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This Reddit Mom Has a Super Controlling Christmas Morning Tradition That People Are Calling a ‘Nightmare’

Christmas morning is the smell of cinnamon rolls and peppermint candy. It’s the excited squeals of kids ripping wrapping paper and new toys being played with. It’s the joy of family time, the comfort of tradition, the love that everyone shares. So I understand — I really, truly do! — why one mom on Reddit wants the magic of December 25 to last. Who wouldn’t? But her method of slowing down the holiday is pretty “annoying” to her husband — and we can’t help but agree!  

A dad posted in the “Parenting” subreddit about his wife’s controlling Christmas morning plan, and people did not hold back their opinions about this “nightmare” idea.

“Opening presents is always annoying here,” the dad wrote. “My wife likes to ration presents for the kids and have them open one every hour or two.”

Every hour — or two?! I’m sorry, what? I read that line three times. One present per hour — can you imagine? “Merry Christmas, honey! Here’s your present. Now we are all going to sit around and stare at you playing with it, reading it, or trying it on for the next 60 minutes until you can open present number two.” Yikes!

Like, what? By lunch time, you’ll have gotten through three presents — and everyone will be in a bad mood! I can’t imagine asking a toddler to wait that long, much less an older kid or a teen. As a fully grown adult, I don’t even want to wait an hour between presents! Where’s the dramatics? Where’s the excitement and energy? Where’s the momentum? Where’s the fun???

The dad has a different method (although, it’s also a little annoying to me): “I prefer to just sit down and take turns opening all of them,” he said, asking, “What’s your process for gifts?”

I mean, taking turns opening all the presents is still better than once every hour — I can’t think of a Christmas tradition that sounds worse than that — but still. The frenzy of everyone ripping through presents and the delight on their faces when they see what they got simply cannot be replicated by this slow-gift-opening nonsense. Are you a family of sloths or people? Do you also prohibit smiling on Christmas Day?

Redditors agreed. “One per hour? What do you guys do to fill the rest of the hour?” one person asked. “We take turns opening, and if child wants to stop and play with something right now, super. Completely up to him.” This is a good strategy — let the kids play if they want, but don’t purposely make them wait!

Another said, “I don’t understand. When I was a child I definitely had Christmases where I had ten gifts, you know between all my family members, parents, and ‘Santa’. …. do these people really take TEN HOURS to open gifts?????”

“Seriously and I’m trying to imagine enforcing this with kids?! Sounds like a nightmare,” someone else said.

“Does your wife have control issues, OP?” another asked. “Half the fun is opening the presents in morning then spending the rest of the day building/wearing/playing with whatever the gift is.”

Someone else joked that the kids should bring a “Christmas revolution.” “It’s controlling… hopefully at some point the children want a Christmas revolution and actually get a say. Big time fun police mom,” they wrote.

“I still think my husband’s family is nuts for everyone opening 1 present at a time going clockwise,” someone else wrote, detailing another slow Christmas morning tradition. “It takes at least 4 hours for 5 people. They buy a disgusting amout of presents too. I was in awe at the amount like something you only see in movies. I prefer my family’s way, tearing thru them like heathens.”

Some people defended the mom’s choice. “When I was a child we did something similar, but it’s not like we sat staring at the wrapped gifts,” they wrote. “We opened one or two and played with them, had breakfast, maybe went for a walk. Then a couple more, then Christmas dinner. Some playing and the final ones in the evening.”

They continued, “It stretched them out rather than the scenario where kids open everything and it’s kind of an anticlimactic. I imagine OP’s wife means something similar. Not everyone has to do it but I don’t think it’s unreasonable.”

I guess if that’s what you like, then there’s nothing wrong with that. But shouldn’t this be a decision the whole family makes together? The wife’s controlling behavior of present-rationing doesn’t sit well with her husband, and it’s his Christmas, too. I also can’t imagine the kids like it too much. Compromises should definitely be made so everyone can enjoy the holiday.

This comment summed up my feelings on the matter: “If I’m not asking ‘where’s youngest daughter ?’ because she’s hidden among a 3 foot high pile of wrapping paper and tape, it wouldn’t be Christmas,” someone wrote, and I can’t stop laughing. That is so true — and all part of the fun of the day!

Before you go, check out some of Reddit’s most jaw-dropping Thanksgiving stories.

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