“Even as an adult, I still find it hard to sleep on Christmas Eve.” 

The car windows are covered in frost. The morning air is cold. It is only in the mid-30’s, but the weather prediction is for the low 40’s, and, with no wind, it will feel warmish. I have some outside chores today. I need to clean Nala’s mess in the backyard. I also need to connect the new timers for the front lights. I found a set of white lights yesterday in the cellar so I’ll add that set to those already on the deck. My chores won’t take me long so I’ll also finish decorating the house. I did a bit yesterday, but I have more to do. It will be a busy day.

When I was a kid, we started the countdown to Christmas a week away from the big day. Usually we were out of school on the 23rd. That heightened the excitement. On the 24th we stayed around the house. A few wrapped presents were always under the tree taunting us. In the late afternoon, we watched the New Hampshire Santa Claus make his good-byes before he took off in his sleigh. We didn’t know his route so we didn’t know how long it would be until he got to us. We just knew we needed to be asleep. I remember trying to go to bed as early as five, but my mother knew better so we were stuck downstairs. Sometimes A Christmas Carol was on so that whiled away the hours. Bedtime just never seemed to come soon enough for the first ever.

I always thought mass on Christmas Day was the worst. Having to leave all our new stuff seemed inhumane though I didn’t know that word back then, but I knew the feeling. My brother and I had to walk by ourselves to church because my parents had gone to midnight mass. I remember it was usually dark when we left for the earliest Christmas morning mass. Only the street lights were on. I remember at mass one year it was my brother and I and a few old ladies bundled in heavy coats and scarves. Mass was at the site altar, no altar boys and best of all, no sermon. It was my favorite Christmas mass of all time.

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4 Comments on ““Even as an adult, I still find it hard to sleep on Christmas Eve.” ”

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    My company Christmas party last night was fun. The food was good, the DJ was good, and they raffled off lots of gifts. Of course I didn’t win any. I have worked there for 32 years and probably attended 15 Christmas parties and never won a prize. The big prize was a separate raffle for four mezzanine tickets to the Dallas Cowboy and Philadelphia Eagles game on Christmas Eve. The prize even included a parking pass. Arlington Texas is the only major sports city in the country with no public transportation. Why have public transit when the city and the teams makes revenue from parking? I think parking is $20. 🙁

    The great thing about being a Jewish kid is that you get presents for each of the eight nights of Chanukah. This enables you to open each gift separately and play with it for the entire evening. Then, you get to repeat the entire fun each night. Usually, we got small gifts for seven nights and the big gift on the eighth night. My spouse spoiled my kids by giving them the big gift on the first night. After that each night was anticlimactic. My parents learned from the Heinz Ketchup commercial about prolonging the anticipation. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      The town near Gillette has a train station and a bus station with transit originating in Boston. You have to get a ride from those places to the stadium. I haven’t ever won anything either even in raffles with multiple drawings. The neighborhood kids know I’ll buy what they are selling so I buy tickets every year.

      Christmas morning was usually chaos with four of us playing with our new toys and such. The only wrapped presents were from my parents. Santa never wrapped his. Santa was quite generous every year.,

  2. Hedley Says:

    Christmas Eve, sleep needed to be addressed and my Mother had the answer. We are given a couple of Disprin. Ah life in the 60s, medication will do it.
    Of course the upstairs of the house had no heating except some electric bars mounted on the wall. That probably didn’t help much. One gift awaited us in the morn, before we moved on to our grandparents home in the village where we were likely to receive an envelope containing a pound note. Such affluence

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      That is so funny! Of course it was the best way to put you to sleep!

      We had noisy radiators upstairs, and they never really kept the rooms too warm. I loved all the gurgling sounds they made. There was one on the wall at the foot of my bed.

      We opened presents and then usually went to my grandparents house in East Boston. The whole family was there. My mother had 7 siblings. Five of them had children so the house was filled on Christmas Day.

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