Christmas time is a beautiful time filled with lights, giving, and good will. One thing that it also brings is an expectation. Many people have an expectation as to how the holidays should go, and if it does not meet said expectation, things can go sour rather quickly. Something like that happened to my family when I was younger, and I was to blame. I was not a bad kid growing up whatsoever, so it was not that I misbehaved, got coal in my stocking or anything. Rather, this one year, miscommunication and being overzealous nearly capsized our yuletide.

One year, several years ago- I don't even think I was ten years old yet- I got up Christmas morning excited to open all the presents under the tree in the living room. Dad was currently upstairs, while Mom was doing something downstairs, getting ready for Christmas Mass. I yelled down to her from the top of the stairs to see if it was okay if I could start opening presents. Now, whether I actually thought I heard this, or I made myself hear what I wanted to hear, I thought she said to go ahead. I raced to the living room, where Dad was not far away, and started ripping into a few presents.

After a couple of boxes had been unwrapped, my mom came up the stairs with her video camera, distraught to see that I started. I reiterated that I asked her if I could, and she said that she told me not to. She wanted to be there to watch me open my presents and capture the magic of it on her camcorder. Mom was so sad that she had to leave the room.

Without wasting any time, I asked Dad to grab me all the tape in the house. I went to work on rewrapping all the presents that I had opened using the original gift wrap that was around each of them. Some pieces were in better condition than others, but I managed to crudely return them to how they were prior. Once I was set, I went to my mom's room, grabbed her by the hand, and brought her to the living room. From there, I proceeded the act out nearly beat for beat how I initially reacted to opening up the presents for the first time. I did my best to remember exactly what I said, and even tried to mimic every tear and movement I did. If I felt I messed something up, I took it back a few beats, as if I was rewinding myself. My mom thought the gesture was so cute and thoughtful that she came back around and felt joyous again. Fortunately, I did not open all the presents yet, so there were still some surprises ahead to capture first hand.

Looking back now, I'm really glad that I went to those lengths to give my mom back that moment. Being older, I understand how much goes into buying and preparing the holidays for your loved ones, and how rewarding it is to see their faces light up with exhilaration when they receive something they love. Parents in particular do so much to ensure a perfect holiday for their children, and I appreciate all that my parents did over the years. From that year on, I made sure that I waited to dig into my presents, and take everyone's thoughts into consideration. That is one Christmas memory I will never forget.

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