Traditionally, people open their presents Christmas morning but, when we were kids, we just couldn’t wait. My cousins and I would gather around the tree, shaking gifts for any hint to their contents, holding them up the light in the hopes we could discern some a word or phrase through the thin wrapping paper: “robot” or “light saber” or “jet pack with invisibility function”. We would whine, plead and pester our parents until, eventually, they allowed us to open one present, just one, at the stroke of midnight. The rest of the presents would have to wait until morning. The single present at midnight eventually became a tradition until, years later, committed whining and pleading and pestering yielded an extra present. We were permitted to open TWO presents, one at midnight, another just before bed. Years later, it became three presents. Then four. Eventually, we ended up opening all of our presents at midnight.
Fast-forward to 2013. We open the presents at around 8:00 p.m., all of them, so that we can clean up and be in bed before midnight. I predict that, in ten years from now, we’ll be opening our Christmas presents on Thanksgiving Day.
After an afternoon spent helping mom make lasagna (layer the pasta, sprinkle the parmesan, coat with sauce, sprinkle with mozzarella, repeat, repeat, repeat), we sat down to a great Christmas dinner and, of course, dessert. Once the dishes were done, we retired to the living room for what Akemi has termed “The present opening ceremony”.
As always, the opening of the gifts was much fun. Akemi got a new winter coat (prior to leaving for Montreal), a teapot, a tea selection, chocolates – but it was a pack of hot pockets that elicited the most enthusiastic response. I guess that tells you how cold it is here (-21 celsius with the wind chill).
Some of my gift-getting highlights:
And, yes, as per new tradition, we were in bed by midnight.
Today, it was off to visit my cousins for Christmas lunch. More food! More dogs!
And, for mom, this post-binge medicinal liquor that she describes as “Very bitter!”: