When I was little, when we woke up Christmas morning and no one else was up (probably because it was around 4 a.m.), we weren't allowed to open our gifts, but we WERE allowed to go through our stockings, which had been hung by the chimney with care. It has always been a tradition in our family for as long as I can remember. It wasn't until I was older and had a child of my own that I realized why that was the rule. Turns out 4 a.m. on a day you don't have to work is only fun when you don't have a job. Or kids. Or a house to clean.
Our stockings were always filled with fun stuff, even if it was meticulously planned to keep us occupied for as long as possible: coloring book and crayons, some breakfasty-type snack, Lifesaver books, some type of lip gloss (see my post from Dec 9), and other odds and ends.
My sister and I used to jump out of bed, run into the living room, rip our stockings off the fireplace and unceremoniously dump their entire contents on the floor and start sifting through. We would keep ourselves busy until at least 6 a.m. or so. Then we couldn't stand it anymore and we'd go wake our parents up so we could open presents!