I’m a fan of creative gift-giving. My friends did a scavenger hunt for me to find my present in college, and I loved it. I have aunts who sent the same plastic figure back and forth to each other embedded in other gifts. I’ve done the big box of empty to faux disappoint a child. Plus, a lump of coal for my husband one Christmas.
So, I get the idea behind the birthday gift prank played on the boy in this MilitaryKind video I saw shared on Facebook:
The boy is given a big box with more boxes inside of it. At one point he opens one to find a letter, which has him in tears reading out loud how his Dad won’t be able to make it home for his birthday. So sad. Then, he keeps on opening more boxes…Finally, he hits a note that says “Surprise” and out comes Dad — home after all.
Perhaps not as surprising is the mixed reactions on Facebook. Some people thought the whole thing so sweet — Father and Son reunion after all. Others were upset about the cruel trick played on the little boy.
One wrote: “Why put the kid through the emotional trauma of the first part of this surprise by first lying to him??? Cruel.”
I appreciated this response to that perspective: “…guess all of you saying how cruel this is have never done anything to tease anyone in your lives.”
Still, the comments made me view the video again in a different light. I’ve decided taking out the letter part, where the kid’s hopes are crushed, could have had the same surprise impact and softened the blow.
What’s the cruelest/cleverest thing you’ve done to celebrate a friend’s birthday?