Christmas Eve was always my favorite day of the season. Oh, as a child I loved seeing the presents and opening stockings, but Christmas Eve meant delicious anticipation. It was a day of sneaking a cookie or two while Mom’s head was turned. It was going outside and finding your friends hanging out, talking about whose house Santa would visit first.
There were early afternoon baths, and hair put up in pin curls~ears burning as we took turns under the hair dryer.
Relatives arrived bringing the cold clinging to their coats, stamping their feet and removing the overshoes if slush was still on the ground.
There was laughter as eggnog was consumed, and we gathered ’round the table for lasagna.
The Christmas Albums dropped onto the turntable all evening: Herb Alpert, Al Hirt, Jackie Gleason, Dean Martin, the music that still takes me back to those times today.
Dad would take his heavy duty staple gun and affix our stockings on the wood banister~ youngest to oldest as we stood blinking under the incessant glare of five spot lights mounted to the super 8 mm camera. We would wave, blow kisses and flash peace signs as the camera silently recorded another year.
And then we were tucked into our beds to whisper quietly in our bunk beds straining to hear Santa’s sleigh, but we only heard the grown-ups talking downstairs.
Finally our eyelids would droop; long silences fell between us, and then we would sleep as the dark winter night wrapped itself around us.
We slept warm and confident that no matter how naughty or nice we had behaved this year, Santa would still arrive and bring Christmas cheer.
Merry Christmas to all and may you be warmed by the memories of Christmas past.