The unveiling of Christmas morning was always a huge deal at our house growing up…

The colored lights from the tree peaking around the corner, my parents’ favorite holiday music playing on the stereo, and even before we got to the epicenter of it all, we’d find a letter from Santa awaiting us on the dining room table, along with some visible cookie crumbs, an emptied glass of milk, and of course, a myriad of chocolates and Hershey’s Kisses and M&Ms in the candy dish, all perfectly coordinated in reds and greens and silvers.

The tree itself was nothing short of incredible, with gifts piled high around the entire base, and in hindsight knowing what things actually cost, it’s no secret that Santa most certainly over-extended himself in the name of bringing wonder and amazement to our faces on Christmas morning! Once we had finished unwrapping presents to the view of several cameras and video cameras for future embarrassment, Mom took to the kitchen to ready our holiday breakfast – sometimes  a giant green Rice Krispie treat shaped like a tree, sometimes a special pineapple pastry whose recipe had been passed down through many generations, and always chocolate milk because I think that my Dad liked it just as much as us kids.

I remember it being a really big deal and frankly, it’s the kind of excitement that I want to shoot for when someday I’m a father myself. For a kid, Christmas is really the pinnacle of all holidays, filled with treats and toys and lights and music, and at least for me, it’s just not really Christmas unless all of your senses are just completely and utterly overwhelmed with all of the joy and happiness and collective efforts come Christmas morning…

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