For some reason, this day always brings back memories of Christmases past (go figure!).
And this year, I can't seem to get images of one particular Christmas out of my mind.
I was thirteen years old and I desperately wanted a pair of textured tights stockings -- they were all the rage that year.
About ten days before Christmas, I was home from school (I don't recall why; obviously I must have been sick).
I had the house to myself and decided I should go snooping for gifts. I just HAD to know if I was getting a pair of those stockings!
Well, I found the cache of presents and eventually identified one that had my name on it that felt like it might be just what I was hoping for.
I oh so carefully opened the package -- and there they were. They were blue and black with a diamond pattern. Truly the most beautiful pair of textured stockings in the whole wide world!
Then I did the unthinkable. I just HAD to try one on.
I remember shaking as I put the stocking on and pulled it up my leg. And then I pranced around my parents' bedroom, admiring the sight.
I was still shaking as I took the stocking off and carefully folded it to put it back in the package.
But look! Now the one I tried on was all stretched out, noticeably bigger than the other one.
So I quickly put the second stocking on and stretched it up my leg so the pair would match again.
Then I very carefully rewrapped the package and returned it to the hidden stash of gifts.
And I remember on Christmas morning being very nervous when it came time to open that gift.
My mother, who knew how badly I wanted those stockings, was watching closely as the package was handed to me.
What was I going to do? I knew I had to act surprised and excited. And I figured I could do that easily, since there was so much other commotion going on with our large family. But would someone notice that the stockings were already stretched?
So I opened the package, let out a squeal of delight, and immediately proceeded to put the stockings on.
There, of course they're stretched, I'm wearing them!
That was the year I learned a very important lesson: be careful what you wish for!
And I have never again gone snooping for gifts.