Each child has their own tub to put their gifts once opened, after which they return to their spot on the floor (and in case you're wondering, no, I did not get this idea from John and Kate plus 8, I've been doing it since before they had a show!). I know, it sounds like Christmas boot camp - and yes, I am the drill sergeant. But you can't imagine the chaos that ensues if they are able to grab and open gifts on their own. It is just a necessity.
Everyone wakes up (at 7 ha ha ) singing "Good Christian Men Rejoice!" and once the grown ups are ready they all get to their spots.
It always seems to vary at this point.. whether we read something, sing Happy Birthday, or something else. What doesn't change is starting with the stockings. I love the stockings - don't know why - just do. Then we take turns opening gifts and watching others open gifts. I was really proud of my big kids this year. They had fewer gifts than the others but shared in the delight of their younger siblings to an generous degree. I was so proud of them, yet again.
Here's Madi snuggled with her Daddy watching the last of the gifts being opened.
Then there are a dozen pictures of kids opening gifts - which I think are rarely ever good pictures - yet I take them every Christmas and birthday. Here is Tyson with a Little Einstein gift ~ maybe this will be the last year he is obsessed with them!
Once the gifts start winding down Papa jumps in the kitchen to make his famous pancakes. Mommy and Daddy try to sneak in naps in between cleaning and helping put together toys, which leads right into meal prep. There is excitement in the air and a sense of relaxation that it is finished. This year, there is a great desire on my part to see some the excitement of waiting for Jesus carry into the New Year. I'll let you know how that goes.