Strange as it may sound, one of my favorite Christmas memories involves getting dressed in a closet.

I think most of us spend the holidays remembering some of our favorite traditions from childhood Christmas celebrations. When I look back on the holidays of my youth, there are a couple of things that immediately come to mind; a closet with a curtain for a door, and a second cup of coffee.

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What's up with the closet? Is that where the presents were hidden?

My parents are from Aroostook County so, every other year, we'd celebrate with my grandparents in Washburn and Woodland. We'd stay with my Dad's parents, where my two older brothers and I would share a room. The bedroom had a large, walk-in closet full of ancient treasures like yellowing copies of the Saturday Evening Post, and a flowered curtain for a door. Christmas morning, the boys and I would wake up early so we could get to our stockings before the gift-giving began. But, since we shared a room, I would dress in the closet. I can still remember how that closet smelled and how excited I was to see what Santa brought me.

Why was Christmas the one day Dad wanted a second cup of coffee?

Another reason for getting up early was my Dad's second cup of coffee. My father never really had a second cup, except on Christmas morning. We had breakfast before opening the presents, so Dad would tease us by insisting on that second cup. As we got a little older, we got wise to this ploy and would set out the bowls, cereal, and coffee cups before the grown-ups were even out of bed. And, when breakfast was done, we'd fill my Dad's cup and set it next to the tree, where he could enjoy it while we dove into the pile of presents. To this day, he'll mention getting another cup before we can 'have the tree.'

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, from our family to yours!

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