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Enjoying Christmas Day . . . One Gift at a Time

    In 1989, the year before Brad and I were married, I experienced my first Christmas morning with my soon-to-be husband’s family. After a delicious breakfast, we headed to the living room to open our gifts. Thinking in my mind that this next event would last approximately 30 minutes, I began day-dreaming of a nice, long afternoon nap to sleep off the rich breakfast I had just devoured.

    Brad’s extended family is a large one, so the room was pleasantly filled with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, who were seated in the “place of honor”—the big comfort chairs. The youngest of the crew got the privilege of playing “Santa,” passing out the gifts to each respective person. I will never forget the look on Brad’s grandmother’s face as she received her load of gifts. Her expression was one of child-like delight, even in her mid-80’s!

    After all of the gifts were distributed and the room looked like a wall of gift wrap, what happened next truly amazed me. The directions were given for the youngest to begin opening his gifts. What I assumed would take 30 minutes became a three-hour production! Each member of the family was individually honored as all attention was given to each one during those few moments. They not only felt affirmed, but those who spent their personal time and finances felt equally appreciated.

    Ever since that Christmas Day, Brad and I have established that tradition of honor in our family. Our children personally handcraft all of their gifts for each other (knitting, artwork, or other little projects), and it’s a beautiful thing to watch both the giver and recipient take delight in the moment.

    So, this Christmas morning, instead of having your children open all of their gifts at the same time (watching six months of preparation demolished in 10 minutes!), why not make the choice to savor the day, teaching your children to honor each member, from the smallest to the tallest? You won’t regret the choice!

    Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another. Romans 12:10 (NKJV)


Copyright © 2008-2015 Alyson Shedd

Reader Comments...
2009-12-04 14:57:30
"We ALWAYS open presents one at a time. It took my husband a few years to get used to the idea, after all, his was a free for all unwrapping. I love seeing the looks on the faces of people I've chosen gifts for. I wouldn't change those looks for anything. Great article!"
        - Andrea
2009-12-02 07:19:34
"Hey Alyson! I want you to know I read all your articles! We do this same thing in my house and what a great idea to tell others!! See you for Christmas."
        - Beth

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