I think peak Christmas occurs right around bedtime Christmas Eve. Yes, Christmas morning is fun, but at that point you have a release for all the feelings that have been swirling around in you for a month and a half. This becomes more and more true the younger you are (unless of course you are under 2, in which case "ooh pretty lights and paper"). Young or old, peak Christmas is something to treasure, to enjoy, and ultimately to thank God for.
We are gearing up for what will be our very first solo Christmas. That means we aren't traveling or spending Christmas day with out parents for the first time, but it also means that we get to start some of our own traditions. We've already come up with a list that is sort of a melding of childhood from myself and my wife, and we're really excited to pass some traditions of fun and excitement down to our boys.
This practice of coming up with ways to celebrate Christmas has had me thinking about Christmas past, and about how much fun and anticipation it brought every year. One of the things that I did with my brothers when we were younger (brutal honesty, even as a teenager), was to camp out in sleeping bags under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. -- Now before anyone gets upset, yes, we slept under the Christmas tree. Santa is a sly fellow, and rather limber for his size, so he never had a problem depositing gifts for us as we slept.
Those kinds of memories are the ones that pop up around this time every year. I love nostalgia, it has this warm and fuzzy feeling that I don't really get from many things. It's not that I wish I could go back, it's just a treasuring of what has gone before and the blessed childhood I had at home. From sleeping under the tree, to flipping the little numbers on the snowman countdown calendar, to eating the various treats that we would bring home from the Christmas Eve service at church, I have a wealth of fond memories to pull from, and I want that for my kids too.