Christmas isn’t really Christmas unless somebody gets a rock.
The Sternweis family legend of the Christmas rock dates back to circa 1966, when my mother gave my father a Norelco Triple Head electric razor. Mom knew that if she merely wrapped the razor in its original box, no matter how dazzling the wrapping paper, Dad would know what it was before he even undid the bow. So she decided to disguise the razor, safely in its case — within a box of bricks. When Dad began to open that heavy beast of a box, he had no idea what awaited inside, and he was pleasantly surprised when he found the razor.
Now the box of bricks trick only works once in a family, because everyone remembers. So Mom found another, slightly lighter way to disguise Christmas presents — with rocks. A rock in the box could mask practically anything — jewelry, books, toys, you name it. Whoever was getting a gift that would be too obvious if wrapped on its own would get a rock in the box along with it.
Over the years everyone got the rock, some of us more than once. As my siblings and I married and had children, all were added to my Mom’s list for holiday gift giving and potential rock receiving.
I have continued the Christmas rock tradition with my own family. I wonder who will get the rock this year? Merry Christmas!
Photo: My Dad received the Christmas Rock in 1987.