‘Tis the season n’at, yinz guys. Giveaway!

I start thinking about my Yinzer Gift Guide in the late summer. It’s a bazillion degrees out, my eyeballs are sweating, my hair looks like someone electrocuted Cousin It, and I begin to pine for a cool breeze and a cute scarf.

So I’ve been hunting for months for the perfect gifts to suggest to you for the Burgh-lover in your life, or even yourself. My requirements are gifts that either feature Pittsburgh, are made in Pittsburgh, or are made elsewhere by former Pittsburghers. I don’t think any made the list from that last category this year as all 13 gifts on the list are Burgh-made or feature the Burgh. Some do both.

Gifts range in price from $12 to $198, with almost all of them coming in at or below $50. 

As you click through the slideshow, you will need to scroll down on some picture captions to read the entirety of them.

And it wasn’t easy to pick the list, so here are the others ideas that would make awesome gifts as well:

—  The “Jagoffs Make Me Stabby” and “I Brake for Tunnels” shirts from Fresh Factory, with proceeds going to Genre’s Kids With Cancer Fund.

— Anything from Believe Merch or Commonwealth Press.

— BYOB painting fun at Paint Monkey! 

— LOVE these handmade holiday cards designed and produced right here in the Burgh by a Burgher.

JP Diroll Pittsburgh Photography or Uprooted Photographer Photography.

— Anything from Sapling Press or Garbella.

— Or go to Wildcard and just go nuts.

Check them out if there’s nothing on the Yinzer Gift Guide that floats your coal barge down the Mon.

Now, let’s give some of the list items away!

Here’s what you will get, and due to the fragile nature of two of these items, I’m going to ask that the winner make arrangements to personally retrieve the items from me or my husband at Las Velas in Market Square.  If you live out of state, you hopefully have some close friends or relatives who can run downtown and get these picked up for you until such a time as you can get to the Burgh. Or make arrangements for that friend to have the items CAREFULLY shipped to you. (I just typed “shitted to you” and then had to stop writing and chuckle for twenty seconds).

What: One lucky randomly-selected winner will receive the following, all valued at a total of more than $160:

  • Pittsburgh Love pottery made at the Zotter the Potter studios in Pittsburgh. Perfect kitchen utensil holder.
  • One You and Who Pittsburgh T-shirt in size X-Large.
  • One Light of Life GLORY ornament forged at Wendell August Forge.
  • One professionally matted and framed “HOME” print in which the H is an ornamental railing overlooking Mt. Washington, the O is the Kaufmann’s clock, the M is the arches on Carnegie Music Hall and the E is an ornamental iron design on the door to Heinz Chapel. If you haven’t gone to the ltrs4u.com site to check out the amazing Burghy ways you can spell anything you desire, you must. And each picture is taken in the Burgh. I had a hard time choosing the perfect Burghy M for this HOME print I designed just for one of you. Imagine your friend or brother or sister who no longer lives in Pittsburgh being able to hang this in their house to show where home really is.

To enter: You have until next Monday to enter and all you need to do is leave a comment, one comment per valid email address. And so you have something to say, either tell me a gift you think should have made the list or tell me what your favorite holiday memory is. You can be as brief or as wordy as you like. I’d love to read some funny stories about cats in Christmas trees, the time you and your husband bought each other the same gift, or the funny thing your kid shouted out at church.

My favorite holiday memory is the time my mother made my father his favorite fruity cranberry jello dessert for Thanksgiving, I mean, he LOVES this stuff and she only makes it once a year. She took it out of the oven. She let it set. She continued to cook and bake delicious things. And then she absentmindedly put it back in the oven and returned it to its formerly liquid state, and then upon realizing her mistake minutes later, she frantically tried to take it out of the oven causing the liquid to slosh all over the inside of the hot stove, filling my sister’s Wexfordhampsminstershire home with cranberry-flavored smoke. My father was an understanding but very sad panda.

Tell me yours!

Random.org will select the lucky winner next Monday, November 26 at noon. If your comment goes to spam, I’ll fish it out for you. No worries. The winner and I will then make arrangements for me to hand over the loot.

Good luck!

And go check out the Yinzer Gift Guide!





