Every family has its share of idiosyncratic Christmas traditions. When my wife (then fiancée) first told me about her family's Christmas Box thing, I immediately fell in love with it. Each member of the family takes a box, like maybe the kind copier paper comes in, and decorates it. Making your box as hideous as possible is recommended. In the past I've done things like print out screengrabs from Decemberween cartoons and glue them to the box, or crayon-colored scans of various Erol Otus art. This year I took an Amazon.com box (my in-laws maintain wishlists, making Chrsitmas shopping super-easy) and went for a simple magic marker on cardboard look:
Rupert the Christmas Spider was made up on the spot. No doubt he saves Christmas at some point, possibly by catching the Cold Miser in a web.
When Christmas Day arrives everyone puts small and cheap extra gifts into the various boxes, in addition to your "real" present. Various items like novelty pencils, various trade convention freebies, random flavors of Jones Soda, Dover Thrift Editions of great works of literature, lotto tickets, and inevitably someone gets a can of olives. I don't know why someone gets olives, some sort of cryptic family in-joke. In the past someone usually buys one of each tabloid on the local newstand and we would all take turns reading the ridiculous stories found therein, but this year it won't be the same without the Weekly World News.
The Towers of Barattiel
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