When we were children my siblings and I would eagerly await the arrival of Santa on Christmas Eve. As midnight neared Miami, the Bergquist children would eagerly await the mysterious multiplication of the mound of presents under the tree.
Our parents would always allow us to open a single present prior to our Midnight Mass preparations, oddly the packages they fished-out from beneath the glimmering pile – regardless of our machinations to prevent it – always contained articles of clothing that would “look great if we wore them to church!” And that was it.
Regardless of how much we begged, cajoled, or pleaded, we would never be able to open more than the one present containing our new Midnight Mass outfit. The toys beckoned tauntingly under the tree – drawing our wanton desires like the toys behind the glass at the fancy toy shops on the Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. Our best arguments could not sway Dad and Mom from their insistence the presents be opened on Christmas Morning – and later amended to Christmas Morning AFTER we sleep when we pointed out that technically any time after midnight mass was Christmas Morning.
…and later further amended by the addition of some variable minimum amount of sleep when one of the more adventurous among our number got up at two and claimed to have slept as much as he could, waking the whole house in the process.
But I have further evidence that Dad is mellowing in is old age (dotage?) we are now planning to open presents this evening, after my brother and his family arrive from Alabama. Mary will not be able to attend, but we will be Skyping them in. To what do we owe this departure from the norm? Mainly, we ascribe the change to the fact that we are headed off to the family homestead to celebrate Christmas with my uncle and his family on the farm tomorrow. It makes sense – but then, I thought claiming a half-hour of sleep was more than enough for a growing boy!
Wherever you are tonight, I hope the holiday surprises are worth the wait!