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night before Christmas

…and naturally I'm still stirring. When I was a little kid, at least one year at Christmas apparently I was shaking so hard with excitement that I couldn't open my presents. I don't really remember that happening, I think it was probably sometime between the ages of 2 and 5. I do however remember being a little older, in the 5-8 range maybe, and being so excited that I couldn't fall asleep. And I was tired, too. I lay there for hours, trying to be patient, trying to will myself to sleep, but I couldn't.

I used to have a funny habit too, if I was having a hard time falling asleep I'd try to wear myself out by pounding my head against the pillow. You know, that wasn't just a funny habit, it was really weird. Like, it makes sense in child-logic: I'm not falling asleep, I'm not tired yet, I need to make myself tired so I can fall asleep, but I have to stay lying in bed so I can't run around or anything, so the only physical activity I can do is pound my head agains the pillow. It never did work.

Anyhow, I remember at least one time I ended up crying, because I felt tired and I knew I had to get to sleep because Christmas is a big day, but I just couldn't fall asleep. My crying woke up Mom—well, I'm sure it woke up everyone—who called upstairs to ask me what was wrong and said something vaguely reassuring, and I tried to settle down and eventually I did fall asleep. 

As I got older, I eventually grew out of being so excited about Christmas, and having trouble falling asleep because of it. I also stopped the head-pounding-pillow behavior back then, too. I do still tremble with excitement occasionally, in certain circumstances, but not because of Christmas. And the only reason I'm up late on Christmas eve is because… I just like to be up late. Tomorrow's not such a big day, because we're doing the larger family gathering on Sunday afternoon instead of Christmas, but it is still Christmas and I am feeling tired, so it's time to make way for Santa.

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