Marriage is a strange institution, throwing together two people in one life despite their different backgrounds. Would you like some random, totally-not-about-me* examples?
One person may have been raised by parents and grandparents (A.), while the other saw grandparents once a year--maybe (me).
One person may have grown up with margarine and chicken breasts (me), while the other was accustomed to butter and liver (A.).
One person may have been raised in the country (A.), while the other was a suburb-rat (me).
One person may have had a family tradition of watching each and every person open every single Christmas present one at a time (A.), while the other has fond memories of a Christmas morning free-for-all of greed and shredded wrapping paper (me).
And let's talk about that totally random last example, shall we?
Yes, my family handed out all the presents all at once, and then everyone opened them whenever they wanted. Some people went slowly, some tore them all open immediately. It was quick, exciting, and okay, possibly greed-inspired. A.'s family, on the other hand, hands out the presents one at a time, and everyone sits around and watches the person open the present before the next one is handed out. This is all much more civilized and classy, I'm sure.
There's just one problem.
A.'s family Christmas gatherings include more than 20 people. Do you have any idea how long it takes to watch 20+ people open at least one gift, possibly multiple gifts? A long damn time, that's how long. Because this is a totally foreign practice for me, it's all I can do not to grab all the presents and rip them open myself, just to speed things along. Though I suspect that would not make me universally popular.
So the question of the day: How do you and your family handle gift opening? One at a time, or all at once?
* As if ANYTHING on this site has ever NOT been about me.