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People write less and less “snail mail”. I am thrilled when I get an actual letter. At Christmas last year I sent my son and his girl friend a box with his usual “stocking stuffer” request: wool socks for both and chocolate. But I also put in my traditional stocking stuffers, which are the silly things. Star wars pez dispensers. A pop rock dip lollipop. Finger puppets.

My kids had said no more silly stuff when they were in their upper teens. I agreed, with the condition that MY stocking would have silly things. My practical daughter regifts silly things from the ones I've given her and from around the house. I am still delighted, even though I bought the toys in the first place.

But this year I got a thank you letter from my son and his girlfriend. He said that actually they loved the box and the silly things in it after all, as well as the socks and chocolate. And she wrote that she won the battle for the pop rock dip lollypop.

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