I've gotten myself into a tradition which I now have to uphold. I'm just afraid that one of these years my ideas will run out, and I'll be forced to do something lame. For the past several years, on Trent's birthday, I've given him his present in an odd way. I always come up with some trial that he has to go through before he can get his present.
It all started one year, when I hadn't managed to make it to the store to buy him an actual present (and I had no good ideas that I could just buy real fast on the way to their house). So, I was forced to give him a lame check for money. LAME! LAME! LAME! (Wow, I've used that word a lot in this post. I think I'll say it again, just for fun! LAME, LAME, LAME, LAME, LAMEY LAMEY, LAME, LAME!) Anyway, I determined that while the gift itself might be lame --ha ha, I said it again-- the presentation would be amusing, at least. So, it unwrapped like so: The old huge box wrapped a million times, and you keep unwrapping to smaller and smaller boxes with layers of things like duct tape, toilet paper, and such. Except that eventually he came to two smaller boxes, within the many layers, in the huge box. Again, these two boxes are wrapped a thousand times on the inside. One of the boxes only has a small worthless piece of wood, a wheel off of an old toy truck, and a candle that melted in the attic till it was flattened sideways. The other box eventually held his present, the check, which was inside of two zip-lock bags rolled up, inside a soda bottle full of vegetable oil, ketchup, chunks of bread, water, and all kinds of nasty things.
The next year was this, I had reserved him a copy of latest Lord of the Rings movie, which came out on DVD a couple of weeks later. So, I made up a treasure hunt ranging all over the place, so he had to run upstairs, downstairs, outside, inside, etc. The final clue was hidden in a soda bottle, filled with rocks, in the middle of the swimming pool. This, was a letter telling him what we'd gotten him, but the letter was encoded.
The year after that, we had his birthday at our house. We'd combined it with our annual end of summer party that we have with Bruce's side of the family. So, my inlaws were there. Trent was at this time 14, and like the rest of my siblings, shy around people that he doesn't know so well. I therefore gave his present to Bruce's Aunt Sarah before he got there. When present time came, I told him that he had to go around the room and sing this song to each person, until he found the one who had his present:
"Oh I'm the happy birthday boy,
Even though I drool,
So won't you please give me my present
'Cause Carl Sagan is cool!" (he hates Carl Sagan)
Last year, I made him about a dozen little pies, in muffin tins, under each pie was a letter. When unscrambled, the letters would spell what his present was. He had to eat them all. Actually, we ended up letting the children help.
This year I made up a Harry Potter trivia page. I made it fairly difficult, but not impossible. I had a jar of money with me and I gave him a dollar for every question that he got correct. He did better than Bruce and John had done when I tested them! He got over half of them right.
Anyway, it's fun! Wonder what I'll do next year?
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