It is extremely rare for any kid to tell you their favorite thing about Christmas is something other than presents. There is something almost magical about the anticipation and expectation that centers around the boxes under the tree.
My mom has always been terrible about capitalizing on our impatience. Since we were old enough to start trying to guess what the wrapped boxes held, Mom has gone to great lengths to keep us guessing. She’s done everything from wrapping with multiple layers of paper and bubble wrap (even one time using duct tape!) to putting marbles or shirts in the box. Her tactics are starting to rub off on the rest of us as well –last year my brother wrapped a huge box when all that was inside was a piece of paper telling me what his present to me would be.
My dad adds to the anticipation too, though in a very different way. Every year when he catches us shaking presents he tells us that if you know what you’re getting, it’s going to get taken back to the store. This year it’s turned into a sing-song, “If you touchy, it go back-y”. So we have to wait for him to go to work to shake our presents.
As I have gotten old enough to start picking out and buying presents for others myself however, an interesting change in attitude toward the presents has occurred in me. While the presents with my name on them still manage to keep me excited and anxious, my favorite part of opening presents is when my brothers and sister open up their presents from me on Christmas Eve. Their excitement means more to me than any gift I have ever received.