I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Christmas is my favorite time of year. As with most, I suppose my love of Christmas started when I was a young child. For those of you who celebrate Christmas, and can remember your childhood, what I have to say should come as no surprise. As a boy, Christmas was my favorite time, because it was one of two days in the year where I actually got something to call my own. (The other day being my birthday.) Yes, I loved Christmas for the “getting”, and I think there are few children that can deny that that’s why they love it, as well. It takes some growing up to discover the true meaning of the holiday.
Waking up on Christmas morning was the most magical part of my childhood, I loved it more than anything. I looked forward to it so much that, every year, I wanted to go to sleep on December 1st, and not wake up until the 25th. I remember I would get out my sleeping bag, put it in the living room, and tell my mom I was going to hibernate until Christmas morning. She would laugh with a smile. Well, being that humans can’t hibernate, and that I had to go to school, I never managed to pull it off.
As you might imagine, I was one of the kids that got up as early as possible on Christmas morning to wake up the rest of the family. One Christmas I woke up around 4:00 AM, and I knew that that was too early to wake my mom up. I figured I better wait until at least 5:30 to wake her up. Still, I got out of bed to see if Santa had visited. Sure enough, he had. The presents were there. They looked so wonderful under the tree. I was so excited I couldn’t go back to bed. I wanted the time to pass by faster, so I figured I would watch some TV. I ended up watching some video tapes of Winnie the Pooh. It wasn’t very Christmasy, but it did help the time pass by, and soon enough it was around 5:30 and I woke everybody up.
A year or so later, I wanted to make Christmas special for Santa Claus. So I got my alphabet blocks and spelled out “Merry Christmas Santa Clause”. (I thought Claus was spelled with an e.) I placed this message in front of the fireplace so that Santa would see my message to him as soon as he came down. To my disappointment the blocks were in disarray on Christmas morning, and I thought that Santa was mad at me for some reason, but he had brought me presents, so he couldn’t be that angry. Of course, I now realize that my mom must have tripped over the blocks when she laid out the presents.
The next year, my sister and I really wanted to see Santa. So, we decided to sleep in the living room, in hopes that Saint Nick would wake us. Well, to our disappointment, there were no presents on Christmas morning. I was shocked and saddened. My mom told us that we didn’t need presents to celebrate Christmas and that maybe we should try to find the true meaning of Christmas. That didn’t help. I mean, as I said previously, it was one of two times a year that I actually got anything. I was mad at Santa. I was mad at my mom for saying that maybe we didn’t deserve any presents. I was thinking that it was the worst Christmas ever. My mom even told my brother to go do some chores. She told him to get the swamp cooler cover out of the storage shed because we hadn’t put it on yet. Meanwhile, I was thinking, Christmas is already ruined because Santa forgot us, and you want us to do chores? Well my brother went out to get the cover, and to our surprise he came back with a bunch of presents. I figured that since Santa didn’t want to be seen, he left the presents in the storage shed. We celebrated Christmas in the kitchen that year, since that is where my brother brought the presents inside. It turned out to be one of the best Christmases I ever had. The year after that, was when I found out that Santa wasn’t real.
Quite a few years later, Christmas was still a great time of year, but there was no reason for my mom to place the presents under the tree on Christmas Eve night. Instead, she placed the presents under the tree as soon as they were wrapped up. This put me and my siblings in an interesting situation. One year, while our mom was at work, we’d open up all the presents and play with them, and then re-wrap them before she got home. One of the presents was a video game, and we completed the entire game before Christmas morning. I remember pretending to be surprised on Christmas morning that year. I don’t know if my mom ever knew about that or not. We only did that one time, we were more patient after that.
The wonders of Christmas morning faded after I got my first job. With that job came the ability to buy things. I didn’t have to wait for Christmas morning to get things. I could buy whatever anything that I could afford as soon as I got my paycheck. I also didn’t have to depend on my mom guessing at what I would like or not. I even remember telling a coworker, “Christmas morning isn’t so great now that I can buy whatever I want.” My coworker agreed.
Truth be told, since I’ve had income, Christmas morning has lost it’s magic. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I don’t like Christmas morning. Not because I don’t like Christmas, but because, to me, Christmas day is the end of the most wonderful season of the year. A season, that I would rather not see end.