Getting to sleep on Christmas Eve was never a problem for me.
Since that was my birthday, the excitement of gifts was always over a good 24 hours before the big fat man snuck down the chimney.
I could saw logs with reindeer tap dancing on the rooftop.
My parents actually feared something was wrong with me.
“I fear something is wrong with Klas,” my father said.
“Maybe he is opening too many presents,” my mother replied.
On Christmas Eve we were allowed to open one Christmas present, kind of a bargaining tool to get us into bed.
I, however, had birthday gifts too.
Or so I thought.
Birthday gifts wrapped in Christmas swaddling was what they were.
At some point, my birthday became a one-gift celebration.
It seems, as the youngest, the older siblings thought multiple gifts for Klas was a bit garish. And since I would flaunt them disgustingly my parents had no choice but to allow all to open one gift.
“So I get to open a present on each of their birthdays?” I thoughtfully whined.
Sweets were added as a substitution.
“You are such a good child Santa sent the Sugar Plum Fairy to make you birthday goodies,” the fearful parents said.
Now, each of us sugar-glazed youths would rip the elegant covering from a helpless present.
And the sleeplessness came.
That sugary high followed by a headache crash and one or more of those antlered sleigh pullers dancing on our tummies as we slept through hallucinatory withdrawals.
To rectify this situation, which was tried for three successive holidays, the sweets were abolished and the one gift apiece kept.
Somehow my birthing gifts became knitted socks. Unwrapped knitted socks.
To this day I still open one gift on my birthday.
Yesterday I opened Juneau.
I photographed Holiday Cup soccer, shot the JDHS alumni games, ran with an Old Geezer up Spaulding Meadows... skied and fell at Eaglecrest... thought of ideas for a Christmas story... and spent time looking for that darn Sugar Plum Fairy.
She owes me a few cakes.