167 Comments


  1. Nancy
    November 20, 2012 3:34 pm

    It may not be my favorite, but our most memorable Christmas came when my daughter was a toddler, and somehow managed to bang her eye into the coffee table on Christmas Day, just after dinner. We called the pediatrician, thinking they’d tell us just to put ice on it and watch it, but no luck – off to the ER we went. She had quite the shiner after that! Fortunately, we had family at our house, so my husband & I were both able to go with her, and everyone else stayed and entertained our then-3-year-old. We still have that picture of her with a shiner in one of our stocking holders. ;)



  2. jdstar3177
    November 20, 2012 4:26 pm

    Gross factor: 6, you’ve been warned. We’re from the country. It gets weird.

    My most memorable (read: traumatizing) Christmas came when I was about 6 years old. We were all gathered at my Gran’s house on Christmas Eve when a young neighbor knocked at the door sobbing. Wrapped in a towel in his arms was my Gran’s cat, Mama Puss. She was a big ole calico, mean as hell and feared in the neighborhood, just like Gran.

    So the neighbor boy had been setting traps trying up behind her house that season trying to catch God-knows-what for a 4-H project involving taxidermy. One of the cats front paws was badly mangled and as there is no such thing as an emergency vet in that area, my mother – a nurse, and my uncle – an army medic, decided to take a look. What followed was a blur of activity involving several beers (for the human), drugs (for the cat) and an at-home amputation using common household items. My Gran’s feelings on the subject were if it didn’t work the cat would have to be put down anyway so they might as well give it a shot.

    Mama Puss lived to be 17 years old and had two more litters of kittens after that Christmas. If she was pissed off at you, she’d swing at you with her stump. She died on the same day as Gran and was discovered when my Dad went out onto the porch to break the news to the cat. Mama Puss was already passed on adding further to the myth that she was Gran’s familiar and would tell on you but that’s another story.



  3. Lexi
    November 20, 2012 6:39 pm

    My favorite memory is last year when my then 4 year old woke up in a brand new bed and freshly painted walls thanks to Santa and his elf, Dash.



  4. BeckyS
    November 20, 2012 6:40 pm

    Best part of the holidays are getting up Christmas morning, packing the car and driving to Virginia to spend Christmas afternoon with my wonderful grandkids. My best Christmas gift ever, I hope I can enjoy this ritual for many more years to come.



  5. Michelle F.
    November 20, 2012 7:00 pm

    My favorite holiday memory is when our oldest daughter (now 15) was 18 months old. She was just getting the Santa concept and was very excited. We got her a large (but still toddler size) plastic slide thingy with a ladder and a platform that had a steering wheel and an area to crawl underneath. My husband built it in the living room (think small house). The look on her face when she came down the steps Christmas morning will stay with me till the day I die, as well as the little gasp we could hear. A perfect moment, for sure.



  6. Emily
    November 20, 2012 7:19 pm

    My favorite holiday memories from childhood are Christmas Eve dinners with my favorite sour mushroom soup. . .excited for my 22 month old to get to try it this year.



  7. ErinPatricia
    November 20, 2012 8:00 pm

    My boyfriend proposed to me today, so it’s safe to say that this Thanksgiving will be my favorite holiday memory…so far :)



  8. Kate's my name
    November 20, 2012 8:04 pm

    My favorite holiday memories were always, as a kid, hearing the adults laughing in the other room, usually around the table. There is just something warm and magical about that.



  9. Angela
    November 20, 2012 8:28 pm

    Every Christmas morning my sister and I had to wait at the top of the steps while my mom went downstairs and made coffee, turned on the Christmas tree lights and the Christmas music and while my dad brushed his teeth. It felt like it took them FOREVER to do these things but it was probably five minutes tops. It was so great to walk down the steps and see the tree lit up with all of our presents from santa underneath!



  10. Ali
    November 20, 2012 9:13 pm

    My favorite memory is the year I received mail from one of Santa’s Elves. It was the same year I found Santa’s footprints and a piece of his suit that got “stuck” on a nail in our fireplace…



  11. PA Girl in VA
    November 20, 2012 9:24 pm

    I have no idea how old I was, but to this day I SWEAR that I heard reindeer’s hooves on the roof of our house growing up in Allentown, PA. I remember the sound and that night like it was yesterday (and I’m almost 46 now). I’ve told my son this stoy and, every year, he believes it less and less. He’s pretty analytical for an 8 year old and has practically debunked my “Christmas miracle”. Way to suck the fun out of my memory, kid.



