My mother has established a very specific way that we do Christmas presents and stockings in our family and it goes as follows:
Stockings are opened on Christmas morning only with our immediate family (extended family waiting in another room) and takes place sitting on my parents’ bed in our pajamas. We would then go downstairs for the rest of the presents.
As young children, we would receive one big gift from “Santa” that was left unwrapped under our fireplace, and the rest of the presents were found under the tree and were addressed from the respective person who bought them (Dad, Mom, Grandma etc.)
As older adults, we still open presents but we open a couple from immediate family members at Christmas Eve dinner and the rest Christmas morning, without an unwrapped gift from Santa.
Background: Tamara has lived her entire life in Southern California and moved her family to Malibu in 2001. She is married and has two children.
Context: My mom started this tradition in our family once me and my brother were both born, and we still do it to this day on Christmas. I asked my mom if she came up with the tradition on her own last weekend while we were at a family dinner and she said she started it when she had kids.
Analysis: As a kid, I thought this was customary, and everyone who celebrated Christmas did it in the same way my family did. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized every family had their own unique Christmas traditions, and how much I appreciated my own. This tradition that my mom started years ago is something I will definitely carry on when I have a family of my own, and I am excited at the idea of adapting it in my own way, while continuing my mother’s ritual.