Imagine twinkling incandescent lights heating up the real tree overloaded with a thick dusting of silver tinsel; the faint stale scent of cigarettes and whiskey sours in the air. The still, silent, expectant darkness only seen in the dark hours before Christmas morning.
The first scout is sent out in a practiced army crawl - past mom and dad's room - not breathing; heartbeat so loud they're sure to wake up.
Success! Through the kitchen to the living room where the treasures await - baby dolls in high chairs, long orange track racing around he base of the lit tree, waiting for racing cars. Little sister's first game (Candy Land of course), big brother's first collection of books and of course the family View Master.
Magic is not just the thing of fairy tales.
*McCalls December 1963