Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Santa Debate: To Wrap or Not to Wrap?

Ah, traditions. You know, Christmas is a time for many things. And all families celebrate the holidays a little bit differently. Some of these differences are small, and some are, as the kids say, ginormous. This is a fact you become acutely aware of once you get married. 

At first, the differences in our household were minor, like whether to use white mini-lights or big multi-colored lights; when to go to church (Christmas Eve or Christmas Day); and whether to eat turkey or ham for Christmas dinner.

But the real humdinger of a difference came along once the kids were born and Santa started stopping by our house each Christmas Eve. It was then I realized the Christmas-celebrating world is divided into two distinct camps: Those for whom Santa wraps the gifts he leaves behind, and those for whom he doesn’t. (Bear with me, my kids read this blog). 

To wrap or not to wrap, that is the great Christmas debate. And I am a proud to say that I was raised as a member of the no wrap club. Over time, I learned this puts me in the minority. In fact, I am sure there are some people reading this blog right now who never heard of anyone who got unwrapped gifts from Santa. Well, now you have. And we are just like you.

See.  See everyone.  Unwrapped toys. 
I rest my case. ... Mic Drop.
On Christmas morning growing up, my brothers and sisters and I would wake early and run for the tree to find toys, roller skates, and big wheels scattered around the living room in little, neat child-distinct piles.  Hopefully, not too little. Under the tree were all the wrapped gifts, from our grandparents, our aunts and uncles, and a few from our parents, which had all been accumulating there throughout the month and would be opened later in the day. But Santa’s gifts were just out there, unencumbered by wrapping paper and ready to be enjoyed. And we loved it, looking around that room at our gifts from Santa and taking in everything our siblings got, as well. Pure joy.

Now granted, I was one of eight kids, and it has been argued to me by some members of the “wrapped Santa gift” majority that maybe Santa was just too tired to wrap all the gifts for our brood. Or maybe he was just lazy in general. (Careful now!  I know what you're really saying.)

As shocking as it may be to some, there exists a whole population of families for whom Santa does not wrap his gifts. Don’t believe me. Start asking around.  You could also just look at pictures of the back of Santa’s sleigh or his bag if you need hard evidence. Notice how half the gifts are unwrapped?

Well, as it happens, my wife came from a wrapped family. And, thus, as Santa's first visit to our house neared, after our eldest child was born, our household's first real Christmas tradition clash ensued. Now, I am a reasonable person -- I like to think so, anyway. And there are many things on which there is room for compromise. The wrapped vs. unwrapped debate is not one of them. Luckily, I convinced my wife it was the better, and easier, way to go. 

So, when Santa comes by our house this Christmas Eve, he will be leaving the wrapped gifts in the sleigh. And when the kids wake up, they will find around the tree toys, dolls and cars, unwrapped and unencumbered, in a few little child-distinct piles. But hopefully, not too little.

(Let me know if you too are from the unwrapped minority.  We must stick together.)

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monique said...

I thought for sure Andy was lying the other night when we had our own little debate about this topic. I threatened to call Linda to get the truth once and for all. That is no longer necessary, although the argument ensues. I've just never heard of such a thing!
To wrap or unwrap is still to be determined in this Ruddy household...

Unknown said...

This is very intriguing. I've never heard of this unwrapped gift philosophy. Although, now that you mention it, I do recall seeing pictures of Santa with unwrapped gifts in his sack. While I'm not completely against your non-traditional ideals, I would have to vote for the wrapped gift. Simply because ripping open a gift adds that element of surprise and sudden joy, or disappointment. Hopefully joy. And the chaotic mess that ensues the wrapping paper massacre has become a cornerstone to my Christmas experience. While I don't yet have children, I will sometime in the next two to twelve years, and they will be as surprised on Christmas morning, as all of you are that I will one day have children.

kelly said...

Expect to hear from Ross. Santa never wrapped any of his gifts and he loved it. I come from the other school. In our house now, Santa leaves the big-ticket item(s) unwrapped and he wraps the smaller ones. Can't we all just get along?

Jessica said...

I am proud to say I as well came from the "unwrapped" presents club. I loved it.

Anonymous said...

So doesn't Santa leave it up to the parents which they prefer? Some responsible parents ask him NOT to wrap so as to no waste the paper and have presents that need to be kept as a surprise wrapped, while others prefer to have them wrapped.