The Egg Carton

Today’s post comes from Verily Sherrilee.

I found the egg carton today.

About 30 years ago I began throwing a holiday party – a silly gift exchange. I’d been to one at a co-worker’s and thought it was a lot of fun. Then 28 years ago I met Alan; he’d been hired as the loss prevention specialist at my company. He had just moved back to the Twin Cities with Julie and their three daughters so I invited them to the party that year. After a lot of gift swapping, Alan got stuck with a red plastic camping egg carton. As I was cleaning up I found it stuck back behind a couch cushion.

This began a 28-year campaign of dumping the egg carton back on each other. EggCarton1 It’s been delivered in a box of flowers, left in an Easter basket, sent to an office via a software company in Boston, buried in an ice lantern, left under a mattress, in the dog food barrel, left in the laundry room of a new house. It’s even been to Sweden and Switzerland!

Twenty-eight years ago it was just a prank; I didn’t know at the time that it would also be the beginning of a wonderful, life-changing friendship. Alan and Julie are kind, generous people, sharing their lives with me and Young Adult all these years. We spend our holidays with them and it’s been a joy to see their three girls grow up, get married and start families of their own.

I had a full house at this year’s party and I was pretty sure I would be in possession of the egg carton by the end of the night, even after I frisked Alan and Julie at the door. The last two weeks have been spent poking into cabinets, opening drawers, checking under the sofa, even looking into the dog food barrel again. This morning I took all the ornaments off the tree and as I pulled the lights off, I found a package wrapped in green paper and “decorated” with greenery boughs – the egg carton!

I’ve now sent off the obligatory “You Rat!” text and am busy thinking up how I can dump the carton on them!

Do you have a “new year” ritual?

36 thoughts on “The Egg Carton”

  1. A friend told me that it’s traditional to make hoppin’ john on New Year’s Day. It’s mostly a southern thing. I like the idea, but have yet to actually follow through.

    I try to stretch Christmas out for awhile. I am still playing Christmas music at home and in the car.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That’s funny, Linda, because I’m playing a beautiful Xmas piano CD as I write. It’s occurring to me that listening after the holiday without all the hubbub leading up to the day is so peaceful.

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    2. My friend, Philip, makes Hoppin’ John each year for his New Year’s Day open house. It’s supposed to ensure good luck in the coming year.

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  2. We don’t have a “new year” ritual that come to mind. We did enjoy the way we spent new year’s eve this year. The entire evening was spent watching episodes of the first season of The Wire on TV. By watching this series we were able to stay up past midnight and welcome in the new year.

    In the past we usually have been barely awake or not awake at all when the new year arrived. Being wide awake when the new year arrive was a rare experience for us and a pleasant one. If we can repeat the way we spend new years eve this year, we might be able establish a “new year” ritual that works for us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds great. I don’t usually stay up – even when Young Adult and I used to do our “anti-resolutions” (we’d write the bad habits we didn’t want to follow us into the new year onto flash paper and then burn them up), we didn’t wait until midnight. I figure it’s midnight SOMEWHERE whenever I go to bed!

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    2. I have a picture that I wish I could post showing my New Year’s Eve activity: feet crossed with two cats laying on my legs and the TV screen showing beyond my bed. All I forgot to include in this shot is my gin and tonic.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that tradition. I remember that there was a children’s book that my uncle hated (for some reason – perhaps because it had anthropomorphized animals, something for which he had disdain, Wind in the Willows excepted). I was not part of the process but that book would arrive, unmarked, from all corners of the earth.

    The closest to a tradition for me is my friends’ annual Games Day on 1/1. Yesterday, my Zumba class ran late and potluck cooking took too long so #2son and I didn’t arrive until the party had been underway for almost 2 hours. There were a few games underway and we hadn’t found one to join when someone suggested Encore, an old favorite we haven’t played for years.
    We went to our traditional separate room and had much laughter as our teams tried to come up with 6 contiguous words from a song containing the specified word or in the specified category. We could observe our failing memories as we sat in silence, unable to come up with a song containing the word “he”!
    We snacked as we played, broke for more official eating of a potluck dinner, sang the Hallelujah chorus (at the behest of the hostess because we haven’t held our annual carol sing featuring that work for a few years) and ended with a cramped bit of folk dancing.

    One of my favorite days of the year!

    I don’t usually make resolutions but I have decided to be more deliberate about the use of my time this year. Less FB and computer time and more art/music, sewing, museums, reading, decluttering. I have already upped my exercise.
    Happy New Year, you fellow Primates!

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  4. How each new year comes in or starts varies – no rituals or regular things that happen (other than that the Christmas tree usually stays up through Epiphany – because that’s how we did it growing up and Epiphany is also Husband’s birthday, so it’s nice to still have a little “festive” around for that).

    The (not new year specific) winter ritual that I look forward to is the annual Making of the Door Thingie. It started when Miss S was about five and she had made a paper wreath to put on the door for Thanksgiving. Well, then we needed to make one for Christmas – so off we went to the craft store to get stuff to make a wreath (foam circle, tissue paper, sparkly pom poms and whatever else looked good that year). Well that was fun, so we stripped the circle and put new stuff on it the next year. And then one more. And the following year we used something new as the “base” and pretty soon it was Something We Do Every Year. There is always a trip to the craft store for new parts, old parts can be reused as well, and no plan. Never a plan. Just whatever is our “base” for that year, some floral wire and a glue gun for helping to attach things, and kind of a free for all with Daughter on where to put stuff. Following our philosophy of “it’s not done until it’s slightly overdone,” this year’s thingie includes battery operated lights. I’m already wondering what happens when Daughter goes off to college…sniff.

