My most memorable Christmas.

I remember one Christmas many years ago when I was growing up, my sister and I both got up early to admire the huge assortment of presents under the tree. In fact, we got up so early our parents hadn’t gotten up yet and we had to wait for them to get dressed so we could all open our presents. Seeing how excited we were, my father managed to make a deal with us. My sister and I were allowed to open just one present and play with that while we were waiting.

So I reached under the tree, grabbed a present and unwrapped it to find myself holding a small container of fuel. It was for another present I would later unwrap, which was a control-line model airplane with a small gasoline engine. I would hold the cables and use them to control the plane while spinning in a continuous circle. It was good, dizzying fun.

But I will always remember how puzzled I was to get a container of fuel for Christmas.

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