Monday, November 29, 2010

Presents! A Chance to Win!

(At left is my favorite Christmas elf. He's aged some since that picture was taken--and cut off all those gorgeous curls! Shh! Don't tell him I put this up.)

I'm talking Christmas, people, because it's really upon us. And because my mom sent (via my bro who visited for Thanksgiving) an early Christmas present. A cuckoo clock she bought in Germany. It's like getting used to a new pet or a new baby. It makes noises between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. (at least it sleeps through the night) but we keep jumping when it starts its little song and dance every hour.

But it made me think about gifts and when to open them. Surfer Guy grew up opening gifts on Christmas Eve (gasp!), which was almost a marriage dealbreaker...until he promised to do it my way. Of course, Christmas morning is the time to open gifts, else Christmas Day is so anti-climactic. Right? Right?

As my kids get older a lot of the drama has been taken out of the gift-giving. No more of those have-to-have-it toys. I miss that. And staying up late on Christmas Eve attaching a thousand little decals to the latest race course or whatever that Surfer Guy and I just have to play with for a few hours before bed.

But it's that time of year at the Ridgway house already. Friday after Thanksgiving, the turkeys and pumpkins are put away and the Christmas decorations come out...santas, sleighs, reindeers, penguins. I already have a list and I'm checking it twice.

Are you ready for the season? When do you open gifts?

Whether you're naughty or nice, I may have a present for you. Comment for a chance to win one of three advance copies of my January release, Then He Kissed Me. Romantic Times gave it 4 1/2 stars, saying "Ridgway gives readers great romance." I'd love to send you an early Christmas gift...and it's one that doesn't sing or cuckoo!

63 comments:

Laurie said...

My parents had us open up our presents on Christmas eve too. I don't know why they followed this tradition. My dad was a small town doctor...maybe he got called in a lot or he had to make early rounds??
In our household we open presents on Christmas morning. I prefer this time. There's something about dreaming about Santa coming and putting out the milk and cookies. ANTICIPATION!!

Happy Holidays!

Virginia C said...

Happy Holidays to all : ) We had a very nice tradition of opening one small present each on Christmas Eve. It was simple and sweet, and somehow it was just as important as the wild package rampage on Christmas morning. The much-appreciated appetizer before the magical main course ; )

krisgils33 said...

Christmas morning. Wouldn't have it any other way. I am so not ready yet, but I have started "thinking" about my Christmas shopping!

Cindy Gerard said...

How exciting, Christie - a new year and a new release on the horizon! Can't wait to pick this one up and congrats on the great RT review!

We are all over the board on when we open gifts these days because now that we are 'in-laws' we have to share the kids and grand kids and since they life a couple of hours away, it's always a juggling act. But that's okay. It's the getting together that counts, so we do a lot of compromising.
But so you know --- first year ever, I'm ahead of the curve. ALL my shopping is done. It's kind of scary :o)

Christie Ridgway said...

All right, Cindy gets the Amazing Christmas Elf award! Shopping all done! This would not work for me cuz I would buy twice as much, I think, as I keep coming up with more ideas.

I'm happy to hear others open on Christmas Day. We do have that "one present" on Christmas Eve tradition too, though. Always try to pick something that can be "played" with by all.

Queen N said...

Hejhej
I've always opened my presents on Christmas Eve. Seems to be a European custom, as I'm born and raised in Switzerland. Christmas Eve was always spent at home with just my family (mom, dad, sister, presents would be opened late afternoon or early evening, followed by a nice meal. (And, oh horror, we kids would spend the mornings at school, yes, at school!). Christmas Day we'd be at my grandparents, opening some other presents.
Anyway, I live now in Sweden since a few years back, and it's the same thing here. Presents are opened on Christmas Eve. But this year my boyfriends family has decided that there will be no presents at all this year, which seems a bit wrong.

Well, Happy Holidays from snowy and ice-cold Sweden
//N

Michele Hauf said...

Hmm, we've always opened all presents on Xmas eve, then the big moment arrives on Xmas morn when Santa has come.

My son put the tree up for us this weekend, and it wouldn't have even been dragged out of storage if he hadn't done so. I love Xmas, but I never feel the desire to decorate (though I love the decorations once they are up). I always thought there should be some sort of Xmas decorating service you can hire to put up the tree and put out your doo-dads. I would so pay someone to do that.

CrystalGB said...

My grandmother had a cuckoo clock and I was always fascinated by it when I was a little girl. We open one present Christmas eve and then the rest of the presents Christmas morning.

Minna said...

We set up our Christmas tree on Christmas eve and watch the declaration of Christmas peace on tv. And we open our presents on Christmas eve in the evening.

Terry Odell said...

