I figure this if fairly timely since we just finished celebrating the Holiday season. Most kids remember waking up at the crack of dawn and heading straight for the stack of Christmas presents. I know our 5-year-old, Audia sure did that to us this year. She came bouncing into our bedroom at 5:00AM ready to see what Santa brought her. We tried telling her that we needed to wait a little bit later before we could open presents. She was not having any of it. She looked at us with her pitiful little face, hands on her hips and whined, “Guys, that’s not how Christmas morning works!” So up we all got, including 14-year-old Holden. He was not too excited be woken up that early, but he was a good sport about it and was really surprised when he found that Santa brought an electric guitar for him and a Barbie Dreamhouse for Audia 😊
This was not the case in my childhood. Our family did things a little differently. We’d wake up and go wake up the parents like most kids. But we weren’t allowed to run straight to the tree. Oh no we had a good 30 minutes to an hour of “pre-show”. As a family, we went to our family room/playroom where our piano was kept. I think fancy people would call this a den or great room – but weren’t fancy. We’d all four gather around the piano and sing 3 Christmas carols one of which was always “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (my Dad’s favorite) and two others that we chose that year. I’d play piano (not very well) and the family would all sing along (again, not very well). Then we would load up on the couch where Dad would read the story of the birth of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke. Only after that, were we allowed to go to the living room where the tree was in the corner next to the fireplace (fire hazard much!). We then took turns going around the room opening a gift one at a time being careful to show it to each family member to properly ooh and ahh over before heading to the next person to open one gift. It took FOREVER! But we each got to appreciate our gifts and I’m sure the parents enjoyed actually being able to see us open presents. I’d love to do this in our family, but Santa doesn’t wrap presents so it doesn’t work quite the same. Plus, I tried getting the In-Laws to do it this way one year and it lasted all of 10 minutes before everyone staged a munity and did it their savage way of just ripping into presents. Oh well, to each their own and Merry Christmas!