There aren't many Christmases that stand out from the others, but there are a few. If I try to go in order the first one was on Christmas Eve. My little sister got a doll I wanted and I could have killed her. It was one of the most disappointing nights of my life and even the next morning when I opened the exact same doll for me, I was still a little sad. And mad.
Then there's the Christmas away from home, in Brazil, where everything is hot. I started early, like we do here, asking where I could buy Christmas cards and buying everyone I could think of presents and saying "Feliz Natal!" to the store clerks on my way out. Everyone looked at me like I was nuts until I realized Christmas isn't a huge money making scheme over there: it's just a day to eat and be with friends and family.
Then there's that Christmas Eve with my first grown-up love. We had broken up days before, but decided to see each other in order to exchange our gifts, as friends. We opened them together in a stolen moment on my couch, sneaking out later to go for coffee at some tiny coffee joint neither of us had ever been to. It was cold, and the coffee was so hot. Everything felt warm and intoxicating, my blood bubbling with thankfulness to be with him, despite having called it off days before. I've always been a spaz like that.
Then there's the Christmas where I was huge, ready to pop with my first baby. I can't remember ever being so uncomfortable in my life. Some people hate being pregnant in the summer...I'll take sun dresses and a pool over huge coats and Christmas parties where everyone is so close you can't help but knock them over with your humongous belly any day.