Years ago when it was time for my husband’s family Christmas Party, all the grown children decided it was time for my mother in law to retire as the hostess. So it was discussed as to how they were going to do this. And a great plan was suggested and of course all the children agreed; they would start with the oldest child and the next year they would have the party at their home. They would provide something to drink and the meat and bread and all the other good STUFF would be provided by the other family members. Of course I thought this was a great idea since we were not the first but the second in line. You see I would be able to see if this idea would work when it was our turn.
This process has been going on for some time and has really worked great! Then at this same meeting, everyone decided we would not draw name like we always did, run around and try to buy something we thought the other person would like and most of the time, people lost their names and that was a mess. So we decided we would have the “Chinese Christmas swap”. Don’t ask me why they called it that; I thought it was kind of strange but who was I to say, I was the daughter in law and you know they should not get involved. There are too many family members that will let you know right way that this is their party! Old TG has learned a few lessons in her day where family if concerned.
Anyway, every year we take a present. It is something funny, old, broken or just really a shocker to everyone there. And to everyone’s surprise, some gifts just keep showing up year after year. That’s when it really gets funny. We draw numbers and everyone can swap if they like. There are some people who bring a nice gift and it really moves through the group. You would think some of the people there had never seen a gift like the one you brought; usually something that you were going to throw out anyway! There is a green knitted man’s bathing suit that turns up every year or two. What woman would sit down and knit a man’s bathing suit? It is made of wool and of course it is designed so that you can see right through it! I even got it one year and you got it! I put it away and drug it out last year.
Then there was the year that the bikini panties came out! You young people know when that was; my mother in law, who was 85 years old, got that package and her sons rolled in the floor when she asked, “What in the world are these”! Of course one of the granddaughters immediately swapped her present for them. This was after she tried them on over her blue jeans. Ask me if everyone just about laugh themselves to death?
Then there is this scarf that keeps turning up. One grandchild could not make it back for the Christmas party and he even sent it through the mail just so everyone would get a good laugh out of it.
Every year it is a challenge to figure out what I will take. Last year I chose one of those ever famous catalogs that you get in the mail. It was not one of those little paper things but it was one that had a hard back. One of those you would lay on your coffee table so everybody could see it. Well, my nephew got it and he went into orbit. You would have thought he had given a million dollars. For some reason, nobody wanted it and did not take it away from him. As he left, I told him I was glad he liked my present and if he would look inside he would find a “five dollar” bill taped to the cover! Ask me if he hugged my neck! So you see there is “good” in everything. Who would have thought anyone would like a Hard Back Catalog selling a lot of boat and fishing stuff?
Well, this year was just as exciting. There was a tool kit that everyone wanted and every time somebody got the kit, they only kept it just until the next person’s turn. There was a big box with enough pecans to make two pies with all the ingredients that are needed. Guess who ended up with that one! Yep, the Hubby was grinning when the end of the game came and he still had his prize. Now I guess I will have to make him two pies! I got a plaque with the family crest on it. I will hang it on the wall with all the other valuable stuff that I have accumulated during the years.
I must tell you that the green wool bathing suit appeared again and the person, who got it, wore it on his head the entire night! I must tell you he was the “life of the party”! I know this seems strange, but it is an inexpensive way to have fun and requires no shopping.
I am sure you all have your traditions within your own family life. Families are so important. What would we do without them? Enjoy each member one by one.
Just remember why we celebrate the season and remember to help those who are in need and love everyone in your family….all the time, even that brother in law that gave you a hard time last summer.
Remember to “reach out and touch someone” either by phone, thought or deed. It is up to us to “make someone else happy during this holiday season. Even if it’s that “mean other brother” who you use to fight with when you were kids!
Ho Ho Ho and Merry….Merry! From my house to your house.