My brother-in-law's family has a tradition of opening presents that works very well in large family gatherings. Rather than all tear into the wrappings, sit in a circle and each person going round can choose one present to open (until they are all open). That way everyone can share in the gift-giving. It livens up the conversation, too!
We do this as well but with a twist. I do not put anyone's name on the packages. I use names such as Rudolph etc. I think we have used every Disney character name as well as weird ones such as a vegetable. Each year I keep a master list in my purse in a secret place with the gift plus the fake name. That way I keep a list of what I have bought etc. On Christmas morning everyone is excited because they get to open the gifts & they have been spending weeks trying to figure out who is who. They are usually never right. Sometimes the boys are girl names etc. I had thought about doing away with this tradition when my children grew up & got married but they love it so we have continued it on with the granchildren. Great fun.
We have 16 year old twins. We have always opened one present at a time, as described. Similar to mawmawto4, this year I did not put names on presents because the kids have gotten to where they knew what they were getting by the box, etc. But instead of fictional names, I put numbers on all gifts, so no one knew who was getting what. They grumbled about it, but on Christmas, it was hilarious. We all enjoyed it, and will do it again.
Our tradition is youngest to the oldest, one at a time. Lots of fun to find out some of the new additions to the family were older than their husbands and we still laugh at this after 40 years of marriage. Our 100 year old grandma had a hard time waiting her turn! BUT we could all ooh and aah over each person's special individual gifts.
That's how we do Christmas in our family and you are right. It is just a wonderful way to share the gift giving, and have an "all-inclusive" conversation. However, we don't go in a circle. We start with the youngest child, continue with the next oldest and so on, and so on.
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