Christmas family parties where alcohol is prohibited can devolve quickly into a silent staring festival as wee ones play with new toys. Christmas games like white elephant or yankee swap make for good fun and can make things a bit tense. I love a yankee swap where someone swaps gifts with the gramma or grampa present, screwing them over for a gift that cost less than $20 or $10. The rest fo the family throws eye daggers at them. Good times. A non-tangible gift game to play, but worth it for the emotional or mental gymnastics involved is this:
1. Have all people who have their mother present at the party write down what their greatest Christmas gift was as a child.
2. Go to each mom and have them guess what the child wrote down.
3. Watch as the room learns who had a great relationship with their kids, who didn't, and who may be in therapy.
This game is worth the risk of your mother being off. I've seen moms be on the money with no hesitation, some take a minute to get it right, some pick the wrong gift in a toss up, and then some be 100% wrong or even lie. "Of course I bought you a Cabbage Patch doll" ... "No, Mom you never got me one, and I cried myself to sleep after Christmas of 1983!"
Christmas is a time to reflect on the coming of Jesus who changed our world forever, and I would argue for good. Whether secular or religious, it is great to take this time of year to consider all that you have spiritually, emotionally and physically, and to think about what you want to do in the coming year.
For the record: my mom nailed it for me and my sister. Cabbage Patch doll for my sis in the early '80s, and a Nintendo game system for me on the last Christmas where I believed in Santa. I had talked about my teenage uncle's Nintendo for months, and I didn't get it for my birthday which is days before Christmas. I was counting on the fat man. He came through.