- Going to bed at a reasonable hour on Christmas Eve, only to lay there for hours, eventually sneaking into my brother’s room (who also couldn’t sleep) and talking about anticipated Christmas treasures soon to come.
- Waking up at the first sign of light coming over the horizon and deciding that everyone in the house was ready to get up too.
- Waiting with my brother in the hallway because we couldn’t go in the living room until our parents had gotten up, gotten dressed, knocked over something in the bedroom and finally had emerged from their bedroom.
- Staring with wonder at the amazing assortment of stuff piled under the Christmas tree and wondering exactly what time it had all appeared and how he got it into the house without a real chimney.
- Being halfway through unwrapping stuff when we remembered we had forgotten to wake up our grandparents and having to start over.
- Watching the Schnauzer play in the mountain of discarded wrapping paper and assorted bows and getting things stuck to him in the process.
- Making the “Speak and Spell” say funny words.
- G.I. Joe with the Kung Fu Grip and his own footlocker of cool accessories.
- Loading up and heading 5 miles north to Grandmother’s house for a feast fit for a king while having to leave most of the newly acquired treasures behind.
- Doing Christmas again at Grandmother’s house with all the grandparents, aunts, great aunts and cousins.
- Homemade coconut cake following a feast of pot roast, mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potato soufflé made with some kind of alcoholic beverage, creamed corn and of course an oven full of made-from-scratch biscuits.
- Hauling out the projector, the screen and all the slides so we could look at other Christmas celebrations, now long gone.
- Enjoying the sounds of a loud and lively family all gathered to celebrate the day.
- Christmas Eve services at the Methodist Church, the only service of the year that we get to play with fire
- Going to the same house on Christmas Eve to spend the evening with longtime friends and people who are like family, drinking wassail and eating Velveta Cheese Dip with chips.
- Going to bed at an unreasonable hour because you have grownup stuff to do now.
- Still waking up at the crack of dawn but having to drag my wife and son up from slumber because they are not morning persons, not even for Santa Claus.
- Waiting with my mother in the hallway with a video camera for my son to finally emerge from his bedroom.
- The sounds of the coffeemaker mixing a magic brew of caffeinated energy and filling the house with the aroma.
- Watching our son play Santa as he hands out the gifts.
- Trying to keep the cat out of the wrapping paper and stuff (will be two of them this year so even more fun).
- Loading up and heading for my brother’s restaurant so we can all be together on Christmas Day
- Watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel and knowing that someone is going to get a new wife and a new mom for Christmas and that Santa will get to where he is going no matter what.
- Pulling out the digitized slides and looking at other Christmases long gone and people who are no longer with us but still alive in our hearts and memories.
- Feeling a bit sad when it is all over but also happy to know that in 365 days, it will all roll around again, making new memories, keeping old ones alive and filling our hearts and homes with joy and festivities.
- Remembering why we do it in the first place and being thankful for the greatest gift of all, a savior who is Christ the Lord.
Christmas is a special time when families, friends and loved ones come together to celebrate the very first Christmas gift. Wherever Christmas finds you this year, I hope that you find Peace, Joy and Happiness.
Merry Christmas to All!