Most people I know during the Christmas season or shortly thereafter, will wish Christmas of their childhood back. They'll remark it's not as special, that you'll never possess that special joy of a childlike quality you had - of course you won't. Because you most likely have acquired things like I have - what I have now that I did not have as a 10 year old are: in-laws, bills, a job, a car, a spouse, - there is nothing childlike or sparkly about most of that. I tend to be more of a giver these days as opposed to being a sole recipient and when I get something I don't just take it for granted I am entitled to it - I worry that my gift should have been bigger or more personal as if I could somehow instantly think of the perfect gift despite the fact that weeks of heavy thought failed to produce anything past a gift card. And the things I wanted as 10 year old me seemed far out of reach and yet somehow most of it appeared - but in reality what I viewed as exotic and desirable always came in at well under the $100 mark. Even the year I scored big and got the coveted puppy - I was warned and told if I got the puppy I would get Nothing Else Just The Puppy. It was repeated with the same serious tone that one would use for a Life And Death Decision - I had to be sure I REALLY wanted that puppy as I would be sitting gift-less, enduring watching everyone opening packages - what a test of courage - I braved it and agreed that I would get Just The Puppy And Nothing Else. And needless to say Schnitzel and I spent most of the morning opening gifts together (I actually got the puppy prior to Christmas). Getting the puppy was a big coup as it is for most kids - the size of the animal requested is usually inverse to the chances of you getting it - asking for a hamster or a gerbil has about an 80% chance of happening, kitten - hmm. 30%. Puppy is a definite crap shoot and a pony or a horse - you're chances are about the same as spontaneous combustion. So, needless to say Christmas does sort of lose it's magic - but just because things are different doesn't mean they're not as good. Waiting for Adam to come home - and then him being here! Christmas driving around and ending up at the Chinese buffet like we did for years, David and I taking a day to spend our Christmas money at the endless clearance sales where you can buy about 10 times as much for 10 times less - maybe the magic isn't gone, it just gets a little thinner.