Growing up, we always opened our presents on Christmas Day. We were allowed to open one on Christmas Eve, but part of the fun was getting up early on Christmas Day, digging through our stockings and opening presents together. It was a hard transition for me to open presents on Christmas Eve, as my husband's family has always done.
As much as I don't like it though, Christmas Eve presents make sense for our family. His family gathers on Christmas Eve, and again on Christmas Day. He works a rotating schedule, so if Christmas falls on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday, he will be gone during the day, and we will have our family time together in the evening. Rather than make our kids get up on Christmas morning and stare at wrapped presents all day, waiting for Daddy, we open gifts on Christmas Eve and they get to spend Christmas Day celebrating and playing with those gifts. We have our family Christmas Dinner in the evenings, at Suppertime. We have thankfully so far been able to host Christmas Dinner, so I can still spend the day enjoying our family and friends, in our home.
Another friend of ours works in a mine about 2 hours away, with a rotating schedule. He is often not home on holidays or birthdays, depending how his schedule falls. They know well in advance what his rotation schedule is, so they schedule their Christmas, Thanksgiving, Birthday celebrations at alternate times, so their entire family can be there.
What about you? When and how does your family celebrate?