Sleep never came easy for me on Christmas Eve. The excitement and anticipation of Christmas morning was just too much. Every creak, every thud, every noise sounded exactly like sleigh bells or reindeer hooves or someone on the roof. One year, I know I must have gotten out of bed five times, walked into the living room in my baby blue Dallas Cowboys pajamas and told Mom I couldn't sleep.
I was always the kid who woke everyone else up on Christmas morning. Well most years. One particular Christmas, I remember I got out of bed at 1:30 in the morning. I'm still not sure I fell asleep at all that night.
My "big" gift that year was a little mini Casio keyboard. It had four settings: piano, flute, violin, and something called fantasy. I turned the volume on the lowest setting and sat on the couch and played with it until everyone else woke up. I think Dad was the first to venture into the living room that morning, around 5:30.
I was afraid my parents might be upset. Normally they liked to watch as we found what Santa had left us scattered around the living room. But Dad didn't seem to mind. Then again, I was fourteen.
For awhile, my sister would tell me to wake her up on Christmas morning. But that only lasted a few years. Then she got too old. But I never did.
I still find it hard to go to sleep on Christmas Eve. Back then, it was the anticipation. Now it's because I don't want it to end. That magical feeling of Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.
When you're a kid, those first twenty-four days of December seem to take forever. And when it's over, the next Christmas seems a hundred years away. The years pass a lot faster these days. Still, for just a little while tonight, I wish that I could stop time. It all goes by so fast.
Or maybe I'm still just a kid.
Merry Christmas, from my home to yours...
(Bone's Christmas tree and presents, circa 2008.)
"I'm as slow as christmas. I'll be up before the dawn. I'm not gonna miss this. I know that old saying's wrong. Every Christmas day makes every other day seem long. And what seemed would never get here has so quickly come and gone..."