I don't think anyone enjoys Christmas quite like a kid enjoys Christmas. How many of you remember not being able to sleep the night before Christmas? Nearly impossible, right?

Well, for me, it was nearly impossible partly because I could hear "Santa Claus" in the living room griping about the instructions that came with a new bicycle. I remember hearing "Mrs. Claus" tell "Santa" that my sister and I might hear him. It was funny how she addressed him using my dad's first name.

Well, anyway, Christmas is here, so I thought I'd dig up a couple of snapshots from two of my favorite Christmases a long, LONG, long time ago.

In 1969, I got that red tricycle. And I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but it was enormous. My sister still marvels at its size. What's funny is, at the time, I could barely reach the pedals, yet outgrew it within two years. That trike was accompanied by a toy gas station, semi car carrier, and an old record player, which I don't remember at all. Probably means I tore it up very quickly thereafter.

But that was the beginning of my love for toy cars. And as you can see in the photo from 1970, that was what that Christmas was all about--a great big box of Hot Wheel tracks on the left and a Matchbox City on the right.


I strung those tracks all over the house. And that city folded up like a suitcase, so it went everywhere I went. Trouble with those Hot Wheel tracks was that they made convenient "paddles" for my mother if I did anything wrong.

They were handy, and if I did something I wasn't supposed to do, she'd grab one and, well, you know. She swears up and down she never had to do that with me. I beg to differ. So did my rear end.

All part of growing up. Just like Christmas.

And I hope you all have a very Merry one.