The splintery winter light falls through the windows, across your face. You open your eyes. It's today, it's this morning, it's now. You swing your feet from the warm cocoon of your blankets to the cold floor and rise. Perhaps you splash water on your face, brush your teeth. Perhaps you don't bother. You make your way to the top of the stairs. There is Christmas music playing below, the cozy crooning of Nat King Cole or the bold brass of Mannheim Steamroller. The smell of cinnamon buns tickles your nose. You descend, one step at a time, the anticipation rising in your chest like steam from a mug of hot cocoa. You turn the corner, and there it is. It's true. It's real. The tree. And below it, the presents. Ah, the presents, and even more: the moment of truth. How will you open them?
If you use the:
Neat Method, i.e., you carefully loosen the tape from the wrapping paper without ripping it, then smooth the paper and save it for next year:
You love the smell of mothballs. You started babysitting at age twelve. The clothes in your closet are color coded. You have very good penmanship. You put your name in the front of all your books. You're good at dominoes.
You own five pairs of Converse Chucks, at least one of them neon. When you were a kid you got in trouble a lot for playing with your food. You once ate four hot dogs at one sitting. You asked for an iPad Mini but got socks.
"You First" Method, i.e., you insist on everyone taking turns opening one gift at a time:
You are a serial monogamist. You excel at spelling bees. You really like eggnog. You are the oldest child. You believe it's the thought that counts. You have read all the Harry Potter books twice.
Can't Hardly Wait Method, i.e., you unwrap all your gifts way before Christmas when no one is looking, then rewrap them and feign surprise on Christmas morning:
You have had a crush on the same person for years and years but no one knows. You eat the head of gingerbread men first, so they can't see what's coming. You are a sprinter. You either sit in the front row or the back row at school.
The Closet Method, i.e., you hate people watching you open gifts so much that you insist on taking them to your room to open in private:
You have bangs. You keep a diary religiously. You prefer Batman to Spiderman. Your name ends with an -n. If you are a boy, you have a younger sister. If you are a girl, you have a younger brother.
The "What Gift Wrap?" Method, i.e., Santa doesn't believe in wrapping paper at your house:
You live in a state that ends in an -a. You or one of your parents drives a Prius. You are something of a film snob. You are gluten-free. You have multiple cats but secretly prefer one.
What's your gift opening style?