As I sit here and whine because I can't go home for New Year's Day, I've been thinking about holidays past.
One vivid memory is "the door." In our house (which Joe and Cindy now own), there was a pocket door in between the living room and dining room. The only time we ever used it was on Christmas Eve. After we went to bed, Santa would arrive, eat the cookies and drink the milk, leave the presents, and close the door. We never wondered how Santa knew it was there.
Early on Christmas morning we'd jump downstairs (didn't walk or run--we jumped), and anxiously stood in front of "the door." No way would we dare open it. (One year I did after everyone was asleep. I don't think I've told that to anyone before.)
When "the door" was finally opened it was magical. I think we stood there for a second in awe before we rushed to dive into the presents.
"The door" was one more way to make Christmas special. We were a big family, and never had money. Every year Mom and Dad would say that Christmas would be smaller that year, and there wouldn't be many presents. Yet every year the living room was full. Santa had a lot of help from our Grandma Bozarth (Dad's mom). Also, some of Mom's brothers and sisters would give her money to help out. When we were small we didn't know that. We just knew that Santa was generous.
No money. But we were the luckiest kids in the world and we knew it.