Sunday, December 5, 2010

Who Wants a Madball?!

When I was a kid, we always had one Saturday of Christmas shopping during the holiday season during which we would go to the mall and get presents for each of our family members. My dad would give us $5 to spend on each family member and then we'd split up, half of us going with Mom and half going with Dad.

This shopping excursion usually lasted a couple of hours. The first half was spent trying to find presents for the other group of family members all whilst sneaking around the mall, trying not to let them see what stores we were going into. After the first hour was over, we'd meet up again and switch around the groups in order to get everyone covered. Everybody was always very secretive and tried their best to hide the contents of their shopping bags while handing them to Dad to make a trip to the car to stash them.

Now $5 was worth a little more back then, but not much, so we had to be pretty choosy about what we spent the money on. I'm sure there were a few choice gifts given through the years. Who can forget the "Madball" Annie gave my dad. I'm sure he loved that one. Or the Miss Piggy stickers Corinne gave me one year. And I can't remember who was the giver and who was the receiver, but at one point someone was given underwear. Yippee!

The ever popular 'Madballs'

The hardest part of buying Christmas presents for your siblings is actually keeping them a secret. I think there was once or twice that we divulged to each other what it was we had purchased. It always spoiled the fun on Christmas morning though, so we eventually learned that it was better to keep our mouths shut.

I know the money spent on those gifts probably would have gone to better use in my parents' hands, but I admire them for letting us in on the giving aspect of Christmas and letting us make our own choices. It produced such good memories and I appreciate the time and effort they put into making it a special time for us.


thebluemuse said...

What a fun childhood memory! (Reminds me I haven't started my shopping yet...)

It's Me said...

Holy cow. I totally forgot about the Madball! You NEED to find a photo of one and post it. I think if you don't see a picture it's hard to imagine the joy one would feel at receiving such a gift. I think it was Annie who got the underwear! The only other gift I can remember getting or giving was a large box of Crayons that Annie got me. Before Christmas I talked her into playing 20 questions until I figured it out (spoiled the fun!

I love this tradition though! I have my kids do this each Christmas. It'a a lot of fun. I think I may take them to the dollar store this year as they are still little and like the "crap" you can only find at Dollar Tree. Ha! Ha!

Paul said...

Holy crap. I did NOT know what you were talking about until you posted the picture. Now I TOTALLY REMEMBER THOSE! Wow.