As I was sealing our gift for my brother and his wife in an envelope just now, I got to thinking about how this particular gift has become one of my favorite Christmas traditions.
Two years ago a Christmas miracle happened. John and I bought a restaurant gift certificate for my brother and sister-in-law. They're big food people. So are we. We always end up giving each other gift cards, and we thought why not give a restaurant gift certificate. They could get a nice meal for which we'd pick up part of the tab.
On Christmas morning (or somewhere in the vicinity of Christmas morning), we all met at my parents' house and opened our gifts. Lo and behold (imagine the jingle of Christmas bells here), my brother and his wife had given us a restaurant gift certificate as well -- FOR THE VERY SAME RESTAURANT. (It was Mastro's, if you must know.)
We decided that we'd have to go together, and we did. (Thanks, Mom and Dad, for babysitting.) Then we came up with the plan that we'd always give each other restaurant gift certificates for Christmas. If we happened to get ones for the same restaurant, bonus, score, flashing lights. If not, we'd go to the restaurants together anyway, using the gift card for the first part of the check and then splitting the rest. During 2015 we went to RPM Steakhouse and Longman & Eagle together. Not shabby.
And (SPOILER ALERT to my brother and sister-in-law) once again I'm putting a restaurant gift certificate in an envelope for Christmas. Will they give us the same one? Will they buck tradition totally and hand over Target gift cards? Will they give us a huge packet of Steak & Shake coupons instead? Who knows. The tension is palpable.
What are your favorite holiday traditions?
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