It may only be once a year, but the debate over it is as heated as any other controversy. Rivaling Coke versus Pepsi, Ford versus Chevy, and whether nuts are the devil is the question of this week. Do you open your Christmas gifts on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve? Is there a compelling reason either way? Gildshire breaks it down. We found out that, wherever you stand on the subject, you have strong supporters. You might even call them passionate.
The Case for Christmas Eve?
Isn’t Christmas Eve a day with its own traditions? For many, Christmas Eve is a day rivaling Christmas Day in memory-making opportunities. These annual traditions might include attending Midnight Mass, singing familiar Christmas carols, or eating specific foods. Why would any family want to add gift-opening to the mix? Gildshire asked some Christmas Eve gift people their thoughts on the subject, and it came down to one thing, sleep deprivation. One man was quite adamant about the issue.
“Why would I subject myself to being routed out of bed at 5 am by three screaming children? Let’s open the gifts the day before and sleep in on Christmas Day? After all, it’s a day off, and I want to enjoy it.”
The Case for Christmas Day?
Santa Claus, of course. The scarlet-garbed fat man flies all over the world, magically giving out the goodies while the wee ones sleep. Christmas Eve gift opening messes up all of that. Sleep, bah! Getting up at six o’clock, five o’clock, or four o’clock is part of the fun! At least, that’s what I tell myself as I blearily pour coffee while it is still dark outside.
We asked for another Christmas Day gift opener to offer her thoughts.
“Traditionally, Christmas Day morning is the time for gifts, and Christmas afternoon is the time to call relatives and thank them. Then, Christmas dinner with all of the trimmings. The timing would be messed up if we opened our gifts the night before.”
What Do You Do on Christmas Eve?
For the children in families that open gifts on Christmas Day, the day before is a time to gaze at the bounty. No shaking, please, because something in there could break. But look, for sure.
In the evening, many families in the Christian tradition attend a worship service of some kind. A midnight service is offered at many churches, timed to finish at midnight with congregational singing. It is an inspiring moment that is carried on year after year.
What Countries Celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve?
Countries which mostly open presents on Christmas Eve are:
Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, The Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Quebec, Romania, Uruguay, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic.
Interestingly enough, in some parts of Europe, Santa doesn’t participate. The presents are brought to the gathering by a traditional childlike figure known as the Christkind or Christ Child.
So, however (and whenever) you open your gifts, have a blessed time of it. Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, there is no right answer. Appreciate what you receive and the people who cared enough to give you a gift. Some places at the dinner table will be empty this year. Love the ones who are there.