First of all we believed in the Christchild versus Santa Claus. We would leave presents for others on the windowsill with the windows ajar just a little bit, so the Angel can fly and pick up the presents. I remember a couple of times my father pointed out the Angel flying overhead...........Never saw her, I always had my head in a different direction.
Also while the Christmas tree was bought in advance, the mother of the household would set it up and close off the room until the Christchild would ring the bell on Christmas Eve. Usually we would have gone to the cemetery to place flowers, candles, etc on the graves of our grandparents in the late afternoon, then come home and have a special meal. Once we heard the Bell, we could go in the closed off room and view the tree, sing Silent Night*, wish each other a Merry Christmas and then we opened up our gifts - one at a time. We would play with our gifts until it was time for Midnight Mass, after which we would come home and eat sausage and drink beer with the immediate family. Christmas Day is reserved for the relatives and the 2nd Day of Christmas is reserved for spending time with our friends.
*One year we sang a stanza of Silent Night in German, English, Italian and Spanish - representing each of our native lands. Voices weren't that great, but we enjoyed the effort.