Twelve Days of Christmas Traditions: Eleven Trash Bags of Wrapping Paper

There's no way around it - your family either opens presents on Christmas in an orderly fashion, or the kids tear into the presents like Gandhi into a box of Zucaritas #referencetomypreviouspost #thisisnottwitter #sowhyamistillhashtagging

Does this look like a guy who indulges in Frosted Flakes?

We were one of those families that opened presents one kid/parent at a time, one package at a time. This was mostly done, I think, to facilitate Mom's desire to meticulously record who received what from whom. She says she did this to make sure we knew to whom we needed to send thank you cards, but I think it was to prolong the process; if we were focused on opening presents, we couldn't be focused on systematically destroying the house.

If you don't want this to happen, give me presents.

Once our breakfast stockings emptied and everyone foolishly passed on a bathroom break (we always seemed to forget just how long we'd be sitting in piles of presents), each took his or her pre-claimed spot and the sorting began.

For Christmas, I got Hufflepuff. Where's that gift receipt?

After all the presents had been passed to their respective recipients, the opening began. It always started with the youngest; that was me for a while, but I really only remember resenting Kirsti and Sarah for going before me. For the next several hours, we went around and around, each opening one gift at a time (cards didn't count - they're nice, even pretty, but boring). As we went, Dad collected the torn wrapping paper and discarded ribbons into a massive trash bag that seemed to be overflowing halfway through, while Mom fanatically saved the bows and gift bags for later use (I call it regiftwrapping).

It's just a little mangled - it's still good. I'll just tape down the wrinkles.

At some point, one of the kids would run out of presents intended exclusively for him or her, at which point the opening of gifts to the family. Part of that haul would inevitably be whatever movies Mom and Dad bought that year, often enough for each kid to open one. It remains a matter of historical interest that no matter how many more presents one child had than another, that first child would resent the second for opening more than their one allotted movie, even if it was unavoidable.

If you don't want this to happen, you'll only let Beckie open one movie.

Once the ceremony ended at approximately 10:17 p.m., it was time to take the loot to the bedrooms, play with whatever toys we got, and pop in one of the movies we got that year. The alternative was taking a nap, and who does that on Christmas? #ido #stillnottwitter

This will be me Christmas night after presents. And games. And nog.


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