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BOTD 12-08-2016 Tampering with Tradition - An 18 Smacked Production

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Skater

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Bransom Postmaster
TAMPERING WITH TRADITION
An 18Smacked Production

PETER - 6, DAVID - 12, JAMES - 10
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It is a tradition in your family that the gifts from out-of state relatives who are not able to be with you for the holiday lie under the tree until the morning of the 25th.  The kids, six year-old Peter, ten year-old James, and twelve year-old David all know of this tradition and were reminded of it as gifts were added to the pile.

There were five boxes under the tree for each of the boys, and you were adding a sixth, when you noticed that the wrappings on the boxes did not look right. You looked more closely, and you saw that all of the wrappings had been tampered with; it was obvious that the boys' curiosity had gotten the best of them.

You ask the boys and they all admit to tampering with the gifts in order to get a sneak peek. David says he instigated the decision to peek and got his two brothers to conspire.

How do you respond?


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StevieWeeks

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Trailboss

Stevie only barely tolerates Christmas at the best of times and the boys know it so they've screwed themselves royally...

He's going to load every single one of their presents into the trunk of his car and drive them down to donate them to one of the charities that gives gifts to poor children...

Then, he's going to take down the tree and turf it out at the dump.

Christmas is over.

Stevie.

Adric

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Cowboy
I would just tell them all that they should be ashamed for sneaking around and breaking the family tradition, and get them to promise not to do that again next year.  Then Merry Christmas.

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David M. Katz

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Marshall
I had a son who detested surprises and he was happier knowing what he was getting.  It worked for him and we adapted.

If anything is ruined then the boys did it to themselves.

No punishment from me but they aren't going to get to use the gifts until the 25th.

Further thought: It may be our family "tradition" but it is also a "tradition" among kids to try to sneak a peek.


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Iconoclast

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Trailboss
I'm sure the REAL tradition is to sneak a peek!

Iconoclast

AFinch

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Sherrif
I agree with David and Icono. I think Stevie's got it right from a standpoint of consistency and logical consequences, but come on, it's Christmas (and I'm Jewish). I have never appreciated a cherished gift more because it was a surprise--if losing the surprise diminishes any of their joy in receiving, that's enough punishment for what doesn't amount to much of a misdemeanor let alone crime.

Kat

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Editor Extraordinaire
Count me with Katz, Icono and Kier. I've always found surprises greatly overrated for the recipient.

Kat

db105

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Trailboss
I don't know. I think surprises are nice, although there's the risk of not getting what you really wanted. So a good compromise is, you ask for your Christmas gifts but you don't get to see the presents until you open them, so you are never quite sure.

Anyway, I'm not really going to punish them for this. They are their presents even if technically they shouldn't be opening them yet. Maybe a playful threat along the lines that I'm thinking whether to substitute them for coal (in Spain coal would be what the three wise men bring for naughty children).

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ivor

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Marshall
I guess it isn't the crime of the century, but I am tempted to remove all those presents and not let them have them until after Christmas Day. That just might teach them something about patience.

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Adric

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Cowboy
db105 wrote:Maybe a playful threat along the lines that I'm thinking whether to substitute them for coal (in Spain coal would be what the three wise men bring for naughty children).

I remember being told that the standard gift for naughty children was "coal and switches".  A little bit of coal would have been an interesting novelty for me since I had never seen any.  As for the switches, well that's a long story ...

Rethinking my earlier response, I would just tell the boys that I am a little disappointed they did that because part of my enjoyment of Christmas morning is seeing the surprise on their faces when they open their packages and see what they got.  The suspense and the surprise are supposed to be part of the gift.

Still, I think it is universally understood that kids will make every effort to determine what is in their packages, possibly going so far as peeking under the wrappers.

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Jack

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Admin
Full disclosure: I did this as a kid.

Exactly one time.

And when I use the term 'kid', I think I was 13.

