Frame for success
I'm a big believer in crisp, tight framing. My usual advice is to get in close, eliminate the clutter, and focus on your subject so that it's clear what your photo is about.
The holidays beg for a different approach, though. When the children are unwrapping presents, go wide. Include the clutter, because it's part of the story. Take the picture from floor level, where you can see the wrapping paper, empty boxes, and other debris crowded around the kids, for example. Or climb up a flight of stairs and shoot an aerial view of the holiday in progress. It's photos like these that capture the spirit of the day.