It was an unassuming Sunday night.
My family and I were sitting around having a chat after dinner, while my sister, Anita, was helping my older sister, Daniela, wrap up a Pass The Parcel for my nephew’s birthday coming up this weekend.
Quickly, what started out as a relatively small parcel soon grew to the size of a small child made of fancy paper.
Apparently you no longer use newspaper, fancy wrapping paper is now essential. I then found myself marvelling at the gifts that were being included. They were ex-pen-sive. There was Crayola and all sorts of fancy stuff. In my childhood, if you got a Redskin or one of those fake watches with the little silver ball inside, you called it a good day.
But as a kid, I remember the game, nay, the pain, of Pass The Parcel well. You sit in a circle and pray that the party gods will stop playing The Spice Girls’ Wannabe in time for you to unwrap the parcel and HOPEFULLY there will be… something inside. Sometimes there is, sometimes there isn’t, that’s life.
How much effort do you need to put into a 1st Birthday Party? We discuss on our podcast for brand new parents. Post continues after.
Not getting a gift in Pass The Parcel is resilience building, it’s part of being a child. It’s when you learn that sometimes, you just don’t get everything you want in life and that’s okay. Because when you miss out on a gift at Samantha’s birthday, it makes the Pass The Parcel win at Ellen’s birthday the next weekend that much sweeter.
“Why is it so big?” I asked Daniela, gawking at the parcel and silently judging how ridic kid’s birthday parties have clearly become.
“Well, every kid needs to get a present,” she responded in a matter of fact tone.
I replayed the words over in my head, but still, they didn't compute. But... what is the point of the 'game' if every child wins? I thought to myself. There is no game if everyone is a winner. There must be losers, and oh, there were plenty of losers in the fabric of my childhood.