In a decades-long family holiday tradition, two New Hampshire brothers have been regifting the same box of hard candy back and forth for more than 30 years. The brothers have had to resort to increasingly bizarre ways to surprise each other with the gift, including sewing the box of candy into a teddy bear and freezing it into a block of ice.
Ryan Wasson first gave his brother, Eric Wasson, a 10-roll « Santa’s Book of Candy » with assorted fruit flavors on Christmas in 1987 as a joke. Ryan Wasson knew that his brother wouldn’t like the candy, and Eric Wasson told WMUR-TV that he didn’t end up eating them.
« And so the next year I thought, ‘Hey, I think I’m going to give it back to him. He’ll never remember,' » he said.
Ryan Wasson immediately recognized the gift when his brother gave it back, and the two have been gifting it back and forth ever since.
As the years of passing the same box of candy back and forth, Ryan and Eric Wasson started getting more and more creative in how it was presented. The candy has been frozen into a block of ice and put into Jell-O, Ryan Wasson said.
« He one time sewed it into a teddy bear, » he added.
Photos provided by Ryan Wasson show the well-worn candy box laden with tears and creases after being passed around for so many years. The box contains a thorough log of who gave and received the box each year, as well as some brief descriptions of the way it was given.
Eric Wasson said that the candy even melted one year, « so they look pretty sad. »
« So we’ve got the original box and then we’ve got a new box. Then they both go out, so the old ones are pretty sad. I wouldn’t try those, » Eric Wasson said.
The tradition has also involved family members, co-workers and even a sheriff’s department. Last year, it was presented to Ryan Wasson on a silver platter at a restaurant.
This year, Ryan Wasson turned to a group on social media for ideas. Suggestions included having it arrive via a pizza delivery or Christmas carolers, hiding it in a book or cake, or holding a scavenger hunt with clues.
« If you ask which one has ever done the best as far as giving these, we’re both going to say it’s ourself, right? » Ryan Wasson said. « We’re never going to give in. »
The Associated Press contributed to this report.