As a child, Christmas Eve was always at my aunt’s house. We would drive the 40 or so minutes and have dinner and then open gifts. It was truly a mad-house of glee. Wrapping paper and gifts flying everywhere. No clue who gave what or to whom, but everyone enjoyed it. Grandma and Grampa always gave me savings bonds, which I actually loved. They made me feel more permanent in a way. They were for LATER. Everything else was for NOW. My aunt always gave me wonderful clothes that we would never buy for me- beautiful sweaters and dresses. She knew what was hip and cool and always got it for me. My other aunt always got us things with our names, like a duffle bag one year. I loved that.
We would drive home late, singing Christmas songs (this was before car radios with constant music, so we just had to do what we knew) and secretly looking out the window for Santa sightings.
When we got home, we’d put out cookies and milk and carrots for the reindeer and then head off to bed. Luckily, we were so tired from our Big Night, that we’d actually sleep. And when we awoke in the morning…