A Gift Giving Tradition that Elmo Would Approve Of

hot tamales candy

A few years ago, my wife and I agreed not to exchange gifts on Christmas. That didn’t really work. One of us always ended up getting a gift for the other person. Since it was obvious that no one would honor the “no-gift rule,” we decided to make our Christmas shopping a little more fun and interesting.

Each year we select a letter of the alphabet and purchase a gift that begins with that letter. The only restriction we have is that the gift can cost no more than $35. This gift-giving process may sound simple, but it quite challenging. We’ve done this for 8 years and it never gets any easier (I dread the Q, X, and Z years).

This year’s Christmas gifts were brought to us by the letter H. To get some ideas, I flipped through the dictionary. Nothing. Next I did a Google search. Some ideas, but nothing excited me. Finally, I consulted my best source – my 11 year old daughter. Armed with her shopping acumen, I set forth to get the perfect present.

After visiting a few stores, I made a few selections: a handbag (you can never have too many, right?), some Hot Tamales (she loves these candies), hand warmers (not really necessary in Houston, but they could be useful if we ever travel to Alaska), and a heart necklace (with three hearts to represent each of our children). Best of all, I was able to get some great deals and remain within budget.

I’m always a stickler for the rules of our annual tradition. My wife, however, gets a bit creative with her interpretations. If she can use an adjective to describe my gift, it is acceptable in her opinion. For example, she bought me the following items this year: a “Hero” T-Shirt (it read: Mocha Dad is our hero and had a picture of Iron Man on it, and a hot beverage holder (or as most people would call it, a mug). Although she doesn’t always stick to the rules, I admire her creativity and I always enjoy the presents she gets me.

Our tradition has taken the stress out of gift-giving and has brought back some of the surprise and wonder of Christmas day. I can’t wait until next year. BTW – Does anyone have any ideas for the letter “I?”

Stay Strong,

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Question: Does your family have any gift-giving traditions?

About author

Frederick J. Goodall

Frederick J. Goodall is the founder of Mocha Dad - a parenting website focused on fatherhood. He is passionate about parenting and helping men to be great dads, husbands, and role models. You can contact him at fjgoodall@mochadad.com or on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mochadad