About a week before Christmas, Nippy left each of the boys an envelope with $20 and the name of another brother. They were each deputized as an "Elf"...actually a secret elf. They were to buy something with the $20 for the brother whose name was in their envelope.
The "secret" part turned out to be a little more challenging than I thought it would be. Nippy was smart enough to leave the envelopes in my room so that I could make sure that nobody peeked at a brother's name. Ben, Jack and Drew luckily came in individually and we were able to read the letter from Nippy and look in the envelope. They then put the name back in the envelope and put them away. Charlie on the other hand didn't really "get it".
I sat down with Charlie and we talked out Nippy's note and how it was a secret and he couldn't tell anyone. We quietly looked in the envelope and read the name...which was Jack. We talked again about how it was a secret and not to say anything to anyone about whose name he had. As we finished, Jack walked into the room, Charlie pointed at him and said "HIM!!".
OMG, seriously, he had the secret for like, a half a second.
Jack, who apparently, in the previous 5 minutes, had been rating the possiblities of which brother had him shouts..."I KNEW IT!!! I KNEW CHARLIE HAD ME!!! I knew I had Ben and so, I figured Ben couldn't have me....blah, blah, blah"
Seriously, could this have gone any worse?!?!
Luckily, my new found ability to LIE (really well!!!) kicked in. I immediately threw in a "Nooooo, Charlie, you don't understand, you don't get to PICK who you get to buy a gift for, you have to buy a present for the brother's whose name is in your envelope." And, then I quickly followed it up with "The envelope that....WE HAVEN'T OPENED YET!!"
I think Jack "bought it". He did ask me a few more times over the next few days whether or not Charlie opened his envelope yet, which I obviously, always answered "NO!".
So, Spencer and I survived 5 extra shopping trips the week before Christmas (thanks Nippy). Oh, and it was FIVE because Jack couldn't find just the right present for Drew after going to Toys R Us...and the mall with Daddy so, I had to take him out for a 2nd trip the following night. Jack really racked his brain to find just the right gift for Drew. When Spencer suggested a Wii game, Jack said no because he 'really wanted to get something special for Drew that he wouldn't have to share'. How sweet is that.
All of the boys really put a lot of thought into their gifts. Charlie bought Jack a very cool sled. Ben really wanted to get Charlie some Webkinz so that he could helpl him adopt them on the computer. He found a good deal at Costco for 2 Webkinz, a Littlekinz and some clothes. He even had a little bit of extra cash to get Charlie some Gogo's. Drew got Ben a Sonic stuffed toy, inserts for the Wii remotes to decorate them like Mario and some Gogo's. And, Jack got Drew a book...I think it was the Guardians of Gahoul and a puzzle of The Diary of a Whimpy Kid. Jack got Drew the book because they had just finished reading it in his class and he really liked it and he thought Drew would like it too.The boys ended up exchanging their gifts on Christmas Eve. We thought of it about 10 minutes after they went to bed. Luckily, nobody had fallen asleep yet and they were all thrilled to come open presents...and give presents.
It was a crazy "event" to try to take pictures of, but I was at least able to capture the idea of what was going on.
I'm very proud of my little elves. I'm sure they will do excellent in future years when they are promoted to a more permanent position in a world of elves. :)