Bygone era.

We constantly screamed at each other when we were little, but my brother and I were always in cahoots come Christmas time.

At some point we realized that we had greater success in getting what we wanted if the other sibling dropped blatant hints: “Nathan wants that BIIIG Wolverine toy. You know, the one that you can punch things with? Yeah, that’s what he wants for Christmas… I know it’s expensive but that’s the only thing he talks about.”

More often than not, I would end up going to the toy store with one of our parents to point out the toy, which would then be promptly purchased, wrapped, and put under the tree. Later on, I would report back to my brother and tell him the good news.

This worked for many years, probably up until high school. By then, the items we wanted became far too expensive, so we didn’t even want to attempt swindling our parents. Cash in our hands became the customary gift.

In a sense, this took the whole surprise element out of our Christmas gifts, but it didn’t bother us. Actually, it still doesn’t bother us, because now my brother, cousin and I just tell each other exactly what we want, and even go out all together just to buy the gifts. Instant gratification, and a nice little outing for the three of us that usually includes lunch or dinner.

I really enjoyed our Christmas schemes. Christmas was the one time of year that we didn’t bicker over little things, but cooperated. Of course, the fact that our intrigues were successful was also a plus.

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