Christmas is such a special time when you are a kid. But for my siblings and me, there were some minor obstacles to overcome.

We weren't allowed to get up and out of our bedrooms before 7am. Of course, my siblings and I would be awake much earlier than 7. And it was a competition to be the first one out of our bedrooms and into the living room to see the presents that Santa placed under the tree. Not sure why that was such a big deal, it just was.

Once we were all up, we were allowed to go through our stockings. There was always some cool stuff in there, along with the usual apple, a couple of walnuts and candy canes. Those items were probably in there so the stocking would look fuller than it really was, but we didn't mind.

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Then came breakfast, followed by what seemed like a forever wait to open presents. The reason? Our father felt it necessary to spend a bit of time in the bathroom. Every single Christmas morning. Oh, the agony.

Once all that was settled, Dad would bring out the movie projector and film us opening our presents. The downside to that was the fact that this 1960s projector had two large lights attached to it that would light the darkest of nights. Dad would make us look into the camera and smile. Hard to do when you are being blinded by the light.

Shortly after all the presents were opened, out the door we went to start a day of visiting relatives. Usually that meant going to both my sets of grandparents homes. Everyone in our extended family would show up at around the same time, we'd eat lots of food, talk about what we got for Christmas, and then pile back in the car to visit the next set of grandparents.

Our Christmases turned out to be a full day, but we didn't mind all the traveling. It was part of the adventure, and fun to connect with our cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. I miss those days.

But the adventure is still there. I continue to travel back home every Christmas to spend a few hours with my Mom, siblings and their kids. I don't see them very often, so the time spend with them is precious. I hope your Christmas was just as special.

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