We'll be finished long before Christmas this year. Family will join us on Sunday for traditional eats and present exchange, and then I'll resent all the people filling the stores when all I want to do is 'normal' shopping!

Terry
Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

Christie Ridgway said...

Love hearing all these traditions. Hi to Queen N in Sweden! School on Christmas Eve...now that is really wrong.

Michele, around here there are services that will put up your Christmas lights. I'm guessing there are others that will do the rest, too. It took us several hours and we still have yet to decorate the tree.

bianca thaci said...

Hi there...here in germany...we open gifts on christmas eve with parents and grandparents and on christmas day and the next day everybody comes visiting...aunts uncles godchildren etc ;o)) FROHE WEIHNACHTSZEIT bianca

Denise said...

We open one gift on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas day. It was always a big treat to open one before the big day.

lois greiman said...

It's Christmas eve opening here too. No idea why. We didn't grow up believing in Mr. Claus though so maybe that had something to do with it.

Congrats on your new release.

Playground Monitor said...

We opened gifts on Christmas Eve too and then had Santa on Christmas morning. Even after the boys went away to college, Santa still visited them on Christmas morning.

Now we're all in different places and like Cindy it's a juggling act for me. The divorce is final (got the official decree in the mail the day after Thanksgiving) so we'll have to work out a Christmas plan for this year.

And also like Cindy, I have my Christmas shopping done. But I can't decorate for Christmas until I finish this $%^# book for NaNoWriMo. That's my motivation for writing. Last year I just wanted Christmas to go away. This year I'm looking forward to it and can't wait to decorate. So... I better get off the internet and open up the WIP and write!

I loved Alessandra's book. I hope I win Then He Kissed Me!

Jackie P said...

I just have stocking stuffers left to buy. Thank goodness and we usually open gifts Christmas morning. When my son was little, I convinced myself that we needed to open gifts on Christmas morning. No matter how much the suspense of him seeing his gifts was killing me.

Laura said...

We open on Christmas Day. My mom likes everyone to stop and admire each gift before moving on to the next one. But this year we will be 11 people so that could take 5 hours! I think we should all just tear right into them.

Helen Brenna said...

Congrats, Christie, on the nice RT review!

We used to do what a few others have mentioned - our gifts on xmas eve, Santa's on xmas morn. Now that Santa no longer comes to the Brenna house, we really haven't set a do-or-die routine.

And I won't be ready for xmas until, quite likely, a day or two beforehand!

Cheryl said...

it's been years since I had presents to open, but we used to do one small one on Christmas eve and the rest on Christmas morning.

Looking forward to your new release. I always love your books.

Kirsten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathleen Eagle said...

I used to get lots of shopping done in advance, but now the main thing I have to get for starters is the traditional round tuit. You'd think I'd know just where to find one by now.

I came from a Christmas morning family, and that's the way we have it here. Started doing the "open one present Christmas Eve" routine with the kids, and that tradition continues. As I remember there were lots of Eve openers around us in ND, and I think it was the German influence.I think my Daddy's side were Eve openers, too. Granddaddy came from Sweden, so that might be why.

Guess I'd better start decorating. Soon as I get a round tuit I'll spiffy it up with a big red bow.

LSUReader said...

We did it both ways. Family presents were exchanged on Christmas Eve night. Santa Claus gifts were for Christmas morning. Isn't compromise wonderful?

Laney4 said...

Hi!

I was the youngest of four. We waited until Christmas morning to open our presents, but first we had to line up in order of youngest to oldest (YES!) at 8 am (although it was 9 am as we aged) before heading downstairs to see what Santa had brought.

My own kids are now in their early twenties. We also go down the steps at 9 am (and 8 am in their earlier years). My kids help with stuffers (we close our eyes as we stuff our treats inside), and they buy just as many presents as their parents. (It's GREAT!!!)

Even if I have more presents for one child than the other, I have always wrapped them in the same number of boxes. My husband and I plop down at the table and wrap for a couple of hours until done. It works well for us, as I get the help, he can watch his shows while holding the paper in place, and all the gifts are colour coordinated to make it easier to open on Christmas morn.

Our tree goes up this Saturday, and I am already listening to/singing Christmas carols. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night....

Michele Benard said...

Outside is decorated, inside not yet behind this year. we normally open one or two on Cristmas Eve I try to get the kids PJ's that they open. as for shopping I bought one thing for my daughter I'm trying not to buy useless crap that will sit there with the rest of their useless crap

Parisa Z said...

We open presents on Christmas day. If people aren't awake, I tend to wake them up. Christmas morning is such fun!

Christie Ridgway said...

I'm a little shocked by you guys with your Christmas shopping done. Wow. I do have the start of a list, though.

