Just a thread to help people who hate this and dread it every year....... Feel free to add your own ways to make it bearable. We both had family "traditions" and combined the best of them. Most important is to pace yourself...... don't put all the presents at the end of the bed, the kids will wake at 5am, rip everything to shreds, wake everyone up, break most of them by 9am, then be totally fucked by 3pm. Inform them that santa has picked the lock on the garage door and presents will be brought out after the turkey. We have a nice breakfast, without a lot of washing up, for us it's smoked salmon and creamy scrambled eggs and toast. After that, it's out to the beach for a walk for an hour, if the weather's crap, a walk to Durham Cathedral to catch part of the 11am gig..... you don't have to be religious, just the choir is spot on. When we get back, a small snifter while I finish off the starter, this year, Lidl are knocking out smoked duck breast at 90gms for £2.50, so a little salad.... sorted. Slam in the turkey to be ready for around 4.30. Roasties and veg are sorted on Christmas Eve and resting in water. The heating is on, the pressies are under the tree, either before or after dinner. What my wife's bunch have always done, is gather around the room, everyone opens one present in turn, great way to do it. In the last hour, counting down for each part, the food is cooked, not a huge meal, just another course of good food. Maybe a DVD after that, then a pudding about 6.30. You've paced yourself and the kids, now you're entitled to get slowly blootered. This doesn't work with a bunch of miserable whinging relatives and in- laws..... you're fucked whatever. HAPPY CHRISTMAS.