When Should You Actually Open Presents on Christmas?

when to open presents

Christmas is a time for giving and is best spent alongside family (biological or chosen), complemented by a Christmas feast, post-pudding afternoon nap, and a round of gift-giving.

For some families, the gift exchange takes place first thing on Christmas morning, and for others, presents are handed over on Christmas Eve. Then there are those of us who struggle to hold out until the big day and impatiently pass on presents as soon as they’re delivered — sometimes weeks out from December 25.

While there are no exact ‘rules’ around the best time to open presents on Christmas, there are some traditionalists who find themselves very opinionated about the correct time to exchange gifts.

When should you open Christmas presents?

Open a conversation about it with your friends and they’ll likely all respond with various time windows, most likely informed by long-standing family traditions.

For families with European roots in countries like Austria, Germany, Poland, Hungary and Switzerland, it’s common to open all presents on Christmas Eve. In Australia, the UK, the US, it’s perhaps more traditional to open presents on Christmas Day. Then there’s the Spanish, who typically open presents on January 6, or Epiphany Day.

Of course, individual families will have their own preferences, and in some cases, families will open one present together on Christmas Eve before exchanging the remainder of gifts on Christmas Day. There is no right way or wrong way.

What time should you open your Christmas presents?

Apparently, the time you open presents matters too — at least to some.

While you wouldn’t necessarily think it matters what time you open your presents, one UK TV presenter is of the opinion that the time a family opens their presents is indicative of their social “class”.

According to a Tweet from 2018, Richard Osman says: “The later you open your presents on Christmas Day, the more middle class you are”.

As for whether or not we think time matters? The answer is no. It’s entirely up to you how you like to run your Christmas, and that includes the exchange of gifts too.

For people with young children, it can be a challenge to stretch the present-opening beyond breakfast time. And if it means they’ll be preoccupied with new toys and leave you to ready the Christmas feast in peace, then great!

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