A hilariously chaotic but heartwarming Christmas morning moment has gone viral, with a North Carolina couple recounting how their three-year-old ripped into every single present before the rest of the family had woken up.
“Yall. My three year old came down at 3am and unwrapped EVERYONE’S presents,” bestselling sci-fi and fantasy writer Scott Reintgen posted to X in the early hours of Christmas.
Yall. My three year old came down at 3am and unwrapped EVERYONE’S presents. pic.twitter.com/8dlfqdwHO7
— Scott Reintgen (@Scott_Thought) December 25, 2023
The post has been viewed nearly seven million times as of Wednesday afternoon, garnering more than 100,000 “likes” and more than 2,300 comments.
In a follow-up post, Reintgen posted a video explaining that his son, known as “T,” wanted to open all the presents so that nobody was “confused” and “they all knew what they had gotten.”
Just adding his explanation for why he opened everything! 😂 Also have to add: we’re not mad. He’s a good kid, and it’s a story we’ll tell for the rest of our lives. pic.twitter.com/GKiJjPjQXR
— Scott Reintgen (@Scott_Thought) December 26, 2023
“We’re not mad,” he added. “He’s a good kid, and it’s a story we’ll tell for the rest of our lives.”
Speaking with TODAY after the post went viral, it was revealed that Scott and his wife, Katie Reintgen, were awakened by T asking for a pair of scissors.
When the couple got out of bed to investigate the strange request, they found their son had torn open “every single Christmas present that they painstakingly spent hours wrapping the night before.”
The Reintgens had their three children — aged six, three, and one — asleep by 9:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve so they could wrap presents and get to sleep themselves by 11:00 p.m.
However, T needed a pair of scissors to open his Spiderman “web-slinger” toy just hours later.
“Honestly, I couldn’t believe he would actually open all of the presents,” Scott told TODAY. “It was just so shocking that you had to laugh at how ridiculous it sounded. Like you’re living out a scene in a movie or on candid camera.”
When the parents discovered the mess below their Christmas tree, Scott put the kids back to sleep while Katie began the rewrapping process.
Everyone was asleep again by 4:00 a.m., but the children woke up just two hours later to start reopening their presents.
“At first, I laughed. Then wanted to cry. After a second of dread, I moved into ‘super mom mode’, as all moms do. I see you moms!” Katie recounted. “One of the best parts of Christmas is being a magic maker for our children. It’s funny, my oldest didn’t even notice the wrapping wasn’t perfect — he was too swept up in the morning fun to notice.”
Even though the initial commotion woke the eldest child up, he had no recollection of the unwrapping fiasco.
“When we told him about the unwrapped presents, he didn’t quite believe it. If he had been the one to go downstairs, he would have quietly inspected all the gifts and then returned to his bed without touching any of them,” Scott told the outlet. “He’s a big rule follower, so the idea that anyone would go down and start opening presents in the middle of the night would be unthinkable to him.”
When it comes to T, the Reintgens were not shocked that he had taken the liberty to open everyone’s gifts.
“This was absolutely on brand,” Scott said of his toddler son.
“He is our wildcard. Very adventurous. Quick to do something unexpected. While we opened gifts that morning, he kept saying things like: ‘I told you you were getting one of those!’ and ‘I thought I already opened that one!’ and ‘See!’”
As for the three-year-old’s presents, Katie let them be as they were.
“We didn’t rewrap our middle child’s gifts,” Scott says. “We figured he’d experienced the adrenaline rush of unwrapping already! Plus, we had run out of new wrapping paper, so using the shredded leftovers was our only option.”
Scott said the experience of going viral for something so unexpected has been “fun” for the family.
“We were grateful it brought a lot of light and laughter into the holidays,” he said.
Katie and Scott also spoke with T about the importance of letting others enjoy opening their own gifts, with the father saying of future Christmas presents: “I think we’ll be waiting until early morning to put them out next year!”
The couple also requested that TODAY make a shoutout “to all the parents making magic in the middle of the night.”
“You are seen and appreciated,” the Reintgens said.