When I was really little we woke up, did the Santa thing and had breakfast and then drove to one set of my grandparents and had lunch and opened presents and then drove to my other grandparents and had dinner and opened presents with them and even though I loved presents I remember being really, really, exponentially tired by the end of the day. And full.
Around the time that we moved to Ramona, we put an end to the nonstop Christmas day action. We started visiting one set of grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins on Christmas Eve. Then we would have a slow Christmas morning at our house and see the other set of grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins on Christmas night. Although, truthfully, I only had one cousin until I was nine. The next year we would switch which side of the family we saw on Christmas Eve and Christmas night. I don't know how our extended family felt about the arrangement but I loved it. Not only did Christmas last longer, we actually got to play with the stuff we got on Christmas morning.
When I was seven my brother and I got new bikes. I remember getting up that morning and creeping slowly and quietly down the hall before my parents woke up, just to see the magic before anyone else. Well, obviously, my new bike wasn't wrapped so I sped back down the hall so my parents wouldn't know I'd seen it already. After we opened our other presents, I rode the bike for a few minutes. Later, our neighbors, who had gotten a horse for Christmas, invited us on a ride. I was desperate for my own horse so my brother and I eagerly agreed. We started down the trail with my brother, myself, and the neighbor's son, David, atop the bareback horse. As David's dad walked beside us I suddenly felt all of us slipping. I gripped my brother tightly and held him as we toppled to the ground. Pain seared through my right arm and into my shoulder as we hit the ground. I sobbed all the way home.
I cried into the afternoon.
We were going to my aunt and uncle's house for Christmas night. When we were getting ready to leave my brother, who thought I was being overdramatic (I know. Weird right? Why would I suddenly start being overdramatic. I mean, I'd never been overdramatic before. Right mom? Mom...Mom...stop laughing!) punched me in the arm. "Is that where it hurts?"
I don't remember much about the time at my aunt's house--just that my arm hurt. And hurt.
Turns out that it was broken. Way up high, close to my shoulder. It couldn't be casted so I spent many weeks in a sling and Ace bandage. My shiny new bike sparkled in the garage while my brother raced up and down the street on his.
I still hate horseback riding.
For some reason, I as write this I am feeling like I broke my arm on the day after Christmas. Maybe, for some reason, we celebrated Christmas with my Dad's side of the family on the 26th that year instead of the 25th. Mom, can you clear this up for me?