And you all know the secret that I confess every year...I buy myself a few gifts that I wrap & put under the tree & laugh myself silly because the men in my family never ask me who they are from.

shannonm said...

We open x-mas jammies and gifts from my husbands side of the family Chrsitmas eve and the rest Christmas day. LOVE Christmas traditions!!!!

Meljprincess said...

I'm so not ready for the season.
We open one gift on Christmas eve. The rest we open on Christmas day.
Plus I eat an entire Cadbury bar for brekkie.
Oooo! Books make the greatest gifts! :-)

Keri Ford said...

omgoodness, so not even close to being ready for the holidays. Far too much stuff buy still! all the holiday baking. my book releases 2DAYS AFTER CHRISTMAS. I mean, there is just no time...where in the heck is it going??

chey said...

Not ready for Christmas yet. Lots of baking and shopping yet to do.
We open gifts Christmas morning.

JackieW said...

It's always been a tradition to open our presents on Christmas morning. I'm almost getting in the mood for the holidays cuz it is cold here ..unusual weather for us..but it helps that it is cold like when I was a kid growing up in Colorado with the snow.

Gram said...

We opened ONE present - our choice - on Christmas eve, the rest in the morning!

Beth T. said...

Growing up, we had it made.
Presents on Christmas Eve;
Before the stockings were even displayed.
Then the rest on Christmas morning,
But now we suffer and wait.
My husband didn't open early,
so opening on the 25th is our fate.
It really isn't so bad, as I'm busy Christmas Eve,
I go to work then set out the gifts,
busy as you can believe.
But I do not complain, and I'd rather be the one,
because if my husband had to do it,
it probably wouldn't get done. :)

I'm not ready, but I've started. The advent calendar comes out in 2 days, then it really starts to feel like Christmas. I know my daughter is ready!

Jane said...

I'm not ready, I still have a lot of gifts to buy. We like to open our presents at midnight, but if we're at a relative's house then I have to wait until Christmas morning.

Maureen said...

I am not at all ready for Chirstmas. I am completely ignoring the decorations but I have started to shop, or think about it anyway.

Cindy McCune said...

When I was a child we opened Santa's gifts on Christmas Eve. because we always went to Grandma's house for dinner and did the gift exchange then. Now that my family has passed on or moved away I have no gifts under the tiny tree I still put up. I think I'll buy me something so there will be a gift there this year:')

Christie Ridgway said...

Beth T--love your poem!

I know today is Cyber Monday and we're all supposed to do our online shopping today, but I don't think it's that necessary. Still plenty of time.

Justine G said...

I hope that you have a wonderful and blessed holiday season and thank you for allowing me to take a peek into your life. Sometimes I fear that authors are these huge people who would never have time for a little person like myself but then you comment on something I say and its like ohhhh...she's real!!!! So thank you in advance for beig "real"!!!

Beth T. said...

That is too funny you wrap gifts for yourself. I'm guilty of that myself. "Oh, Honey... you shouldn't have!" "And you got me exactly what I wanted!" My previous employer would have his preschool daughters wrap up their old socks and give them to his toddler son as a joke. I love Christmas traditions!

Kay T said...

When I was a kid we opened on Christmas Eve at my Grandma's house, and then did stockings on Christmas morning. Later we opened ONE present on Christmas eve and the rest on Christmas.

I thought of you during Thanksgiving - we got snowed in and I felt very unprepared -- like a California girl. I was super stressed driving out of the mountains, at least 1 1/2 hours with chains on the tires! Ack.

VikiVS said...

hey Christie! this memory just popped into my head... remember the Christmas that "Santa" went on vacation with the Ridgways? ... and how "the moms" all threatened to tell your littlest man "the truth?" those were the days...

Leanne said...

We are also in-laws now, so we have to be flexible about when we open gifts. When I was a child, we were Christmas morning gift openers, then off to Grandma's house!:)

Congrats on your great review!

Johanna R Jochum said...

We open presents on Christmas Day after Santa has come! :D We then go my in-laws and open more gifts and have yummy Christmas buffet!

evjochum@aol.com

catslady said...

As a child we had to wait until we came back from church Sunday morning - oh the agony. We let our children open one gift on Christmas Eve and they got a new pair of pajamas most years. I miss those years too but not staying up until 4 wrapping presents and getting up at 5 lol. One year our tree feel over twice (I blame the cats). I gave up sleep all together that year and I could not believe that the kids never woke up because I ran the sweeper and their bedrooms were right down the hall lol.

caliblonde637 said...

We have a big traditional dinner on Christmas eve: Roast Beef, Yorkshire pudding, Spinach Salad, Brussle sprouts, shrimp cocktail...

Then we have presents and stockings n the morning!!!

Kristine Riggs said...

