My brother has always been into "degifting." It is actually a swell idea .. especially if you do not have any money for Christmas .. make it all seem like a big political choice or some benevolent act on your part.
A couple years ago my brother said he was not buying a conventional Christmas gift. He was going to plant a tree in my name. So he said, "Hey I wanna show you your tree, can you pick me up in about an hour and take me to the mountains?"
It was Christmas and I had not reached that part in my therapy where we undid the programming my parents did concerning family obligations, so I said, "sure." He was waiting for me with about 3 suitcases and his new ski gear. Seeing as we were going to the mountains anyway, he thought he might as well take advantage of the trip and take a ski holiday there.
So we drove into the mountains and he told me when to stop got out and we waded into the forest through the chest high snow and he pointed ... "there she is."
"Ummm ... YOU planted that for me?"
"That tree is about 100 years old and has been here forever."
"Nope, just this last week, I had it planted, for you .. for Christmas. your tree....see?" And he took out a post-it note, wrote my name on it and stuck it on the tree.
I considered planting something for him too but it was Christmas, so I just got in the car and drove away and left him there with his suitcases. I could hear him swearing over the roar of the car engine as I drove off ... I don't think there was anything Silent or Holy about the night despite the fact Christmas was the next day.
I figured if they found him in the spring thaw it would make for a great homecoming Christmas for next year ... we could all catch up on how he survived, ate snow and dried twigs, and where he buried each toe as it fell off etc ...
He didn't ever come out. So, now we have a new tradition .. every year we visit my tree at Christmas, and think about him and the wonderful year when he degifted me with a tree ... and then we all go skiing ... I love traditions.
HAT, HAIR, OUTFIT: UK Couture