The holidays from my childhood were always filled with excitement and wonder. My sisters and I would be so excited on Christmas Eve, that we would spend the whole day trying to make time go faster, or trying to tire ourselves out. The sooner we went to sleep, the sooner Santa Claus would come.
We would dive eagerly into our beds at 7 p.m. and lie there for most of the night, unable to sleep. We would wake up at 4 a.m. every year, and Dad would tell us to go back to sleep, even though he was every bit as excited as us. It took many years before we caught on, finally realizing that the loud noise that always woke us up at 4 a.m. was my dad, stomping around in his bedroom, with the intent to wake up his anxious children.
We were never expected to get dressed or have breakfast before the presents were opened. Once everyone was gathered around the tree, presents were handed out and we oohed and aahed over each and every one. Hand made Care Bears, the only thing my mother was ever able to sew, or games or Barbies. We would spend the morning playing together, while Mom cooked the Christmas dinner.
Many years have passed since my four sisters and I all crowded into one bedroom, a holiday tradition, to pass Christmas Eve by telling stories and giggling through half the night. I think of our excitement and wonder and can’t help but miss the innocence of our youth and the closeness of five little girls, camping out in one room to enjoy the excitement of Christmas Eve together.