We open gifts on Christmas day because mean old daddy says so! HA! Just playing! Although, it's partially true. Before I married my hubby and I was a single mother with my oldest, we used to open them whenever we felt like it. We basically held out until it killed us. Generally that was Christmas Eve... but sometimes even sooner.

Susan said...

My kids would open one small thing on Christmas Eve, then the rest on Christmas morning (after all, Santa doesn't come until overnight CHristmas Eve!)

I have a few of my gifts bought, more selected but not ordered yet. I hope to have it all done within a couple weeks.

Kristine Riggs said...

Oh, and I've been ready since about September with the gifts. Couldn't help myself! Wrapped them in October. Put the tree up mid-November. Now for the waiting... the WORST part! ;)

KylieBrant said...

I'm with you, Christie, we were strict Christmas morning gift openers. I insisted on the same for my kids but as they grew up and got lazier they wanted to do it Christmas Eve so they could sleep in! Slackers.

Now we juggle so many other families that we do Christmas Eve one year and Christmas the next.

Congrats on the review!

irma adyatni said...

congratulation for opening new year with the new book. i'm a fans of your books, so being so far here in indonesia and opening your book as x-mas present would be a moment to remember ^_^

Christie Ridgway said...

Kay T: So glad you made it home safely!

VikiVS: Yeah, I remember when everyone wanted me to spill the Santa beans. And someone said they'd do it for me. Awful mom-friends. LOL.


Kristine: I love that you would sometimes open earlier than even Christmas Eve.

Christie Ridgway said...

Hi, Justine! The only thing "huge" about me is possibly the number on the scale after all the stuff I ate over Thanksgiving. Glad to see you here!

Robin said...

Growing up we were allowed to open one gift on Christmas Eve and my husband was agreeable to it so that's what we do. He has a huge family and for years his Grandmother had a family party on the 23rd so when we moved away and couldn't always be there we started opening the gifts from Ma on the 23rd. In addition Hubby's mother has a party with just her boys (4 of them)and their families so whatever night hers is on we open the ones from her. Even though our youngest is now an adult he's still at home and we still give him a "main gift" which doesn't go under the tree until Christmas Eve. We also stuff stockings including one for my daughter and her husband.

Christie Ridgway said...

You know, I always leave the stocking stuffer shopping until the last minute but I'm going to try to do better this year. Son 1 has his birthday on the 22nd, which always makes the last few days even crazier.

Christie Ridgway said...

Oh, and because he opens his bday gifts on the 22nd (naturally) that may explain why I insist on a little distance before opening more presents. The 24th is just too soon after...he should still be in birthday glow.

georganna said...

I have barely scratched the surface of preparing for Christmas.
We had a lovely Thanksgiving and yesterday was my 40th birthday (shh!). So this week begins with putting away the fall decorations and getting started on the Christmas decorations. Hopefully by the weekend, we'll be done.
We are definitely Christmas morning gift openers! We can't start before Santa has a chance to deliver his gifts to my 4 children!
To make things a bit more complicated, my hubby's birthday is also Christmas day and my youngest's is 3 days later!

Christie Ridgway said...

Happy belated bday, Georganna!

Jenn said...

Not even close to being ready as far as decorating goes - but have almost all of hubby's gifts bought or ordered!

Linda Henderson said...

We open our presents Christmas morning. I haven't started putting my decorations out yet, I'm still trying to figure out how I can keep my granddaughter out of the tree.

Kathy Carpenter said...

When we wer growing up we opened one present on Christmas Eve. All the others on Christmas morning.

Anonymous said...

hi, Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. I have 25 of your previous books and my drop dead fav is WISH YOU WERE HERE. I love the sisters and the way the younger gets the man of her dreams.
Keep doing what you do so well.
Cait

Sally Schaefer said...

In the 1980's, we were stationed with the Army in Germany. It was a local superstition among the Americans that when you left, you either brought home a cuckoo clock or a baby. I brought home both a clock and not one, but two babies (twins)! I think the babies made more noise than the clock!
Congratulations on your new release! I know it will be as good as all your previous books

MarthaE said...

I got the office cards out early and the office decorations went up this past weekend. On the other hand I haven't done anything at home. Usually I buy presents all year long but not this year - I haven't started and I'm not ready.
We are allowed to open ONE present on Christmas Eve - it always used to be the pajamas. Now we let the children (grown and grandkids) pick one if they are here on Christmas eve. Otherwise we open on Christmas. Although DH and I have a tendency to buy presents we want all year long so we don't get too much at Christmas anymore.
My BD is the 27th so it gets remembered but celebrated only by dinner now... not too many presents which is fine.
And this reminds me ...my 25th anniversary is tomorrow Nov 30!
Best wishes on your new release and have a wonderful Holiday.