1. Every year at Christmas we would all line up in birth order from youngest (that put me 2nd) to run down the stairs and open our presents. My dad always went down first to "make sure Santa came." He would then yell up "Okay he came, you can come down now." I never realized until after I was an adult, he was turning the Christmas tree on so that when we came down it would be sparkling.
2. Every year my dad would take us kids (4 of us) in the car to see the Christmas lights. He loved it! But now that we kids are all grown, my dad still takes each of us, with our own kids, to go look at all the Christmas lights with him. He still loves it.
3. One year I asked for a Barbie Styling Head for Christmas. On Christmas morning my younger sister opened...you guessed it...a Barbie Styling Head. My parents love to tell the story of the look on my face. I still had one wrapped in my stack, I just didn't know they'd gotten her one too.
4. One Christmas I was sure the fellow I was dating was going to give me a ring. We'd been together a long while. After opening all my gifts, I did a good job of hiding my disappointment. No ring. Then he said "I do have one more gift. It's out in the car; I didn't have a chance to wrap it." "That's okay!" I responded (Why wrap a velvet box, right?) I don't remember what the last gift was...maybe a pair of gloves or a scarf or something. But I vividly remember the disappointment. Within the next few months I realized he wasn't serious about the relationship, so I told him I was going to start dating other people and he said that was fine. I started dating another fellow who was really quite wonderful. Within in a couple months, the first boyfriend asked me to marry him. I said no (too little, too late). I now happen to be married to the other fellow, 12 years and counting. Merry Christmas to me!
5. Every year for Christmas my kids get to open 1 gift on Christmas eve. It always just happens to be new PJs. They look so cute in the pictures on Christmas morning in their new PJs.
6. My dad always makes the holiday dinners, including candied yams. One year at Thanksgiving I made a new recipe, Sweet Potato Casserole. Everyone loved it and asked me to bring it for Christmas. I think my dad was miffed that everyone liked the casserole more than his yams. So he always asks me "Are you going to bring that marshmallow thing again this year?" The funny thing is my Casserole doesn't have marshmallows on it and never has. Last year, I put one miniature marshmallow in the middle of it as a joke, since he always says I am bringing that casserole with the marshmallows.
7. My favorite Christmas memory. My husband and I wanted to have children right away in our marriage, but it didn't happen right away. After 2 years, I was very disappointed. The week between Christmas '98 and New Years I found out I was expecting our oldest daughter. That was the best Christmas present I've ever gotten.