  12. Erin
    November 20, 2012 9:40 pm

    My favorite holiday memory is more of a tradition really, ridibg around on Christmas Eve every year looking at Christmas lights! The whole family packed in our station wagon, listening to carols. We used to ride to neighboring “rich tahns” and crack up at some the sights we’d see (rich people living in mansions didn’t seem to like curtains much! Lol



  13. Amber
    November 20, 2012 9:42 pm

    I tell my kids that Santa leaves some gifts early so I can help him wrap. Then I set them up in a room with all the relatives’ gifts & get my them to wrap everything (it’s always messy, but I tell the recipient that the kids help wrap, and they think it’s cute). Keeps them busy & saves me time!



  14. QR
    November 20, 2012 10:05 pm

    Christmas has always been my favourite holiday, mostly because of the way my Dad’s side of the family has always celebrated. Being from Germany, that side of the family would all gather on Christmas Eve. The evening was always the same. My Oma, two uncles, one aunt, father, two sisters, and three cousins (plus various spouses at various times). Lots of food, alcohol, and potato dumplings (I always had to eat at least one, and hated them).

    After dinner the table was cleared and a large bell would ring. We would stand around the table and sing Christmas carols, usually horribly off-key, and my Oma always a half note behind because she couldn’t hear. The last song was always, always, Silent Night.

    After Silent Night my Father would read Luke 2:1-14 in English, and my Oma would read it again in German. This is the only religious observance of a nominally Catholic family.

    The Christmas before my Oma died, she could not read the whole passage because her sight was no longer good enough for the tiny font. The first Christmas without her, my father, being the next most fluent in German was given that task. None of my uncles would read the English. I will never forget the way my youngest uncle looked at me before he handed me the Bible. I managed to read the passage, having to stop in the middle because my voice kept breaking and I couldn’t read through the tears.

    After the reading, we all wish each other a Merry Christmas, and presents are opened. Sometime around 11pm or so, we head out in the cold.

    This is, of course, the Christmas Eves I can be in Canada. There were many years I was in Florida for the holidays, and I don’t remember them particularly clearly. There is one, however.

    I was dating a certain Russian gentleman, and he invited me over to Christmas Eve dinner. It was him, his visiting brother, his roommate, his roommate’s family visiting from France, and many other friends. I stayed so late at dinner that night, eating foie gras and escargot, with not a potato dumpling in sight. At the end of the dinner we sang Silent Night; English, German, and French. I had no idea what half the table was saying that night (since it was in French), but I remember feeling like I was home.



  15. WesternPATexan
    November 20, 2012 10:06 pm

    We have a son with Down syndrome. When he was ten, we sent him to school with some money to buy his younger sisters something for Christmas from the Santa Shop at school. On Christmas morning, he was so proud to hand out the gifts he purchased that the helpers in the store wrapped for him (we had no idea what he bought). His four year old sister opened a plastic pony. His two year old sister unwrapped a plush doll…and there was an extra present. We asked him who THAT gift was from – and he said “me!”. He unwrapped his present and it was a cylinder of cheese balls!! He had used some of his money to buy himself one of his favorite things and had them wrap it! It was so out of character for him. We all laughed hysterically!



  16. LisaC
    November 20, 2012 10:59 pm

    Awesome selections! One of my favorite recent funny memories is from just a few years ago before we moved away from Pittsburgh. My husband and I were exchanging gifts and I opened a very cute set of flannel pj’s. Exactly like the pair that I was wearing at that exact moment! We laughed and I kept them, because I obviously loved them!



  17. Lauren Sabo
    November 20, 2012 11:58 pm

    One of my favorite Christmas memories is funny now to think back on but at the time it was anything but funny. My husband and I had the perfect tree but the less than perfect tree holder. You know the wobbling wreck that’s made to hold Charlie Brown’s tree but not the 8 foot beauty you dragged home. So the tree all perfectly decorated crashes to the floor along with many glass ornaments (this tree was before children)…hubby comes home to find me sitting on the sofa, crying. He steps over the tree to come to my side and asks “what’s wrong”? Seriously? You just stepped over our beautiful tree to come to my side and you don’t notice it has crashed to the floor??!! We still tell the kids that story every year as Dad climbs the ladder to tie the tree up with fishing line to the wall so it can never fall over and make Mom cry again.



