Within my immediate family, we try to turn down the hype by buying small stocking gifts, capping it at $10. We fill each other's homemade stockings with small, yet thoughtful gifts. Throughout Advent, we gently feel our stockings as they fill, shaking the presents to see what sound they make. Then, on Christmas Eve, normally after attending the vigil Mass, we open the gifts one person at a time – going either oldest to youngest, or youngest to oldest. We follow it up by reading the Nativity story while placing the figures in the manger. It is our quiet way of welcoming Christmas and Christ into our hearts.
For more tips on how to enjoy a stress-free Advent and Christmas, read this helpful story.