Many, many years ago, Wes' Mom introduced a game to the family that we have now adopted as our own holiday tradition. You play this game after the Christmas presents are opened, usually on Christmas Day instead of Christmas Eve. It'a fun way to unwrap a few last presents and have some fun interacting with the group in a rowdy way. Keep in mind, this game is NOT fair - and that's part of the fun of it! Some have asked for directions in how to set up and play THE GAME (yes, that's how we refer to it as in, "Are we going to play THE game again this year?"). Here are the rules and directions:
1. This is NOT a White Elephant game. Little kids shouldn't play it as they could end up in tears because they could end up with nothing. The players do not contribute to the gift pile, and the gifts are mostly nice. The host usually provides and wraps the gifts. Always put in a chocolate or candy item! And putting a five (or more) dollar bill in the mix is a good thing, too! Some of the things in the gift pile this year: Trader Joe's Soyaki Sauce, date book, knit hat, glitter bottles, tape dispenser, Godiva Chocolates, etc.
2. The host wraps all the gifts and there are usually twice as many packages as players.
3. You will need two dice for this game.
4. Call your players together! Sit in a group with wrapped packages in the center of gathering.
5. Pick a player (let's say Anne) to begin rolling the dice. The first round of the game, all roll the dice. Roll the dice on a plate that can be passed from player to player. Any who roll a THREE can choose a gift from the pile and unwrap it for all to see. It is against the rules to shake, feel, or peek inside the package before selecting it. Keep the unwrapped item in view for all to see. If no one rolls a THREE the first round and it comes back to Anne, start round two with rolling THREE or FIVE to pick a gift from center. Keep going round and round adding all odd numbers up to ELEVEN. If a player gets, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 he/she may pick a gift either from center pile, or steal from someone else's stash. There is no trickle effect here - when someone steals your gift, it is theirs and you don't get to steal from anyone else! Yes, this means a player can have 5 gifts, while another has zero!
6. When all gifts from center pile have been taken, the host sets a timer and doesn't say how long it has been set for. Keep rolling to get 3's, 5's, 7's, 9's and 11's. And at breakneck speed! When the timer goes off the game is over - and whatever you end up with is yours. Sounds cut-throat? It is! (And a lot of times you work in tandem with your husband or sweetheart to get something they want and then you give it to them in the end and things get mushy so you can become their "hero.")
7. Like I said earlier, this is really not for little kids, but great for a gathering of pre-teens and older.
It's wonderful to be together for the holidays, isn't it? Playing games, eating too much food together, singing songs, sharing memories. I hope you and yours are having sweet times together, too!