As a kid, I'd wake up every hour on the hour on Christmas Eve wondering if Santa had been there the hour before...LOL. And even though I was restless, 5 AM was some sort of cut-off for sleep, as I KNEW Santa had to have come by then.
I'd poke my brother awake and we'd take a small light and sneak down the stairs to feel if the stockings hanging on the banister were full. We'd try to shine the light to where the tree was, but never got a great look...we NEVER went down to the tree before getting our parents up...it was pre-mature if we did and we never considered it.
We'd head back to our beds and I'd sit up watching TV (but mostly watching the clock) until 6 AM came (Christmas morning when you are a child waiting for your parents to get up drags by sooo slowly!) I'd go get my brother again and we'd try to get our parents to wake up, but they'd usually send us back to bed and make us wait for at least 6:30.
When 6:30 came around, we'd get them up. We'd run downstairs and marvel at what Santa brought...my parents would put coffee on and then we'd open a present one person at a time (or else it goes too quickly!).
Practically ALL of my Christmases were like that until my brother (who is 4 years younger) got older...we still got up early though in our teens!
My husband and I get into bed before midnight Christmas Eve...I can usually sleep better now, sometimes making it the whole night, but even at 24 I can't sleep past 6:30!
Hubby and I are downstairs before 7 AM and begin to open things right away...It's interesting how we've mixed our routines...one person opens one gift while the other watches, like my family used to do and his didn't, and we do our stocking first, which we did last in my family.
I'm getting excited just thinking about all this!