  18. Callser
    November 21, 2012 12:39 am

    I love the Christmas letters my children have left in the past for Santa, explaining how well they have behaved throughout the year, thanking him for their presents, etc. I’ve kept quite a few of these letters, and here’s an example why. My youngest, a few years ago, was still working on his spelling (in)capabilities. In his heartfelt letter, he thanked Santa for “all the time you spend raping.” HAHA! Wrapping, raping, tomato, tomahto.



  19. bucdaddy
    November 21, 2012 1:25 am

    I hate cold weather with the fire of 1,000 suns, so I …

    Wait, that didn’t make a lot of climatic sense.

    Anyhoo, I detest cold weather, but I remember my dad dragging me out with the rest of the family to hunt for the Christmas tree for what seemed like days, when all I wanted was to get back in the car and be all Calvinish “crank up the thermostat and build a fire, will ya?”

    I still hate to put the tree up, even this little one we have that basically requires me to fit plug A into socket B and stick the cord in the outlet and …

    Oh, you asked for a favorite memory? I don’t have any of those. I hope I’m eligible anyway.



  20. Heather
    November 21, 2012 7:51 am

    I don’t have a specific favorite memory but the one thing I looked forward to every Christmas was opening the gift from my aunt. Every year she would get us an engraved ornament – name and year, starting with a baby one all the way up to age 18. Different designs each year. I have most of them and hang them on the tree still. Think that’s why I love engraved and unique Christmas ornaments!



  21. Allison
    November 21, 2012 8:14 am

    Last year we went to the 8am mass. We have 3 kids – 10, 7, and 4. The 4 year old doesn’t typically attend church because, well, he raises heck wherever he goes. Towards the end of mass, after communion, despite my best efforts, he screams out at the top of his lungs (because they were finishing up a song), “MOMMY, ARE THEY DONE YET? CAN WE GO? CAN WE GO? CAN WE GO? MOMMMMMYYYYY!!!!”. And, yes, the music has just stopped and we had the entire congregation’s attention. The priest calls out from the altar, “Yes, we’ll be done soon.”
    Mortified doesn’t begin to describe how I felt.



  22. Mary Beth
    November 21, 2012 9:03 am

    For the Steelers fan. Donate to the Immaculate Reception Monument at Heinz History Center and receive an ornament, pin, etc. Great gift idea for the sports fan.

    http://www.heinzhistorycenter.org/secondary_notout.aspx?id=350



  23. Linda Sue
    November 21, 2012 10:08 am

    Love the GUIDE!



  24. bluzdude
    November 21, 2012 10:15 am

    When I was wee, (like 1st grade) I shared a room with my little brother, which happened have access up to the attic. A few minutes after we were put to bed on Christmas Eve, Mom came into the room with a fistful of whole carrots, green tops included. She said, “Santa’s here, so I’m going upstairs to feed the reindeer.”

    Up in the attic, Mom tromped around, intermittently ringing some little bells, while my brother and I quietly vibrated in bed, from the excitement. She came back down a few minutes later, with only the carrot tops. She said, “Now you go to sleep… Santa needs to go to work.”

    Yeah, right. Go to sleep… with 7000 gallons of adrenaline coursing through our little bodies. But somehow we made it to sleep. There was never a thought of getting out of bed, because we knew that if Santa saw us, he’d take all our presents back to the North Pole.

    What we didn’t know was that what we’d really see was our parents and grandparents drinking martinis until 3:00 AM and trying to set up the tree, hang out stockings and build a tricycle.

    There are many Christmas memories, from that amazing first sight of the presents arrayed under the tree every year, mixing with the sounds of Mahalia Jackson and smell of cinnimon buns, to knocking over the Christmas tree while the parents were out to dinner, to my brother and I buying each other the exact same gift. But my best memory always goes back to Mom, with those carrots for the reindeer.



  25. MizzPenz
    November 21, 2012 11:06 am

    Christmas Eve service at St. Theresa’s, my 5 year old daughter sitting next to me starts sniffing. Not that running nose thing, but like she is trying to smell something. At that very moment it hits me that somone near us has passed gas. And just like kids will do, the next statement out of her mouth, loud enough for ALL to hear, “Mommy….. something smells! I think someone farted!!!” You could see the people in front of us completely lose it… their shoulders are going up and down trying so hard to stifle their laughter. May not be my favorite holiday memory, but certainly the funniest.



