Being part of the joke (20SB Blog Swap: Childhood Summer Vacation)

Hi!  My name is Jacque, and I’m the blogger over at The Dapper Lass. I mostly write about books, tea, and my life in general. Erini and I are partners in 20sb’s 2012 Blog Swap. You can find Erini’s post over on my blog.

The idea is to write about our favorite childhood summer vacation. To be honest, I feel like it’s been so long ago that I will never be able to remember all the details of any of my summer vacations. I’m only 22, but that childhood amnesia has already set in.

Every year, my dad’s side of the family usually gets together for a week long family vacation. Because of schedule conflicts, we haven’t been able to make it the past four years, but we went a lot when I was little. Nowadays, we all meet up in the Outer Banks in North Carolina. The amount of lighthouses I’ve toured at this point has become completely ridiculous. I’ve had three or four different surfing instructors (I’m still pretty hopeless at it).

The traditional vacationing spot when I was little, though, was whatever Jellystone Park we picked that year. Does Jellystone Park sound familiar? It should. That’s Yogi Bear’s park. There are even pictures of us posing with wooden cutouts of Yogi, Boo-boo, and Cindy Bear. Boo-boo was my favorite. He even came to our camp one year.

The places aren’t really what stick out in my head. Every year, we always have a bit of a Christmas in July (or June, which is when we’ve taken to meeting up) where we all get assigned someone for whom to get gifts. We call it Pollyanna. I don’t know if this is a thing that other families do; I’ve always just assumed it’s a thing in just my family. We do it because there’s so many of us. My dad is one of ten. So when you add in spouses and children, the gifts start getting kind of crazy. It’s much easier to do the Pollyanna thing. When we get old enough, we don’t just get normal gifts… We start getting gag gifts as well. And I think gag gifts are the best part. For example, I remember when I was ten, and one of my uncles had my grandmother. He got her a box of condoms with a card that said “Oops… Too late!”

That was my favorite summer vacation as a kid. Not because of that joke (I didn’t really get it at the time; I just laughed along because everyone else seemed to find it so funny, and other people laughing usually makes me laugh). It was because that was the year I received a gag gift. Another one of my uncles gave me a Harry Potter action figure with a note that said “your first boyfriend” because I had the biggest crush on Daniel Radcliffe at the time. The jokes have certainly gotten more adult (and almost always about the amount of real boyfriends I’ve had over the years), but being a part of the joke for the first time made that year really special.

What about you? Does your family have any crazy traditions like this?

Definitely make sure to check out all the other blog swappers (I’ll update late with the forum/blog link of the post list). And of course, many thanks to Jacque for being such a great swap partner! (Remember, you can find my post about one childhood summer memory on her blog!)