There was always family and friends in our tiny apartment, especially during the holidays. On Christmas Eve I'd have to go to bed early even though we had company. My parents said it was because Santa was on his way to deliver the toys and all kids had to be asleep. (Why couldn't I just get a later delivery? Oops I hadda be nice not naughty). I'd unwillingly go to bed still trying to listen for Santa as I fell asleep. After a few hours of sound sleep, Mama would wake me up. Most of the company would still be there and lo and behold... Santa and his Elves had dropped off my load of gifts. I do believe in Santa, I do believe in Santa!
I got to open all my gifts and then just as quickly as that, I'd have to go right back to bed. I couldn't even play with my toys for more than a few minutes! WTF? In hindsight... that just ain't right. I was sleeping with visions of sugar plums (okay, Barbie dolls) dancing in my head and was startled out of my sleep to find a bunch of presents, open them and then be forced to go back to bed. This was definitely a topic I covered in therapy. I think this could've been the foundation of my neurosis, possibly even a reason for my ever present insomnia.
Anyway those days are long gone and for now I live in Suburbia in California. There is no snow here and family and friends do not come in and out like when I was a child. The good thing is that on Christmas Eve I go to sleep whenever I want and get to sleep straight through the night without being woken to open my gifts. And if I'm good I might even find a card under my pillow and some goodies from Santa under our little purple Tree in the morning.
But for me, Christmas is New York City and all the wonderful clichés that go with it... Radio City Christmas Show, the tree at Rockefeller Center, the magical window displays and the Holiday spirit of tourists visiting the center of the universe. There is no place like home... especially at this time of year.
Happy Holidays to everyone wherever you may be and I hope you enjoy them. Spread the love and the light of the season even if you don't have a chimney or a fireplace. And be thankful if you have a neurotic parent that may wake you out of a deep sleep to open your Barbie dolls. Yes I do believe in Santa because he's in everyone of us.
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