Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 Virtual Advent Tour: The Joy of Giving

I love presents. Who doesn't, right? But I seriously LOVE them. I love thinking about them and choosing them and listing them and buying them and wrapping them and putting them under the tree. I love watching family and friends open presents I chose for them. And of course I love getting presents myself.

We've always been a tad present-crazy in my family. None of this one-present-per-person thing for us! Kids especially benefit from this craziness, but since young kids are only recent in our family, my brother and I were the ones who were showered with gifts. Now there's Shane and present-buying focuses on him, which is so much fun.

As for traditions to do with Christmas presents... In Poland, we celebrate on Christmas Eve. We sit down to dinner at 5 or 6, as soon as it's dark. We are allowed  to open presents as soon as we spot the first star in the sky. I can remember my brother and I standing with our noses glued to the window, watching out for that first star. We've lived in some pretty polluted countries though, so sometimes this tradition had to be abandoned.

Now we don't really watch out for that star anymore, we open gifts after the first course. And then again on Christmas morning. (and we already have a first Christmas at the beginning of December, for family reasons, so this isn't even the first holiday event!).

My favorite part is still watching others open gifts I chose for them. Such a joy to see their smiling faces. :-)

Now, head on over to the other bloggers who are part of the 2011 Virtual Advent Tour today:

Happy Holidays to all of you, may they be peaceful and joyful for you and your loved ones!


Joanne said...

I love gifts...both giving and receiving. Definitely one of my favorite parts of the holiday season!

Anonymous said...

I hate buying gifts! Just because everyone has everything they want (or so it seems) and I don't want to spend a lot of money on something they may not appreciate.

But whenever I do find a gift that I think is ideal for someone special, then I'm very pleased, and then it becomes fun.

I like the idea of looking for a star before opening presents. Very original!

Chrisbookarama said...

Christmas Eve is a big deal in my husband's family too. His Mom is Polish.

kayerj said...

I think the presents are the best part too. kaye—the road goes ever ever on

Tami said...

If money were unlimited, I would definitely be one of the "gone crazy" gift givers. I agree - the best part is watching other people open something you selected for them. (I'm also heartbroken if it doesn't get the response I wanted.)

I love the idea of stopping after the first course to open gifts, then continuing the meal. Thanks for sharing your traditions.

Merry Christmas.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

What a great idea to look for the first star! We always have a really lovely dinner on Christmas Eve but were only allowed to open one present that night--usually matching jammies. :)

Definitely a lot of fun buying gifts for the babes! But generally I'm a terrible gift giver.

joanna said...

Joanne - I feel like it shouldn't be my favorite, but it still is!

leeswammes - It's true, some people are so hard to buy for because they have everything and all they want is stuff I can't afford. My dad's like that!

Chrisbookarama - Polish Christmas Eve is beautiful.

kaye - ha ha, we're all just kids at heart!

Tami - we have to stop after the first course because we're all too impatient to wait until after the meal. Sometimes we open them in sooo many stages! :-)

Trish - Yes, kids open up whole new present-buying possibilities! Such fun!

Marg said...

WE've apparently decided to only do presents for the kids this year and to be honest I am not sure I like it. That is despite the fact that unless I think of the perfect gift I do find the whole shopping process frustrating.

Thanks so much for participating in the tour!

betty said...

I like the tradition from when you were growing up to look for a star before you could open a gift; of course it could be challenging on a cloudy night!

They do say it is better to give than receive; sounds like you do enjoy seeing the joy of giving indeed!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!


joanna said...

Marg - Oh, I would hate that! :-) Thanks for organising this, it's a lovely idea!

That corgi - Merry Christmas to you too!

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

We also open presents right after dinner on the 24th, which also tells you how we love presents, because in Portugal you're suppose to wait until the morning of the 25th...

Kailana said...

I used to love picking out presents for people, too, but I find everyone is getting very hard to buy for...

Court said...

I always love watching people open the gifts I'm giving them. :) Thanks for sharing this with us. :)