will usually be followed until the last gift is opened.


How Do You Choose the Order for Opening Gifts?

You can choose the first person to start opening that second gift by drawing straws or putting names in a hat. It makes a game out of opening presents more slowly.

SOURCE: messymotherhood.com


About the Author

Susan Swindell Day

Susan Day is the editor in chief for this award-winning publication and all-things Nashville Parent digital creative. She's also an Equity actress, screenwriter and a mom of four amazing kids.