We keep the usual traditions around here : homemade birthday cakes, husband reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas" on Christmas Eve, taking pictures on the first day of school, marking measurements on the measuring stick every birthday, turkey at Thanksgiving...
But we also have a rather odd family tradition. It involves this:
Here's another look:
I don't know how this began, but this delightful severed head was purchased with some Hallowe'en items. My kids loved Hallowe'en. I say "loved" because the rule in our home is you can go trick or treating as long as you are in elementary school. If you are high school aged, you are officially done. (I remember grudgingly handing out candy to a young man who was smoking and his voice had already changed). My husband and the kids often gravitate to the Hallowe'en isles when we are out shopping. They like all the gizmos, gadgets, masks, and costumes. I can take it or leave it.
Anyway, someone started by hiding the head. I can't remember where, or who it was, but then the games were on. All four of us at some point or other have found the head and then hidden the head for someone else to find. This is not limited to Hallowe'en. This head has shown up throughout the entire year. I once found it on the shower head one morning as I was about to get in the shower to get ready for work. Coffee cups, dresser drawers, under pillows... have all been successful hiding spots.
Our daughter came home from university for "reading week" this past week, so naturally, I made up her bed with the head under the sheets. She then hid it for my husband to find. It's always best when it is least expected. So it is wise to allow some time to pass before hiding it again.
This disgusting little item isn't the first thing to be hidden, however. When the kids were much younger we went to the Toronto Zoo. As a momento, each child got a toy from the gift shop. I believe my daughter chose a stuffed snake big enough to wrap around herself, and our son chose "Charles". Who is Charles?
Charles is the silver back male gorilla at the zoo. I hope this is a picture of him, my apologies if it is a different gorilla. The real Charles is mesmerizing. He is huge and wonderful and seems to know what you are thinking as you look at him through the very thick plexiglass wall. The stuffed toy Charles that my son chose was similar in that it looked quite real with deep brown eyes that seemed to stare back at you.
It wasn't long before someone placed Charles at the top of our stairs to be seen as you were going up the dimly lit staircase to go to bed. Freaky.
Another tradition involving hiding is birthday presents. We have been hiding the kids' birthday presents since they were little and then they would begin the hunt with the encouragement of "warm, warmer, cool, ice cold, getting warmer, you're burning up!!" to help them find presents hidden behind furniture, inside the refrigerator, in the bathtub, under couch cushions, and so on. Honestly, they still enjoy it as teenagers. In fact, they often want to be part of the hiding for the other's birthday, making it more and more difficult.
Hiding Easter eggs is another tradition that our two kids still want, even though they are way too old. I use the plastic eggs and put jelly beans or chocolate eggs inside and hide them all over our one acre property. One year they were each limited to collecting certain colours of eggs, so even if they found an egg, they had to leave it alone if it wasn't their colour.
The head is now in possession of my husband who wants to find the perfect spot for our daughter before she goes back to university on Sunday. Game on.