I wish I could say I was ready for Christmas. I think I'm really not ready until the day I'm in church and we're singing carols and hearing the reading of the Christmas story. I think then I'm aware of what Christmas means to me. All the other stuff is just window dressing.
When I was a little girl, we would go to the midnight candlelight service. That service is so special because of the time of night, the darkness and the candles, and the music. To a little girl, it was also special because when we got home, we got to open our gifts.
Just being home wasn't enough because we'd gather around the tree and my Dad would read the Christmas story to us from a children's Bible. So we heard a story, not just a reading. Then we'd sing Silent Night. Only after that was done would we open our packages.
The packages were always wonderful. Not only were there gifts from our parents, but also gifts from family friends.
One Christmas there was a doll house for me and some wooden blocks for my brother, both crafted by my Dad. He had made the blocks from hardwood using a saw and a hand sander. Mom told me later it took a very long time to make each block, so there weren't as many as he had planned. What I remember is that the sides of the blocks weren't flat so they weren't good for building much, and that my brother threw one at me and it hurt.
Another Christmas there was a bunk bed for dolls and two dolls in it. The bunk bed was from my parents. The dolls were from family friends. These particular family friends always made my dress up clothing and always gave us something really special for Christmas. So I was so excited to see the doll I had admired, complete with handmade wardrobe. So, why the second doll? I didn't even want that doll. It was a baby doll and I didn't like baby dolls.
Such a doll snob I was. Mom explained later that the friends thought the baby doll was beautiful and showed it to me at the store, but I had eyes only for the "little girl" doll so they had bought me both and fashioned clothing for both.
No wonder I was so excited about Christmas! On Christmas Day we were usually invited out somewhere, or we had company in. For the children Christmas Day was just a day to play with our new toys.