Thursday, July 24, 2008

Reader Poll

OK, with Dori Hawker's comment about opening Christmas presents on Christmas morning instead of the correct time (Christmas Eve), I thought I'd conduct a little reader poll and see what you think.

You can find the poll on the right hand column, 3rd item down. I have cast the first vote myself.


M. Steve Heartsill said...

Well...I cancelled out your vote...

Then again...I'm all for opening presents on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, even Canada Day...send away, I'll open now!

Our First Son said...

BTW...I like your new photograph at the top of the page...beautiful scene!

Anonymous said...

"instead of the correct time"

How very 'Asian' of you to declare YOUR preference on a cultural tradition as THE correct way.

Having said that, If you look to the reason behind WHY we give gifts on Christmas - does it not make sense that you'd open them on the 'birthday' of the King, not the day before His birthday?

Does opening them the day before Jesus' birthday make Christmas more about US than HIM? Just thinking outloud...

M. Steve Heartsill said... are being hard on my buddy Rick...

And just what day was Jesus really born? Was it December 25? Really? Are you sure? Couldn't Rick be celebrating on the right day, even if it's not on the 25th? Many scholars believe His birth was actually in August sometime...I actually like that, since my birthday is in August as well.

So, since we don't know the exact moment of His birth, isn't the celebration about His birth and not the date?

Anonymous said...

How about one gift on Christmas eve and the rest on Christmas.

M. Steve Heartsill said...

You are losing on your poll!

Tim Tillinghast said...

We always get to pick ONE gift to open on Christmas Eve, but it can't be the BIG one (whatever that might be).
The anticipation of that must wait until Christmas morning. . . .

Rick Boyne said...

Hey guys, this was just for fun!

The new header pic is of my mom and dad's boat dock at Ft. Gibson Lake.

M. Steve Heartsill said...

As kids, my parents always let us open one person on Christmas Eve! And, every year, they got to pick out the one we opened. And, EVERY year, what we opened was a package of batteries!

You would have thought we would have learned...but, we were so excited about opening presents, that we forgot!

Anonymous said...

All my family members, extended family members, and husband's family members celebrate Christmas MORNING.

Off the subject of the poll, but on the subject of Christmas, anyone want to share favorite Christmas memories from growing up?

It was RARE for us to celebrate Christmas at our own home. (Only ONE time in my childhood and I remember EVERYthing about it!)

Christmas was never about getting gifts and playing with the toys all day. It was always about gathering with family and having a good time of fellowship around the table.

My maternal grandparents lived in Stillwater (one hour away) and my paternal grandma lived in Iuka, Mississippi (12 hours away). We would alternate Christmas morning between the two. MANY times we'd wake up in Stillwater for early AM breakfast and gifts then drive to Mississippi, arrive at the door late Christmas night and announce, "Christmas gift." (I loved wiping the condensation off the car windows as we were driving down the road, peering out into the dark looking for signs that we were close and looking at pretty Christmas lights on little country homes.)

Christmas was very different at the two homes. In Stillwater gifts were piled out into the middle of the living room. Everyone gathered - uncles, aunts, cousins and always a few extras that didn't have a place to be with their families - and there was always a gift under the tree for those people.

The tree went up early and stayed up late. There were real candy canes, envelopes with cards/money for everyone, and little else on the tree. I remember the door chime that played great songs when people would enter and exit. All day long that would sound. My grandma always had yard decor and a Santa Claus on the door. The only "hint" of Christ in Christmas was in the traditional attendance of Christmas Eve services at the Methodist church.

In Iuka, the gifts were more simple. Usually we'd receive a nice sweater, some nuts and oranges in our stockings, a book of Lifesavers (always!), and maybe a small toy. It was about being together. The tree was always fresh, cut from a country road. It was flocked with real soap. The morning after Christmas the tree was taken to the ditch and burned. I remember the vivid lights - the BIG, bright bulbs. Not many ornaments at all. Lots of icicles. My grandma had one of those little angel chimes - the ones where you light the candles and the heat makes the angels spin and make the chimes sound. (YES, I went out and purchased one for our family years later!)

Church services and caroling were shared at the top of the hill Baptist Church. Many times we'd go hear my uncle (dad's brother) preach services as guest pastor. (He is in his latter 80's and still preaching in Louisvile, KY.)

It was more meaningful in Iuka to me. Less is more.

(On my mom's side of the family one of my great grandma's was born on Christmas day and one of them died on Christmas day.)

I have never opened a gift on Christmas even that I can remember. Even now when I receive gifts early I tend to stick them under the tree and look forward with anticipation receiving them on Christmas morning. I think it is kind of nice to remember people from outside the family in that way while they are spending time with their families.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Christmas morning is preferred. When I was a kid it was because "Santa brings the presents." You couldn't very well open presents on Christmas Eve before Santa had brought them, could you? :)

Later on, once we realized Santa wasn't real, then we went to the one present on Christmas Eve thing. However the present was always a new set of pajamas or nightgown. So mom was really setting it up for cute Christmas pictures in the morning, so I don't think that really counted as getting to open a present.

It's been fun to see everyone's take on it though.