Every Christmas morning, even as adults, I’d open gifts with my mother and brother. I decided to spice it up. Where I worked we collected toys to distribute to children in need. Anything that was considered inappropriate to distribute was set up in our lounge and sold to employees. That money was used to buy replacement toys. My friends and I nicknamed it The Inappropriate Toy Store. One year inspiration struck. I bought a handful of things. I also bought a roll of wrapping paper that I only used on those toys. I marked them to me from Santa. I set my alarm and got up in the middle of the night Christmas Eve to place them under the tree.
Picture Christmas morning. My brother and I are opening gifts with mom. They hand me a gift from Santa. My brother looks at my mom like, why did you put from Santa when we’re adults. I opened the gift. My mother and brother are looking at each other as if to say, did you buy that. It’s hysterical. By about the third gift they’re now accusing me of buying it. I’m not proud of it but I lied and said I didn’t. I told them if their hearts were pure and they were true believers Santa would visit them, too.
The next year I decided to shore up the weak link. That’s me lying. I’m not good at it. So, I choose some things from the store and asked my friend to buy them for me and I’d buy her things. This way, when they asked if I bought them I could honestly say no. It worked. I said no and they sort of believed me but they couldn’t figure it out.
The following year I ruined it. I made a big booboo. My mom and I root for different NFL teams. I got us each a wall calendar and an umbrella with our team logos. When I wrapped hers I also wrapped mine but instead of putting it from me, I put it from Santa. I was busted. My whole scheme was ruined. What was a girl to do? What I did was start buying them gifts from the inappropriate toy store. When they opened them they always could tell that’s where I got it and they’d singsong “Inappropriate Toy Store”. It was really funny.
I think as we grow up, we lose some of the fun. When it’s three adults exchanging gifts, it’s more like an obligatory activity than something you really look forward to like you did as a kid. If you want to bring some of this magic into your Christmas, go to any dollar or bargain store and buy some things. They can be things you need, like pens, or things that are just fun, like candles or decorations. Most importantly, just have fun. And remember to use a special wrapping paper that doesn’t match any other gifts you’re giving. If anyone tries this I’d love to hear how it went.
Merry Christmas and may Santa be with you!