  26. Meghan
    November 21, 2012 11:18 am

    The best Christmas memories I have all revolve around bringing my southern California hubby home for some ‘burgh time. Particularly the year he went to the Stillers game on the 26th… My Dad woke me up from a long winter’s nap so we could laugh our arses off about the white out conditions at Three Rivers. My husband’s entire body was red for the next two days!



  27. RJQ
    November 21, 2012 12:17 pm

    When I was 9 or 10, my aunt and grandmother teamed up to buy me a tween inspired gift: disposable razors. As embarrassed as I was, shaving the thick dark hair from my skinny legs was all I could think of that Christmas.



  28. Margie
    November 21, 2012 12:55 pm

    Growing up, we always went to my aunt’s house on Christmas Eve. There we would have ham barbeque (eww, still can’t eat this), macaroni salad and all sorts of other stuff. For desert, there was always pumpkin pie. Well, this one year, someone else made the pumpkin pie and it wasn’t cooked the whole way through – can we say drinking pumpkin pie? To this day we all get a good laugh at this story.



  29. April
    November 21, 2012 1:25 pm

    My favorite memory is of watching my then 3 year old daughter come downstairs and find that Santa had brought her a new kitchen set and watching the joy on her face as she played with it all morning.



  30. Sara
    November 21, 2012 2:20 pm

    One of my favorite holiday memories was probably eight years ago over thanksgiving. I was having it at my new house with my husband, young children, my parents, sister, aunt and uncle and cousin, who was in his very early twenties, if that. I didnt have enough room in my oven for everything, so my mom had made a turkey and sent myself and my cousin over to her house to pick it up and bring it over. We had had a few Bloody Mary’s by that point, and went over to my mother’s house to get the bird. It was sitting on the counter ready to be picked up, and somehow we had to transfer it to a huge tupperware container. We both attempted to pick it up together, but it slipped out of our hands and bounced HARD onto the kitchen floor. We both looked down in horror and there was total silence for about five seconds before we erupted in laughter. Then came another attempt to pick up the slippery turkey off the kitchen floor, only to have it slip and slide between our hands and the floor again! More hysterics followed, and finally we were able to haul it up into the tupperware container, where we wiped it off as best we could and went on our merry way. Everyone ate it that night and loved it. One of the top hysterical moments I’ve had.



  31. Carolyn
    November 21, 2012 4:59 pm

    My favorite memory was the year that the Christmas celebrating went on for weeks. My families’ house, then at my dad’s parents’ house with all of my cousins, then at my mom’s sister’s house, and then my mom’s parents’ house – it was like a Xmas Tour – and it was awesome.



  32. Suz
    November 21, 2012 5:33 pm

    A lasting childhood memory is shopping at the Secret Santa Shop at, I think, Gimbels, downtown. To be “old enough” to be entrusted not only with money but the freedom to browse in a shop designed for kids, and to be able to so carefully choose gifts for parents, siblings, and grandparents brought me in to a grown-up world for the first time. Was so happy and proud to wrap and give those plastic combs and other little gifts.

    Still waiting for it to be Christmas circa 1967, again.



  33. facie
    November 21, 2012 5:56 pm

    One year, one of my uncles really got into his line of “Two Turtle Doves” during our usual after-dinner Christmas carol singing. You would have thought he was trying out to be in a band, he put so much gusto into it. It was probably made all the more humorous by all the imbibing that went on. Good times!



  34. Suzie-Q
    November 21, 2012 6:57 pm

    What wonderful ideas for christmas right in our hometown!! Such Pittsburgh pride!!! Thanks for putting this list together Ginny!! Just one more reason Pittsburgh is such a great place!!



  35. Sam
    November 21, 2012 9:20 pm

    Such wonderful Pittsburgh gifts! My husband is from Pittsburgh and we live in New Mexico. It would be wonderful to win these beautiful gifts and surprise him with a taste of home. Pittsburgh pride is an awesome thing! This year we attended the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and my husband was decked out in his Pittsburgh Penguins jacket and beanie and I had my Pittsburgh Penguins bag and my black and gold knitted Steelers scarf. Early in the morning as all of the hot air balloons were inflating, a man from one of the other balloons walked over to us and said hello. He was from Pittsburgh too! We shook hands and talked about Pittsburgh. He said that he would be leaving for England soon as he was in the Military and that it would be a while before he was back in the Burgh but he recognized a fellow Pittsburgher and just wanted to say hello. My sister-in-law was so impressed because she had never seen anyone do that before, only people from Pittsburgh! (It happened on two different occasions while she was visiting us).



