Blog, Reflecting

The Origin of Woo Hoo Gifts

Sometimes, the best traditions evolve by accident. My family is no exception. In fact, we have our very own woo hoo gift tradition every Christmas that most people don’t understand.

It began when I was a child and I’m proud to say that I created the whole woo hoo phenomenon.

We all have that one gift that we receive that is the most special. It is not always an expensive gift but more so one that means the most to us. Every year, my mom would wait for my “Woo Hoo!” and she would know which gift she gave me was the most special.

I’m not always a quiet person, especially with my family, so the Woo Hoo was never a mild expression – it was an all out Woo Hoo explosion.

Through the years, my woo hoo gifts have varied – some held sentimental value, others were items that I needed to make my life simpler.

When I was in 3rd grade, I Woo Hoo-ed when I opened my first manual typewriter – it jump started my dream of becoming a writer and fueled my creativity until electric typewriters and computers replaced the humongous machine.

When I was in high school, clothing was much more exciting and when I opened a new skirt, sweater, or favorite pair of shoes, I would Woo Hoo.

This year, I had two Woo Hoo gifts. One was practical – a GPS unit – and one was sentimental – a CD soundtrack of Bullfrogs and Butterflies, a set of musical songs that consumed years of my childhood.

The Woo Hoo gift has evolved into a challenge for my family. My mom thinks long and hard about how to surprise or Woo Hoo my sisters and me each year. She puts a lot of thought and feeling into each gift and drills us months in advance to scope out what we really need or want.

We tend to favor the sentimental gifts more because we appreciate the time and effort my mom puts into preparing them. Woo Hoo’s make us laugh, cry, and smile more than any other part of the holiday celebration. Woo Hoo’s help us to appreciate the love of our family and most importantly, Woo Hoo’s make my mom incredibly happy.

My favorite Woo Hoo of all time? Two giant scrapbooks of every published article I’ve ever written. That Woo Hoo was priceless.


– Shannon Philpott
Blog Entry: Dec. 27, 2009

 © Shannon Philpott, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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