….at age 8 being unable to sleep with the excitement of it all, I stayed up late into the night reading books and pausing now and then to look outside into the night sky, trying to catch a glimpse of Father Christmas. I couldn’t see him, of course, and eventually switched off my light and fell asleep. On Christmas Day I could hardly keep my eyes open from the sheer exhaustion after having stayed up half the night reading, and took myself off to bed at a pathetic 7 o’clock.
…at age 6, on Christmas morning I opened an Action Man boat, complete with guns that fired missiles, because, after all, what else would you give a little boy in 1980 but a war-mongering toy? All my grandparents came over for Christmas dinner, and both of my WWII veteran grandfathers wanted to try out my Action Man boat. They took it in turns to test the two missile-firing guns, and of course broke them both. They must have felt bad for breaking my new toy, but I remember that I didn’t get upset about it, and told them it didn’t matter.
…at age 3, sitting on my parents’ bed, with the blue and purple 1970’s flowery swirls all over the covers, ripping off wrapping paper from a pile of presents, as my baby sister was cradled in my mother’s arms. I remember the thrill of opening up a Worzel Gummidge stationary set, and I can still smell the newness of it, with the fresh eraser and crisp notebook. Yes, I was easily pleased.
…and at age 44? Well as a parent Christmas is completely different, of course. Gone is my own childhood magic, and instead I help to create magic for my own children. It was glorious watching them open their presents in the morning, and seeing them really believe that Santa had visited.
Same time, same place next year, then?