Wednesday, December 20, 2006

20th Day of Christmas - Opening Christmas Gifts

Of all holidays, traditions seem to be the most important at Christmas. Traditions bind us together as a family, a church, a nation or a culture.

Some traditions are limited to a particular culture and others are shared the world over. Did you know about these Christmas traditions?

Australia - Santa's sleigh is pulled by eight white kangaroos.
(My tradition - flying reindeer)

Finland - it was traditional to take a sauna bath before Santa's visit.
(My tradition - leave milk and cookies)

Spain - Papa Noel delivers presents by climbing up balconies.
(My tradition - comes down the chimney - or through the keyhole if there is not a chimney, maybe that was just daddy's theory?)

New Zealand - families head to the beach for a yule "tide" picnic since Christmas is in the summer.
(My tradition - Christmas gathering at Grandma's with a white elephant gift exchange.)

Another tradition is when to open presents. Do you open them on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? My family opened all but one big present on Christmas Eve while my husband's family opened one present on Christmas Eve and all the rest were opened on Christmas Day. His family just dug in and opened all the presents at once while my family sat in a circle and went around opening presents one at a time. Do you put the presents under the tree or hide them in the branches? Both our families put them under the tree prior to Christmas Day, but I know some families who do not put them under the tree until Christmas Day. Shaun hid one of my presents in the branches of our tree last year (a necklace from Tiffanys). Are your presents wrapped or unwrapped? My family wraps all our presents except some items in our stockings and the big present from "Santa".

In the end it really does not matter how a present is opened. It is only important that it is opened. If you spend time and money to find the perfect present for someone you love, you would be disappointed if they did not even bother to open the gift, wouldn't you? God gave us the gift of His Son because He loves us. If you haven't already done so, won't you think about opening that gift this year?

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