Years ago, as a newly married young woman, I moved to Idaho. My parents came from Lodi to visit that first year. My mother picked a small pinecone off the snow, and as a joke, wrapped it up for me along with other Christmas presents. I saved the pinecone, and the next year, I wrapped it up and gave it to her, along with her other presents.
We continued this back and forth, extending the pinecone giving to my father, brother, husband, etc. It is now 37 years later. Not only am I lucky enough to still have my parents alive and well, but I have 4 children, their spouses, and 4 grandchildren.
The pinecone tradition lives on. The person who got the pinecone the year before decides who they will give it to the next year. Every year, we wait to see who is getting the pinecone. Sometimes we wrap it in strange containers, or in a giant-sized box, so the person who gets it won’t suspect that’s what it is. My mother writes down who gets the pinecone each year. We’ve come to look forward to this as the best part of our Christmas traditions.