Toying with tradition

“Mum, can we also get a Mario toy to put in each one?” Master Seven asked, pouring the lollies out on the table.
“We most certainly cannot,” I answered. “One lolly per card per person. That’s plenty.”
I sighed.
What happened to just giving plain old Christmas cards in envelopes?
I’d only caved in to the lollies when I realised every card Master Seven was bringing home contained a little something extra.
Usually it was a small lolly that, like ours, had Shiploads written all over it.
A handful of kids had included candy canes or Freddo Frogs (which usually came home as an envelope full of hot chocolate).
Then, just when I thought I’d seen it all, one of his classmates went and upped the ante by putting a toy in Master Seven’s card.
That’s right – a small Transformers toy.
I know, I know, I hear you.
Suddenly the humble boiled lolly didn’t look all that great.
While kids have upped the game on Christmas cards, adults seem to be playing it down on presents.
“What? We’re just getting one voucher each this year?” my brother asked recently, when told of our new Secret Santa plan.
Once my generation started spawning children, us adults had stopped buying for each other.
That is except for one Secret Santa present, which we’d draw out of a hat in the weeks before the big day.
This year, we’d made it even more simple.
Instead of a present, we’d each get a $50 gift voucher.
I’d stolen the idea from Learner Dad’s family, who were trialling it themselves this year.
The plan was to find something original yet practical.
“I’ve got the best idea ever,” Learner Dad said excitedly, unveiling his voucher plan to me.
Only it turned out not to be so original when, doing our grocery shop, we noticed his very voucher on display at the supermarket.
In fact, there were dozens of varieties, meaning we clearly weren’t the only family simplifying things this year.
Bright and colourful, the vouchers were alluring.
Easy to buy, easy to use.
Easy to pop in an envelope.
‘In fact,’ I thought, ‘perfect to put in Master Seven’s Christmas cards next year.’
Won’t that put me ahead of the pack?


2 thoughts on “Toying with tradition

  1. It gets harder to buy Christmas presents for the whole family as the family grows, yes. But seriously, if you’re going to get to the point of a generic $50 gift voucher for each other, then why bother at all? Everyone knows what they’re getting anyway, and everyone’s spending the same.

    If my family ever got to the point of saying that we’re just all getting each other a $50 gift card. I’d just turn around and tell them I’ll spend $50 on something for myself, wrap it and put it under the tree saying that it’s “from” the siblings.

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