My present to The Nation for the holiday season is this story about our beloved Hyperion:
Twelve years ago, Hyperion was at my family's house for Christmas Eve dinner. We generally had seafood on Christmas Eve night, along with whatever my dad was in the mood to make that day. That year, it was seafood scampi and chicken wings. During dinner, my dad taught a young, impressionable Hypie how to stick a whole chicken wing in his mouth and pull it out just the bones. I don't think there's ever been a time since then that, when my family has eaten chicken wings, we haven't mentioned the look on Hyperion's face.
During that seafood scampi/chicken wing dinner, Hyperion was telling us of his family's holiday traditions. One of them was that each person in his family would take turns and open one present at a time instead of having a free-for-all, so that each gift could be appreciated by the giver as well as the receiver. This also dragged out the present opening for a long, long time. This idea appealed to my stepmom, so from that point on our family has done this.
Honestly, it's a really nice tradition and I'm glad we adopted it...but at the time, I was SO mad about it, and my brother and stepsister threatened to kick my butt for having brought Hyperion and his 'let's-be-nice-and-take-turns' thinking into our home.