This is part of my Christmas Memory Challenge, a goal I set for myself to recall 25 things I love about Christmas. You can also check out Shannon's memories here.
It started the Christmas there was a cold snap. My dad's house is old and doesn't hold heat very well so we moved all our beds into the living room so we could sleep around the fire. I don't recall how long we slept in there - I think it was only two nights before it went back to more West Coast winter temperatures - but it was magical. I'd snuggle under my covers and stare at the lights of the Christmas tree until my eye lids became to heavy.
The following year, my brother and I moved all the presents out from under the tree one night and slept with our heads underneath it. The great thing about the Charlie Brown tree is that it meant we could see all the lights from that position. It created a lovely glow as only a tree full of Christmas lights can.
We didn't always sleep under the tree as we did that year - sometimes we slept next to it, sometimes the couches were just more comfortable - but we always had one night where we'd sleep in the living room with the tree lights on. (My dad would come in and turn them off after we fell asleep.) A few times, we even did it on Christmas Eve!
I ran into an old elementary school friend back in the summer. We got to talking, as you do, about things we had done as kids when she brought up sleeping under the Christmas tree. She had come for a sleepover on one of those nights and now that she had children, she had started the tradition with them. And it's definitely one I plan on continuing with my kids!