We'd crack the perforation on the Advent calendar to reveal the day's picture--a Nutcracker, perhaps, or a doll, or maybe a wise man preparing for his journey, depending on that year's theme. Or we'd break another link on our homemade chain made of red and green construction paper. As the chain shrunk, our excitement grew.
We started our Christmas lists in May. A new doll would arrive on the shelves, or a friend would get the latest tape from some band. "Put it on your Christmas list," mom would say.