Christmas traditions come in all shapes and sizes.  Some are practiced by many while others are unique to specific families.  One of the most time honored of these is the opening of gifts.

I remember when I was a kid, I would wake up before the sun rose on Christmas morning and race downstairs like Ralph and Randy to see what Santa had brought.  It would drive my brother and sister crazy because they were older than me and wanted to sleep.  It was to no avail anyway.

We were each allowed to open one present.  The rest would have to wait until after church. I just had to hope I didn't get the one that had clothes in it.   An hour-long mass can seem like an eternity to a boy that desperately wants to see if the jolly old elf brought him what he asked for after standing in line at the mall.  Of course, prior to that there is everyone getting dressed and pictures to be taken.  All the while the presents stare at you.

Finally, we would get home and take turns opening our presents.  One at a time.  I remember telling my siblings to hurry up so I could rip the paper off the next one with my name on it.

I knew some families that would allow one gift to be open on Christmas Eve.  Those were obviously from my friend's parents.  Santa hadn't come yet.  Other families opened them as soon as they woke up on Christmas morning, and I knew a couple that had to wait until their grandparents arrived in the afternoon.  THAT must have been torture and there should be a law against it.

Once I had a family of my own, things changed a little.  Christmas Eve was spent with her side and all the family presents could be opened then.  Santa's gifts were opened on Christmas morning and we went to my family's house that afternoon. Yep.  MORE presents.  I had to become an expert at packing the car so we would have a place to sit.

What is your tradition?