Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Magical night

Merry Christmas Eve!!

Christmas Eve was always a big deal when I was a kid.  I can remember being in the tub very early and putting on dressy clothes.  My Mom and Dad got dressed up as well.  First we had to take pictures in front of our tree.  Some of just me.  Some of my Mom and me.  Some of my Dad and me.  Then we finally got to the part I had been yearning for - we opened our presents under the tree!!  My Mom usually gave me necessities and small things.  My Dad was well known for going to Walmart on December 24th and just grabbing the first thing he came to.  Afterwards, we'd hurriedly scoop up the mess and we were out the door.  Everybody went to my MawMaw and PawPaw's house on Christmas Eve.  Everybody - all the kids, grand kids, aunts, uncles, cousins, and so on.  Everyone crowded in the tiny living room and gossiped.  Usually the adults claimed the sofas and chairs and us kids were left to sit on the floor.  There was food galore - sandwiches, barbecue meatballs and sausage, deviled eggs, and desserts.  I guess everyone contributed something but I don't remember. It wasn't until after everyone ate and after all the adults had caught up on the latest that it was present time.  Somebody would hand out the gifts and most of the kids just tore into them right away -- chaos. It was too much to exchange gifts with everyone,  but you always knew that you would get something.  My Aunt would usually give me something homemade like gingerbread cookies.  My Godmother always gave me something from my Santa list.  If my Grandma gave anyone anything it was towels.  Always towels.

Eventually things would wind down and someone would always say they heard sleigh bells and maybe it was time to go.  Of course that would put all the kids in a frenzy because none of us wanted to miss Santa.  Once we got home and unloaded the car, we'd put all the Grandma's house gifts aside so that Santa wouldn't confuse them with whatever he brought.  I always thought that was strange because he was Santa and Santa had to be very smart and not some bumbling idiot who would accidentally take presents instead of leaving them.

Sleep would never come as I was a bundle of nerves.  If I did drift off, it was only to dream of what Santa might bring.  I honestly have no idea how Santa came because it seemed I was awake looking at the clock the whole night.  When I couldn't stand it anymore, usually about 5am, I would creep down the hall to find a heap of toys under the tree.  Santa had magically passed! I probably had enough presents for three kids.  My Mom and Dad could afford it and I think my Mom was trying to give me all that she never had.

I can only hope my kids feel Christmas is as magical as I did!

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