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  5. No yearly rituals here, just coffee in the morning. Once, some friends of ours saddled us with an ear from a newly slaughtered hog. They dropped it on the front step, rang the doorbell, and ran. I think we were supposed to do the same thing with it, but it was so gross and smelly we tossed it in the trash.

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    1. Are they coming earlier every year? I just got the first one yesterday.

      Also got my identity protection PIN from the IRS. I think I will take care of the taxes before I start looking at the catalog.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ben Franklin says “Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.” What would he have to say about a Twilight Zone marathon?

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      1. he would apprecaite that i am able to record for later, do work on tweaking my ebay postings and work on the new life my partner has breathed int givcuz for the upcoming coming out party later this year. i can sit and watch (or actually listen as i am not a good touch typist. i need to look at my hands) while i put in hours of work in time sucking tedium with rod serling and the little twilight zone theme song and opening montage playing over and over again. it is amazing how fast 30 minutes goes by and by and by as you watch time tick away one episode after another. i always view time slipping away as a reminder that if i do it right the world will get better and better as the time ticks off because of what i am working on. and get better and better and better. it is very encouraging. it is so easy.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Christmas at home when I was growing up was warm and generous, but the idea of giving anyone or receiving from anyone a gag gift is inconceivable. It would have been met with puzzlement and discomfort. It certainly would not have become a tradition.
    In Robin’s family, for nearly as long as I’ve known her, there has always been a traveling perennial gag gift of one sort or another. The first was an LP record of Moog music. It’s something of a challenge to disguise a record– even if you put it in a much larger box, its lightness gives it away.
    After a couple of years, and since no one was going to actually play the record EVER AGAIN, one of us heated the record and rolled it into a cylinder. After that, it underwent transformation every year and finally disappeared. Replaced, the next year, by a necktie in the shape of a trout. A necktie is much easier to disguise and it is still potentially in circulation, but the family is much more dispersed and not everyone is present every year.
    This year was the second year for our newest circulating white elephant and it’s a pip. It’s a decanter, hand crafted by someone who was learning or trying to learn the art of glass blowing and it is in the shape of a clown, his head forming the stopper. The overall effect is breathtakingly incompetent and graceless. As a gag gift, it’s going to be a challenge, given that it’s glass and therefore breakable, and it’s heavy and thus hard to disguise. But isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

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  7. My comment (above) replying to Sherrilee’s question was impudent. The truth is I have never celebrated coming of a new year. I just don’t get the point of that holiday. Christmas is about expressing love for those I most care about. Birthdays are good for giving each person a day to feel special. Thanksgiving is lovely because I enjoy expressing thanks for all the glories of being alive. Although I’m not religious, I like Easter because of its association with spring, a time for rebirth.

    New Year has nothing like that going for it. It feels like an arbitrary calendar event. I’ve never felt motivated to blow horns and throw confetti to mark the passing of the old year or arrival of the new. I’m just deeply happy to be alive every day. It is nice that others get a kick out of replacing last year’s calendar with a new one, but nothing about that act makes me want to throw a party.

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  8. Hi–
    I kinda like the posts that last for two days. For one, I didn’t get to it yesterday, and B, the conversation diverges and gets more random which can be fun.
    I love this post Sherrilee.

    Not necessarily ‘New Year’ traditions in our family.
    For some reason, when my family gets together for Christmas I surreptitiously stuff all the coat pockets with whatever left over Christmas candy we have in the house.
    One year it was mini candy canes. The last couple years it’s been home made caramels. Sometimes my son does it while I stay and talk thereby avoiding suspicion. No one has ever commented on it. Partially because with a year between we forget.

    For easter for many years I put an easter egg in my sons shoe. (fake egg). That got harder when he went to college, but I had roommates help me out.

    For several years, after the Christmas concerts at the college, Paul, my best friend who designs the decor, would leave some trinket from the set in the office. Could be up on the ceiling, behind the door, outside a window looking in. ect.
    I haven’t found it yet from this year. But he didn’t really have small decorations either this year and I haven’t remembered to ask if he did. Course even if I do ask he won’t tell.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Our New Year’s tradition, and it will probably not come as a surprise, involves food.

    Now that we’re retired, there isn’t as much of an urgency to squeeze it all in on the appropriate days. New Year’s Day is a biggie: an elaborate buffet of Danish smørrebrød. But since that tradition collides with Philip’s Hoppin’ John open house, we’ve moved our celebration to the following day, except for this year when we’re just now getting ready to celebrate at three PM.

    Our late friend, Mike Mikkelsen’s son, Randy, happens to be in town and has a couple of hours to spend with us before catching a flight back to the east coast. We’re treating him to the whole shebang. Pickled herring, home made leverpostej with beef aspic and cucumber salad, roas tbeef with remoulade and crisp French onions, sliced ham with Italian salad, eggs with tiny shrimp, and ending with an elaborate cheese spread. All of it accompanied with icy Akvavit and cold beer. I’ll know I’m getting ready to die when I no longer am interested in partaking in these traditional meals.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Today has a strange feel. We got a dusting of snow last night and the earth is chilly enough that the snow hasn’t melted off. Since there is a steep hill between my apartment and town, I’m stuck at home. They close that road when there is snow, even a light snow. I shopped for food yesterday, which was prudent, as I can’t know now when I’ll be able to leave home.

    When it does snow here the snowflakes are just amazing. I don’t know enough meteorology to know why, but snowflakes here are huge. When they fall you feel like you’re in a snow globe.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. cold air above coming through warm air makes giant snowflakes. anything coming through really cold air makes little flakes or sleet.
      i saw twilight zone and they were living in a snowglobe sort of

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