Yes. Our tradition is to open gifts from each other on Christmas Eve. At first I thought it strange, but after more than forty years of celebrating Christmas gift giving this way, I dearly look forward to it.
We start at three, mainly because the group has grown to twenty-four and it's a lengthly process.
Food is prepared and generally everyone is famished when they arrive. This year's menu included:
Mexicana Chip Dip
Crab stuffed Mushrooms
For the Main Chomping:
Logan's spiral ham, roasted and delicious
Creamy Shrimp and Corn Soup, yummy
Mexican Cheese Grits
Homemade Fruitcake soaked in Whiskey
After snacking for awhile, the smaller kids wanted to open gifts, so we obliged.
We sit in a huge circle of sorts, then the oldest grandkids hand out the gifts. We open gifts by age. Youngest first. It's the only time of the year my daughter will admit that her husband is younger than her, (only by three weeks).
We ooh, and aah over each gift.
By the time the grandkids are finished it's time to hit the refreshment table again.
Did I tell you that Southern people expect food at all events, in fact, it is part of the event.
Then the older kids open gifts.
This is the only year that we haven't done fireworks afterward. (That was on my hubby's list.)
By nine, we were finished. The families left, the grandkids knowing that Santa would pass during the night with more gifts.
It seems like a lot of work for a few hours. But I wouldn't trade a moment of it for anything.
Because, once upon a time, I knew a boy who never received a Christmas present that he could remember. So, whenever I think of the excess of Christmas, I'm feeling in my heart that that little boy would have been in such awe. And I remember him with love.