When I was a kid, I approached Christmas like a general at war: I planned covert reconnaissance, engaged in psy-ops, even struck strategic alliances with my siblings to make sure that Christmas met our expectations. It was all about the gifts, baby.
I knew that opening presents before the whole family was awake was forbidden, but patience was never one of my strong suits. As soon as I woke on Christmas morning, and there was even a hint of morning light on the horizon, I'd sneak out of my bedroom and into the living room for a peek.
Oh, the new-toy smell of Christmas mornings! As a kid, there was nothing more glorious and magical than to enter the room that had, the night before, been just another living room and find a wondrous bounty of toys and gifts arrayed under the tree. My family was strictly lower middle-class, at best, but my parents always found away to make sure my brother and sister and I had a magical Christmas.
Later, as I grew older and gained a more mature understanding of the holiday, I came to find more joy in the true spiritual meaning of the holiday than in finding presents under the tree. But I've never forgotten the excitement of tiptoeing into the living room and fidning that Baby Tender Love or those brand new Trixie Belden books waiting under the tree for me that cold, dark Christmas pre-dawn.
What are some of your favorite Christmas memories from childhood?