We told the kids that we would open presents at 8. We figured there was no way they would wait that long. Especially after they found out that their friends were going to get up at 6. I told them that they were more than welcome to go to their friend's house in the morning and watch them open their gifts as long as they were home at 8. They didn't think it was funny, I thought it was hilarious.
They were up at 7, which was extremely reasonable. On top of it, they tried to play quietly until 8, with mediocre success. So Chris and I finally got up and the festivities began.
The kids first went for the two small bags in front of the tree. Yordi dumped out a pile of candy and said, "Wow, that's nice. From Santa?" Before I realized what she asked, Chris answered, "No honey, it's from Daddy's friends." "Oh, that's nice," she said again without disappointment. I just stared at my wife thinking, would it have been too much to ask to just say "Yes"? Yordanos wasn't expecting anything big from Santa... a little pile of candy was enough to satisfy the gift requirement and her curiosity. So I glared, sighed, and moved on. There was too much going on to let this missed opportunity ruin anything.
The rest of the morning was your typical Christmas morning feeding frenzy. The torn remains of wrapping paper littered the floor. What took weeks to create, was undone in about 7 minutes, and that included several 'intermissions' to wrangle a cat out from under the tree.
Yordanos actually jiggled the fireshield at one point. I don't know why, I just know that she couldn't open it so the gift inside is still a surprise.
Then they got to experience another fine Gardner tradition... grab whatever gifts will fit into your overnight bag and jump in the car. Yes, for many generations we've been traveling on Christmas Day, and probably will for years to come.
The kids survived Christmas morning, but would they survive closed quarters with the rest of the family? The saga continues...