Holiday traditions

  When my little brother and I were younger, we always woke up ridiculously early on Christmas morning.  I know my parents had a rule about how early we were “allowed” to be awake.  I’m pretty sure the rule was only in place to ensure they got enough sleep, not out of a misguided attempt to actually keep us in bed.  By 5am we were almost always both wide awake.  We’d sneak out of our rooms, down the hallway and into the living room where the tree was.  

  We would spend the excruciating hours until dawn rearranging the presents into piles, sorted by recipient.  We would attempt to figure out the contents of our stockings without removing anything.  We had figured out the hard way that once it came out, it never went back in again.  Clearly Santa/Dad had some kind of magic to make everything fit.
  G isn’t quite old enough yet that he has Christmas fever.  We’ll be opening our presents tonight, rather than waiting til the morning to (we hope) ensure a laid back Christmas morning before traveling to visit family.  The change of date won’t be significant to him yet, but I can’t wait for him to start caring about the traditions, to, hopefully, inherit some of the crazed passion for Christmas his Mama has always had.
  I took him out to drive around our town and look at the lights on houses the other night.  The Mr. thinks I’m crazy, but he more or less tolerates my seasonal eccentricities.  It was raining.  Not the white Christmas the songs talk about for sure, but G and I both oohed and aahed at the lights we drove past.  He’s in a phase right now where he’ll say “uh huh” to pretty much anything you ask him, so I can’t be sure he actually cared about anything other than the toy he had in his arms while we drove, but at least once he pointed out a house to me, saying “Ooh hot! hot!” while pointing to the electric candles in their windows.
  I can’t wait to open presents with him tonight.  Not because he needs anything more (he really doesn’t), but because it’s so much fun watching him get things.  Finally understand how things work and what they are and what’s going on.  He wasn’t sure what to do with his presents last year.  I expect this time he’ll catch on pretty quickly.
  I’m absolutely not wishing time away.  I’m loving every moment watching my little monster grow up, but I can’t wait until the Christmas I catch him sneaking out of his room to go sit and wait for dawn.  And maybe I’ll join him.
What is your favorite childhood Christmas memory?
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