It was such an exciting time, getting up every morning, counting out the remaining days to Christmas.
As a five year old, Turin was a magical city, full of lights and chestnut vendors, it seemed, almost at every corner. You could smell the roasting aroma as soon as you walked out the door.
I remember snow came early that year and it was, indeed, a white Christmas. Santa would arrive and going to sleep on Christmas Eve was truly a frustrating experience. I wanted to see Babbo Natale but, sleep won the battle.
The following morning, there it was. A huge box with a note from Santa to me! I wanted my parents to wake up so I could open it, but I would have to wait. It was nail-biting time but the box was finally opened to show a gorgeous, big train locomotive. Had I been just a baby I could have sat inside!
I had never seen a more beautiful toy. I giggled, laughed, screamed, jumped up and down. My dad had a grin of contentment on his face I'll never forget.
The excitement continued over few weeks, then my curiosity took the better of me. I began the disassembling process to learn all about this locomotive.
The look on my father's face the day he saw it all in pieces is another look I will never forget.
"I will never buy this boy another toy again!" he vented out at my mother who had not been able to refrain me from the destruction.
And he never did. My father was a man you could take seriously, in any occasion, at his word.
My engineering explorations began and ended with that locomotive.
What is your favorite Christmas story? Buon Natale!