The holidays are upon us once again, meaning it’s time for the same things you’ve been doing every year for as long as you can remember. Or so you thought. Reality is, things are a little different now that you’re not a little kid anymore. What the holidays mean to you might be the same, but under different circumstances. Here are some “thens” for you to reminisce on and laugh at along with the “nows” to show how different they are now that you’re technically an “adult.”

Then: Toy Catalogs

The best part of Thanksgiving, besides the food, when you were younger were all the toy catalogs. My brother and I used to fight to the death to get the book first and be able to circle what we wanted before the other one did. Those books were 50+ pages of childhood hopes and dreams and everything you could have possibly wanted. Toy catalogs set childhood expectations up so high that, come Christmas morning, if you didn’t get that My Size Barbie, it was suddenly the end of the world.

Now: Black Friday

Now that we’re older, its perfectly acceptable to stand in line the Friday after Thanksgiving freezing our asses off for the new ipod. Catalogs are a thing of the past and now that we’re older, we are able to make all of our Christmas wish lists a reality. The downfall to being your own Santa? You must fill your winter break with endless hours of work to make back all the money you spent. On the bright side, at least you probably got a great deal on what you bought.

Then: The “Kids” Table

Back in the day, remember when you went to go sit at the big table, how promptly you were whisked away to the “kids” table? If not, consider yourself lucky. This table usually consisted of all the kids who were deemed too young to sit at the big table. Or, if you were me, it meant babysitting all the rugrats while the adults got hammered. Regardless, this is one spot any child was happy to grow out of . The year when you were too big for the Fisher Price table is one you’ll always remember.

Now: The “Adults” Table

Talk about an upgrade. You never realized how much the kids table sucked until the year you no longer had to sit there. Now that you’re in college, I can only hope you made the table transition years ago. For those either (a) old enough or (b) the rents could care less, this is prime time to get swasted with your fam. Trust me, it’ll be an experience. Whether good or bad, depending on if you have that crazy aunt who loves wine a little too much, it’s an experience.

Then: Waiting for Santa

Being told to go to bed on Christmas Eve was the worst. All you wanted was to sit up and wait for Santa to arrive so you could claim all your presents. I used to wake up every hour come Christmas day to see if I had presents yet. When you’re a kid, Christmas morning is probably tied with your birthday when it comes to greatest days. Waking up and running around the house screaming used to be half the fun. The other half was seeing your parents’ faces when you woke them up.

Now: Sleeping In

This one really depends on how you spend your Christmas morning. If you’re still living at a house with little ones, then you’re probably still getting woken up to open presents. If not, then that means you can sleep in and enjoy your winter break. Think about it. You sleep till 11, wake up, and there’s a bunch of presents waiting for you. It has the making of a great day. It’s even better if you’re hungover because, let’s be serious, hearing a little girl shriek “SANTA’S CAMEEEEE” is probably the last thing you need for that pounding headache. Take Christmas morning with no munchkins as a blessing in disguise, especially considering all the winter break parties you’ll have to have your rest for.

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