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Doing the Santa Wrap

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.
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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 may read this post).

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 right now who never heard of anyone who got unwrapped gifts from Santa. Well, now you have. And we are just like you.

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. 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 new toys, dolls and cars, unwrapped and unencumbered, in a few little child-distinct piles. But hopefully, not too little.

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