  36. Michelle Smiles
    November 22, 2012 12:18 am

    My husband proposed to me very late on Christmas night the year before I became an official Yinzer. Not the most original day to do it…and I should say that he didn’t so much propose as hand me a ring. I had to tell him to ask the question instead of just handing me a pretty ring. But it was a pretty great Christmas. (We are now ex-pat Yinzers living in TN…we miss the burgh greatly and love finding things that remind us of home.)



  37. Michelle
    November 22, 2012 12:20 am

    As I look back now, the childhood memories that make me chuckle the most have to do with our family Christmas tree. Every Christmas my dad would go out alone to select our family Christmas tree. I think it was his way of giving us a gift especially from him. My three sibs and I would give our opinions about what type of tree we wanted, usually requesting a tall one with firm branches to hold all of the ornaments & crafts we made at school. Dad would just wave us off and assure us he would get the “perfect” tree. We would wait for his return full of anticipation! How tall would it be? Would it touch the ceiling or even fit through the doorway?? Inevitably, EVERY YEAR, Dad would return with the shortest, stubbiest, softest-needled, droopiest tree we had ever seen. Absolutely pitiful, every year. He, of course, would rave over his good fortune at finding the perfect tree for us. We, on the other hand, would try not to cry or sulk as all of our ornaments came crashing to the floor shortly after they were hung on those soft-needled, droopy branches! My dad passed away in 2009 and each year as I go to pick out my version of the perfect tree, I can’t help but stop and linger at all the short, stubby trees that some dad will carry home to show his family how much he loves them :)



  38. beth
    November 22, 2012 12:07 pm

    My favorite holiday memory is probably when we gave a book called “The Gift of Being Grand” to each of our parents to tell them they were going to be grandparents the next summer. Neither of them knew quite what to think at first, but then were crying and jumping up and down.



  39. DCinTX
    November 22, 2012 12:53 pm

    Kauffmans with my Gram, sadly both are gone now.



  40. Kim Gould
    November 22, 2012 2:04 pm

    I loved the year we went to chop down our tree and got caught in a snowstorm. My sister and I pretended we were completely lost in the woods, and followed the tracks of the farm’s dog back to civilization.



  41. Fool
    November 22, 2012 8:03 pm

    Smiley cookies make me smile



  42. Pride Mom
    November 23, 2012 9:04 am

    My favorite Christmas memory….both of my sons playing Christmas Carols, at 6am Christmas morning, on their TROMBONES.



  43. Rusty Click
    November 23, 2012 12:52 pm

    I remember everyone gathering for Thanksgiving at my cousins. We usually ate at noon, and would pack up a goodie bag (with extra pumpkin pie) for my father, who worked shifts at the PIT Airport.

    Two dinners for my Dad! He was so lucky.



  44. Nicole
    November 23, 2012 2:04 pm

    I think my favorite holiday memory is just driving around the Pittsburgh neighborhoods and looking at all the lights. Oh the things you will see!



  45. kristen
    November 23, 2012 2:11 pm

    love this blog!



  46. Pensgirl
    November 23, 2012 4:49 pm

    Just ran across this necklace, thought I’d share for any Aliquippans among us.



  47. AlyssaMarie
    November 24, 2012 3:02 pm

    Going bowling after Thanksgiving dinner, and then coming back home for leftovers!



  48. Leslie
    November 24, 2012 3:05 pm

    Our best memory is when we got a kitten for Christmas, and he kept messing underneath the Christmas tree on my tree skirt. We didn’t find the mess until we took the tree down a couple weeks later.



  49. Lynn
    November 24, 2012 8:30 pm

    A favorite memory I have is the year I bought my adult sister and brother a Snoopy snow cone machine to replace the one my brother broke after he jammed a dime in it when we were kids



  50. Shannonsharpe
    November 24, 2012 11:40 pm

    On christmas eve is when we open our presents…..the kids hand out the gifts and everyone gets their piles….then each person opens their entire pile. The kids usually go first, play with their toys for 5 seconds and then wants to “help” everyone else open their gifts…..