Christmas Eve Gift!
December 24, 2010 7:02 AM   Subscribe

Christmas Eve Gift!

is the unusual tradition of saying “Christmas Eve Gift” to someone before they say it to you. This is done all in the hope of receiving a gift of some sort. It can turn into a game of tag that leads to some people not answering the phone all day or being afraid to call. It seems most prevalent in the Southern/lower Midwest United States. No one is quite sure of the origins of the tradition. Many believe that it is a tradition that started “among poor African American and Anglo farming families"* and others think that it could be European in origin.
The tradition is fading with each generation, but you can help pass it on. It can also be celebrated on Christmas. So beware tomorrow morning, because you just might hear… “CHRISTMAS DAY GIFT!!”

*quote is from Wikipedia. Used in last link
posted by nimsey lou (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is not a thing. My gift to you all is to make this not a thing.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:16 AM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ugh, could the originators have come up with a better catch phrase? I mean, "Christmas Eve Gift," is what gets the game going?
posted by thinkpiece at 7:29 AM on December 24, 2010

you're no fun... I thought it was interesting. This is a tradition that has been done in my family for generations. It came down from my dad's side of the family. I was trying to find out where it started. My grandmother's family were sharecroppers and my grandfather's family owned land that they worked.
posted by nimsey lou at 7:32 AM on December 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

This is where you have to chug a Smirnoff Ice, right?
posted by Theta States at 7:34 AM on December 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

This is a thing. We've been doing this for as long as I can remember, and I never knew why. In fact, last night I was thinking how I could get an out of town relative of mine at the stroke of midnight (because 11:59:59 calls are played out). I was thinking I could send someone to their front door to knock and say it (we do the Christmas variation, not eve). Or maybe I would text, that would be new. Thanks nimsey lou. I thought it was just some weird thing my family had wound up doing. Some odd little family tradition happened upon by accident. This is a revelation - I never knew anybody else was doing it!
posted by cashman at 7:35 AM on December 24, 2010

"This is not a thing. My gift to you all is to make this not a thing."

MeFites... making North Korea look civil since the last Millennium.

Merry Christmas, anyway, Nimsey Lou. And to clvrmnky... well, you too!
posted by Mike D at 7:59 AM on December 24, 2010

I'm gonna put this on the things I hate list right ABOVE the little kid at the checkout counter screaming for candy....

bah, humbug!
posted by HuronBob at 8:09 AM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh, I think this is totally a thing!
posted by pianoboy at 9:53 AM on December 24, 2010

"Christmas Gift!" on Christmas morning is mentioned in Billy and the Major by Emma Speed Sampson, published in 1918 and set in Tennessee. I asked about this with some people who grew up in Virginia around the turn of the century and they were unfamiliar with the custom.
posted by CCBC at 12:53 PM on December 24, 2010

It's absolutely a thing. We've done it in my family for several generations. We say "Christmas Gift" first thing in the morning, though; I've never heard the "Christmas Eve Gift" variation. Thanks, Nimsey Lou.
posted by steambadger at 10:33 AM on January 3, 2011

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