When my girls were jr. high and high school age their closest friends were another homeschooled family who happened to be Dutch. At Christmastime they celebrated St. Nicholas Day on Dec.5th instead of the traditional Christmas on the 25th. They spent days baking mini Almond Cupcakes for family, friends and neighbors. On the eve of the 5th they would pack presents and cupcakes to take to all those they were close to; they didn't just come to the doorbut they would leave the packages, ring the doorbell and then run so we couldn't see them. Sometimes they would even open our front door and throw candy inside. A game insued of trying to catch them but we never did. It was such a special fun activity! So that first year after they blessed us we wanted to have some fun with them and turn it around on Christmas Eve. These friends lived out in the country on a dead end street with lots of trees and bushes on their property. We had to park a street away and quietly walk up their street without being seen which was easy because there was only one street light. Thankfully the weather always cooperated with us-you've got to love Ca. weather.
The first year really caught them by surprise; I don't think anyone had ever doorbell ditched them in return. That year we ran into their back yard to hide and they never caught us. This tradition continued until our girls were married and their girls were out of the house. When we would tell other people about this they would roll their eyes and tell us to grow up. We also did this to several large families with children who did not have a lot of extras as a way to bless their children and we did it to our pastors' family as well. It was fun to hide and wait to see the expressions of glee when they would open the door and see presents on their doorstep. It could be done during the day but seemed more clandestine after dark.
Post script: When I was a new christian, new mom and young wife a dear friend told me that there are so many things our children couldn't do because of our faith that when you can let them participate in harmless silly fun, by all means do. Over the years as a family we had many "silly" pranks with our church family that all of the families would participate in, at one time or another, such at t.p.ing~however we were always there to help with clean up and also we got t.p'd in return. I am not licensing a blatant disrespectful attitude or careless destruction of property but good wholesome fun with parental supervision.
Sometimes having fun with your children is the best way to build on relationships.
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