I knew one package from my grandmother was two D&D books. You need three to play the game, so I opened the package, then let my friend Danny know which two I was getting, so he could try to get the third.

In this case, I'm a bit disturbed that the kids didn't wait, but not hugely. I'll explain the reasons why we wait, and let them know that sometimes you have to follow these things. On the other hand, the idea that we treat these gifts this way, but these another way is somewhat arbitrary, so I don't see that any real harm's been done.

While traditions aren't actually rules, what really bothers me is that David claims to have talked his brothers into this. I'm going to point out to him that getting his little brothers to do things that aren't allowed is a bad thing, then I'll send him to his room with instructions to bare his bottom and stand in the corner. I'll give him about ten minutes, then I'll go talk to him about being a good influence, but I don't think an actual spanking's going to occur.


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db105

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Adric wrote:
I remember being told that the standard gift for naughty children was "coal and switches".  A little bit of coal would have been an interesting novelty for me since I had never seen any.  As for the switches, well that's a long story ...

A switch has never been a traditional spanking implement in Spain, I think.

On the other hand, I got coal as Christmas present a few times, but it was sweet coal, and it was in addition to (not instead of) the regular presents:

http://www.diamondsfordessert.com/2011/01/carbon-dulce-sweet-coal.html

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18Smacked

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Cowboy
I didn’t really have any sort of consequence in mind when I wrote this scenario. In fact, I have never celebrated Christmas at all as, like Kier, I am Jewish. I only got small gifts for my Chanukah, like a model to build, and the effort of looking around the house to find it just never interested me.

I had to ask if this was a realistic scenario, and being reassured it was, I thought it’d be interested to see what the responses might be. I guess I wouldn’t do anything if my kids sneaked a peek. If they had that much burning desire to see what they were getting, well, more power to them! Laughing

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Jack

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Admin
In reply to 18S last comment, I wanted to say a bit about how we do Christmas here.

For me, the most fun part of giving a gift is seeing it received. There are occasional misfires, but I love when someone opens something and they really love it; especially when it's something they didn't ask for, but I thought they'd love. Because of that, I'd be a bit hurt if someone were sneaking peaks at gifts.

With more than 2 weeks to go until Christmas, there are gifts under our tree already. They are gifts for the pets, gifts for extended family, and a couple of other things. The gifts for the kids are carefully hidden in a room at my warehouse location, which is double locked, and no one who lives here even knows about it. THAT is the way to keep Christmas gifts hidden, if you can do it.


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squarecutter

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Sherrif
I think alon the lines of Jack . As you get older it is about nice surprises for your younger recipients. My parents used to keep presents tucked away till a day or two before to minimise the prying. Once round the tree it was fun to look and see. the size and shape and what happened if you gave a present a quick shake hopefully gave a bit of an idea. My folks discouraged that and even more discouraged looking in part of the home where gifts were stashed prior to wrapping. I wont be spanking but I will be discussing encouraging bad behaviour with David and will threaten withdrawl of any other gifts that are subject to a quick peek before the day

18Smacked

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Cowboy
Thanks for the info, Jack. I will give full transparency; as a senior in H.S., I helped decorate a real tree at a best friend’s house. The tree was balled up in burlap and was transplanted when Spring sprung. Then, many years ago, I did spend Christmas vacation with some former neighbors who’d moved to northwestern Canada. It was very interesting and fun for me, as I was able to see how they celebrated the holiday. (Though looking back, I don’t recall many gifts under the tree until the 25th, though their relatives all lived in the area, and came over to their house for the day.)

Maybe my gifts were not “large enough” to warrant a lot of energy on my part to look through the house for where they might be hidden; I am not sure, but I don’t recall looking. I think if my kids were to look, I would just see a loss of any surprise would be their consequence. I don’t think I would see it as a spanking offense.
But, as Squarecutter's parents did, I would not put many gifts under that tree until a day or two before the day they could have them. No need to tempt fate! Laughing

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