Dad loved Christmas morning. He loved showering his kids with gifts and watching us revel in the thrill of Christmas morning. Mom was a saver (i.e. didn’t like to spend money), so we didn’t always get the most expensive gifts as kids when mom/dad were still a young couple trying to pay a mortgage, but dad definitely got an A for effort…
Every Christmas, dad would make a big show of having us wait outside the living room while he lit the fire, turned on the tree, got the camera ready and so on, then he’d give us the okay and we’d race in. He was always just as involved with our opening our presents as we were, sitting nearby, feeling as excited about us opening our gifts as we were getting them. It was like every gift and every Christmas was like The Old Man in A Christmas Story giving his son the air rifle. Wife M is that way, too – she loves giving gifts more than getting them (and she loves getting them).
Even as teens and then adults, dad ensured this still happened by upping the ante – buying us electronics, giving us cash, etc. One year, mom was recuperating from surgery so could not keep an eye on dad during Christmas season – that was the most amazing Christmas we ever had as far as gifts go 🙂 Later, when we had kids, the cycle started over again with his grandkids – when we arrive at the house he does everything he can to make it an awesome experience for all of us 🙂
But in 7th grade I had a paper route, Which means before we could start our Christmas morning, I’d have to spend an hour or two delivering 100 papers over a 6-block area. Dad couldn’t wait that long, and didn’t want my sister (in 4th grade) and I to wait that long, so after hosting his inlaws until 1 AM on Christmas Eve he got up at 5 AM that Christmas morning, pulled my sister and I out of bed, and the three of us piled in his van and delivered the papers together so we could have our CHristmas morning at 7 AM.
What a wonderful memory that is. I feel love when I think of that memory. 🙂