Unlike today, there wasn’t much that could wake me up during the night when I was a kid. Generally speaking I would lay down and go right to sleep. Back then I was a morning person so I would normally wake up shortly after sunrise to welcome the new day. But between when my head hit the pillow and that sunrise… I would barely even move.
There were two things though, that would definitely wake me up in the middle of the night. The first was snow… or rather, the threat (or should I say, promise) that it was coming. It didn’t matter whether they were calling for a dusting or a blizzard, the affect on me was the same. I would periodically have to get up during the night to make sure that the forcasters had not been lying about the entire event. The other thing that could wake me up during the night was… Christmas.
Christmas eve was the most difficult night for me to get to sleep back then. The excitment of it all was enough to make me feel like I was going to just explode. I remember sitting down for hours on end looking through the Sears catalog… going through the toy section page by page circling nearly every thing on every page. I would sit and stare at those pages and imagine myself with my toy guns, or GI Joe, or Hot Wheels cars. It must have driven my parents crazy trying to figure out what I really wanted. But they always managed to do a great job given the lack of specifics that I would provide them.
And so I would stay up as late as I could manage. That was until I thought I heard something on the roof! I knew I was in trouble if I didn’t get to sleep quick then so I would lay real still and keep my eyes closed, just in case the big man happened to wander down the hall and peek in my room.
Hours before the sun came up… and usually within just a couple hours of having closed my eyes, I would wake up! I’d sneak next door to my sisters room and see if she was awake.. if not, well, she would be before I left out of there. I always wanted a co-conspirator with this sort of thing. So we would decide together if it was time to go see what Santa had brought. And of course, regardless of the time… it was ALWAYS the perfect time to go see!
There are always those couple of Christmases that stand out as far as the toy receiving goes… the one that is most vivid is the year I got my bike. My sister had gotten a new bike sometime earlier and I had been using her old bike… so I was so stoked to see my bright shiny new bike. That was the best! Oh yeah.. and the year I got the snare drum…. and the year I got the Winchester rifle that fired roll caps.. and the year I got…