Christmas is one of my favorite holidays by far…besides my birthday! When I was younger the weeks leading up to Christmas consisted of me sitting under the tree shaking and counting all of my presents, faithfully changing our countdown to Christmas ornament, and impatiently going to bed every night—awaiting the day I  could storm the tree and retrieve what was rightfully mine. I could never contain my excitement and thrill to open up my presents. Bless my mom, starting at 5:00 A.M. I would tip toe to her room and ask, “Is it time to open presents?” She’d roll over and say. “No, not yet” and crush my hopes. But I wasn’t defeated! Every hour I would continue to ask, until finally she would sigh heavily to herself and say, “OK, I’m up!” I sprinted to the tree, already knowing what gift I was going to open first due to my scouting techniques, and I would have a field day.Christmas  sweaters.

Once all of the gifts were open, I would look at all of the new toys I acquired; with the exception of clothes that were tossed to the side. As a kid, clothes were never on my list, but my mom still insisted on getting me a couple of outfits for school. The hours after gift opening was the best! I played with my toys, going back in fourth between my Barbie and Brat Dolls; I would introduce my new dolls to my old ones and piled everyone into my new Barbie car. One year, my Barbie house upgraded into a new mansion, converting the old house into a summer home (I had a vivid imagination).

Christmas isn’t just my favorite holiday because of the anticipation of opening presents, but the memories I have and will continue to gain. Over the past years, I can’t tell you details of the toys, clothes, or shoes I’ve received, but I can describe the hugs I  gave my mom and the love I  felt being with my family. As an adult, Christmas means more to me now than ever before. Material things come and go (I switched up my Barbie dolls on the daily), but memories with my family and friends I will keep with me for a very long time—the fact that I will continue to create those memories is an indescribable feeling.

If you have special Christmas stories or traditions to share, comment below!