I’d wrap two hundred oddly shaped empty boxes. 199 boxes would be for the toddler and one large box would be gifted to the teenager.
The younger child would spend all day unwrapping boxes; probably make a cubby house out of the cardboard, and then fall asleep from exhaustion.
The older child would shake the remaining box and excitedly ask what was inside. I’d say: ‘the best present you’ll ever get’.
After the box was opened, we’d have the following conversation:
Kid: There’s nothing in here.
Parent: Are you sure?
Kid: Yeah, it’s empty.
Parent: What is ‘emptiness’?
Kid: Emptiness is when you don’t have the latest PlayStation.
Parent: The box isn’t empty.
Kid: You’re right; it contains air and disappointment.
Parent: It contains a question. If you answer the question, you can have a PlayStation.
Kid: What’s the question?
Parent: If I told you the question, it would be too simple to answer.
Kid: There can’t be an answer if there’s no question.
Parent: Really? Do you think logic rules the universe?
Kid: This is bullshit. You’ve got an Xbox!
Parent: That’s because I’ve answered the question.
Kid: Have you been eating those orange mushrooms again?
Kid: I hate your guts. I’m going to my girlfriend’s place to get stoned and have premarital sex.
Parent: Make sure you take a condom and a jacket. It may get cold later. Dinner will be at seven.
Kid: What are we having for dinner?
Parent: An existential crisis.
Then I’d walk to the balcony with my significant other and open a bottle.
Significant other: So what did you get me for Christmas?
Me: Vodka and silence.
I have pagan and Hindu tattoos, rosary beads blessed by Pope John Paul II, start each day with chants and meditation, love the idea of Jesus, and I instantly become happier whenever I see a Buddhist monk. Looking at it as objectively as possible, I’m mostly Monotheistic and partially Agnostic.
For those of you who are Christian, enjoy your celebration of the birth of Christ, and probably avoid my Christmas present strategy. For the rest of you, I wish you happiness during this week, along with peace, and the freedom to believe whatever you wish without persecution or judgement. And I hope you wish the same for me.
Remember that although I cannot offer any definitive spiritual guidance, I do offer a free eBook for subscribers, so Merry EBook.