Jan. 3, 2012 — For most of us, Christmas traditions come on slowly and take years and years to mature, but we and our guests had so much fun sitting around the good old Christmas table this year, cracking jokes and laughing for hours, we’ve decided to add a new wrinkle to our yearly Christmas dinner festivities from now on. Ah, a tradition is born!
It all began just before dark as everyone sipped their favorite beverage and waited for the prime rib to cool before slicing as Cindie put the finishing touches on the twice-baked potatoes, Tyson perfected his green bean casserole and the sun sank slowly behind the mountains around Westwood, casting a nifty red glow over the frozen waters of Emerson Lake.
Music oozed quietly out of the stereo speakers, and nearly a dozen guests chatted away happily in the music room, the kitchen and the dining room.
Suddenly without any warning a quick staccato burst blasted out from the doorbell. It was so quick, it wasn’t like a doorbell ringing at all, but we figured some late arriving guest must have been coming for dinner with an awkward armful of random items.
Tyson and Pat went to the front door, and there before them on the porch were 16 presents wrapped in plain white paper, each adorned with a colorful bow. Tyson and Pat sprinted into the circular driveway in an attempt to catch the culprits, but there was no sign of anyone.
They packed up the presents, brought them in, and then dumped in the middle of the dining room table (being very careful to avoid the burning candles). Suddenly the whole dinner party took up the twin questions of who and why.
Cindie said she had noticed a fleeting teenaged head flash quickly across one of the bedroom windows a nanosecond after the doorbell rang out, leading us to suspect our next door neighbors, but like all good teenagers, they totally denied any involvement of any kind.
After everyone had eaten their fill of roast beast, sopped up all the au jus with Cindie’s potatoes, and decided they’d have to let everything settle for a few minutes before we tackled dessert, we turned our attention to the new found pile of presents in the middle of the table.
Our good friend Bob decided we should have a White Elephant Gift Exchange even though we had not purchased the items. He also suggested since there were 16 gifts and a dozen diners, we should let everyone around the table have a second opportunity to steal an item after all the presents were opened.
And so it began.
Tyson instantly took an interest in one present that sloshed. He discovered a chugtastic package of Yoo-Hoos, which he said was a drink from his youth he hadn’t tasted in years. Of course, I knew I was going to have to steal that one, even though I eventually put it in the refrigerator and told him to help himself.
Other presents included a calendar, a couple of Slinkies, a bubble blower, a lighted sword, scented candles, a scented bath fizzer and some rubber toys based on aquatic movie critters.
Of course, we launched into a dizzying display of entrendres and double entrendres on double entrendres that left most of the women blushing slightly between their belly laughs.
Thanks to whoever left the gifts. We immensely enjoyed your presents. Next Christmas at our house, the White Elephant Gift Exchange is on. And we might even become Christmas doorbell ringer runaways ourselves!
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