The tradition that has lasted is our annual gift-wrapping contest, where each of us wraps at least one gift in the oddest way possible.
In these intervening years, each of us has developed our own particular wrapping style: Reilly mines the kitchen for discarded cereal boxes, lengths of foil, duct tape. Nelson goes the route of glueing-things-to-other-things. My style has not evolved so much as been a last-minute grabbing of whatever I can find that is odd. (One year my entry was wrapped in pages from an old dictionary.)
Reilly's sculptural assemblages (shredded wheat boxes, plastic yogurt tubs, string) have won nearly every year. The vote must be unanimous! (Alas, I've never won.)
So, last Sunday I got an email from my friend J., who wrote that he had an idea that would pretty much guarantee my win: he'd help me construct a glass box in which I could entomb a small gift.
Christmas Eve we met at his house, and using plate glass and a scoring tool, he snapped out six rectangles —
which we glued together with UV glue and an ultra-violet light —
Back home, I wrapped the glass box — openable only by breaking! — into several other boxes-within-boxes to ensure surprise.
Nelson began to laugh —
and couldn't stop for a mighty long while —
breakage = only this year
no breakage = a continuing gift
He asked if it was a check for $10,000.
No, it isn't.
(But I won! I won!!)
And I told him to give it a few weeks; he may just figure it out.
Any guesses from blogland?