What is one of your favorite holiday memories?

That would be opening Christmas presents when I was a child.  We grew up in a small house in the North Riverdale neighborhood in Dayton and the living room must have been all of maybe eight feet wide by twelve feet deep.  That tiny room was packed with couches, chairs, a TV, a stereo, a Christmas tree loaded with boxes, five kids, and two parents.  Somehow it worked.  

At first, we opened presents on Christmas morning, maybe got to play with them for what seemed all of ten or fifteen minutes, and then had to get dressed, go to Our Lady of Mercy for Christmas Mass, and then downtown for brunch.  We were going half crazy by the time we returned home and had time to play with our presents, but even that was short-lived as we packed back in the station wagon for our trip to Grandpa Otto’s house in Beavercreek for continued festivities.

It took a few years, but our parents finally realized they were packing too much into one day and decided to let us open our presents on Christmas Eve.  We were so excited!  A few hours to play before bedtime and our parents no longer had to fear us waking them up too early on Christmas morning, which, of course, we usually did.  That tradition, Christmas Eve for our family and Christmas Day for parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, etc., continued as I raised my family.  

So if The Ghost of Christmas Past would take me back to a childhood Christmas Eve, I would be reliving my favorite holiday memory.


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