By Dean Midyette

Pioneer Publisher

In this weeks Echo, I wrote about our familys traditional Christmas. What was omitted were some Christmas shenanigans that became a part of my familys traditions over 70 years ago.

In 1954, one of my uncles gave his brother-in-law a tie. Adorning the tie was a green and gold satellite tie pin (Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth, was launched three years later).

The following year, the tie was re-gifted back to its original owner at Christmas, much to the glee of the family members who had congregated for Christmas dinner. Back and forth the tie went, ping-ponging between the two brothers until, in 1960, it arrived, beautifully wrapped, in front of my grandfather.

Suddenly, there had to be rules. The tie could be exchanged between the menfolk only (after my aunt received it), those who were Plaxtons or those who married into the clan. In the early 70s: a new rule only adult males could receive the tie after my young cousin received it.

It has been gifted inside a loaf of baked bread, woven into a tapestry, placed inside an unbroken light bulb, sealed in a can of nuts and even wrapped in an iPhone box (weighted to feel like an iPhone) so that the recipient would ride a roller coaster of emotions, first with the excitement that comes with a new phone and the disappointment of being pranked with a decades-old tie.

I hope that you enjoy a very Merry Christmas with your own unique traditions.