The Right Way to do Christmas. Amen.

So that whole Christmas survey has been going around a lot and I maybe should do it since I haven’t been so hot about posting in December (too much sickness and too much November posting is what I’m blaming it on).

And yet, I’d rather just write about one part of that Christmas survey that asks about whether or not Santa wraps presents. If you grew up in my house, you know there is only ONE right answer – ALL PRESENTS ARE WRAPPED. No discussion.

My Dad is actually not a huge fan of this, although he has gone along with it since my mom feels strongly about it. He liked coming down on Christmas morning as a kid and seeing a new bike or whatever the big gift was sitting out by the tree. My Mom, on the hand, thinks this is horrid (and I agree with her). Here are a few good reasons why we are both right:

  1. You should get to have the excitement of unwrapping (or having a treasure hunt for) your big gift.
  2. You should not be able to peek and see your big gift (Bart remembers clearly seeing his remote control car waiting under the tree before the rest of his family was even awake. This is bad).
  3. Do you really want your first gift to be something huge and exciting and work your way down to a bag of gym socks? No. You should start small and work your way big.

I guarantee that all gifts for my children will be wrapped. There will be no unwrapped presents sitting under the tree.Also, my parents never told us that Santa Claus was real – I never remember believing in Santa Claus. We still did the whole stockings thing and we had gifts labeled “From Santa” but they were also fairly small gifts (a book or a movie or shoelaces or something – my mom did NOT want Santa getting credit for bringing a bike. Mom and Dad got all the credit for the really thrilling gifts). For years, we even put out little black “coal” footprints from the fireplace to the tree and sometimes set out cookies. One year, a neighbor gave each of us three girls a huge plastic bear full of iced cookies. We ate them until we were sick and still each had about 3/4 of a bear of cookies left. We got a huge plate and dumped all the cookies on them; the next morning we came down to discover that “Santa” had taken care of them.

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  1. You have stronger feelings about the wrapping than I do. So I look forward to many years of you doing lots of wrapping. While you do the wrapping, maybe I’ll do some rapping (quietly, so the children can sleep).


  2. Yep, wrapping is good. It’s way more fun to open things than just to see them and say, “Oh, awesome!” It’s the difference between a gift and just getting something.

  3. Okay, we do things WAY different around here. All the big gifts for my kids are from Santa. He gets ALL the credit. Also, we don’t wrap gifts that are huge, like a bike or train table, which is what my boys got last year. There is no way I’m going to try to wrap a bike, but I never thought of doing a treasure hunt type thing. That doesn’t seem very Santa-y, however. But it’s not really anti-climactic at our house to have the big gifts out, because they each get a couple of big gifts from Santa, and all the smaller presents from us are opened on Christmas Eve.

  4. Our gifts were always wrapped as well. And after I, at a young age, asked how Santa was able to match his wrapping paper to the paper my parents used, Santa always used different wrapping paper too. I think it would be such a let down to come out on Christmas morning and immediately see all of the gifts. Unwrapping them one by one prolongs the pleasure.

  5. Bart’s comment is so DANG funny! Ahhh, he kills me.

    I, officially, would like to step over to your side little miss wrapper. At our house, bursting at the seams with 8 siblings, Santa only came to fill stockings, period. He came to gave Christmas it’s magic. But the wrapped presents under the tree were from Mom, Dad, and children which gave Christmas it’s meaning.

    And I will NEVER give Santa the credit for braving the rain, waiting in line, throwing crackers at my whining 1 year old, and then parting with precious money actually acquire the thing. Are you kidding me??? I want the love, people. Me! Me!

  6. We are wrappers. At our house, Santa even wraps almost every individual item INSIDE our stockings. I got this from my mom. M and I have let Santa leave one thing for each kid out unwrapped when it’s big and hard to wrap. But the rest is from Mom and Dad. I prefer Santa getting the credit for some things. Then he gets the blame too! “I guess Santa didn’t know you wanted a new bicycle too. Maybe his elves ran out of bikes before they heard you wanted one and didn’t have time to make one. We’ll make sure he gets the message next year…” Besides, when you torture your children by forcing them to wait to open stockings until everyone is there and then go around the circle taking turns pulling things out (and unwrapping them) one by one and then eat breakfast and get ready for the day and then, and ONLY then, open Christmas presents – well, when that’s the case it’s nice to have something fun out first thing to pacify and occupy little kids.

  7. Ha! Rapping! Funny stuff.

    All our gifts are wrapped because, well, I really like wrapping presents. I fancy myself a younger, darker haired Martha Stewart. Have you SEEN the gifts she wraps?? I aspire to that. It’s really nice to look under the tree and see all these gorgeously wrapped presents.

    Don’t tell him, but Aaron isn’t as good of a wrapper as me. I kind of wish he’d let me wrap my own presents.

  8. All the gifts were wrapped at our house too. And Santa always had his own wrapping paper too and since he was so old, his handwriting on the gift tags was always very squiggly (Parkinson’s disease or something.) Wrapped is better, for anticipation’s sake, and save it for the end to build up to it!!!

  9. Drat, Noelle stole my comment. But I kinda like the idea about Santa only filling the stockings and giving a “smallish” gift . . .
    Just got Amazing Grace from the library, I can’t wait to see it!

  10. You know, I haven’t even thought about Santa’s gifts being unwrapped vs. wrapped before. In my family, we always had a mixture of both (from Santa). But I like the idea of wrapping (or hiding) EVERYTHING.

    In my family, we always had one gift that was unwrapped from “Santa” and then a few wrapped gifts from Santa. We also were always allowed to open ONE small present each Christmas Eve.

    I loved that tradition.

  11. I vote for wrapping all gifts. On Christmas eve we open the gifts exchanged within our immediate family, one gift per person, so the thoughtfulness and love isn’t lost in the mass openings Christmas morning.

  12. so my question with the Santa thing is, did you guys end up spoiling the secret for all your friends? How did that interaction go? I don’t really care if my kids believe in Santa, but I would feel bad if they spoiled it for everyone else.

  13. I think that all presents should be covered, but not necessarily wrapped. In many cases, I find it appropriate to enfold gifts in cloth napkins or dish towels. For really big presents, a garbage bag works great.

  14. Yeah, I approve of wrapping everything and not making a big deal about Santa–I laughed to realize the other day that there may be a time when I’m trying to convince my kids to believe in Santa but not in God.

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