This family opened Christmas presents a whopping four times during the festive season

Some families stick to a perfect Christmas by the book, and some make their own traditions. This household unwraps gifts four times during the festive season, here is why.

This family gives Christmas presents four times during the festive season, here is why
© Photo by Liza Summer on
This family gives Christmas presents four times during the festive season, here is why

Diana, a mum of four from London, England, has a big challenge every winter holiday season: to prepare enough presents for her children to open on four different occasions.

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Having come from a different country from her late spouse, she tries to combine their slightly different traditions, while years of living in two other parts of Europe also left a mark on her family's festive habits.

Though budgeting and buying at least sixteen gifts and handfuls of stocking fillers for children alone is tiring and expensive, especially during the cost of living crisis, Diana believes that it is worth it as it helps to spread the cheer throughout the whole holiday season and keeps her family excited and motivated.

Traditions from four countries

Christmas is celebrated differently across the world, with some countries marking Christmas Eve as their big day, and others focusing solely on religious aspects of it, without gift-giving, in January.

As Diana’s late husband was born in Sweden, her four children aged 13, 11, 9, and 6, start the morning of the 24th of December with their Christmas stockings filled with some healthy sweets, fruit, and crafts. The first set of presents gets opened the very same afternoon after a smaller version of the traditional Scandinavian Christmas feast.

Stockings get hung once again in the night for Santa to bring ‘a little something again’ the following morning. The stockings are inspected and one more present can be opened when children wake up on the 25th of December, just like in most UK households.

Traditional Christmas Day photo-session  Diana N

Then the family waits with the third dose of excitement until the New Year’s Eve party in Russian style. She said:

When I was a child, we’d have a huge party and a Santa visit on New Year’s Eve and we’d open presents. Though we don’t get the big man in on the 31st of December here in London, my children still get a party and a present, as a little taster of what my childhood was like.

As Diana and the children have spent 6 years in Spain, with some little ones having been born there, they adopted yet another tradition - The Three Kings. Known as El Día de Los Reyes Magos, this day in Spanish cultureis considered to be Christmas day. It is an event that is celebrated on the night of January 5th and on the actual day of the Three Kings which is January 6th. Children are expected to put their boots outside in the night for the kings to put a gift in them.

‘It’s hard but it’s worth it’

Diana admits that planning and preparing everything is challenging, especially now when the cost of living crisis affects everyone across the country and after ‘the prices went up massively’. She makes sure children get more of what they need rather than ‘pretty and unnecessary stuff’ and are appreciative of their privilege to celebrate the holidays in this extravagant way. She believes that books, activities, crafts, experiences, and art supplies make the best gifts.

Children opening their animal puzzles  Diana N

The mum of four said:

Most of my friends opt for one or another way of celebrating Christmas as they find it too tiring otherwise. I know it’s hard but for me, it’s worth it. Traditions from the countries we come from or we lived in for a while make us who we are, and we don’t have to be just one thing.
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