Day 7 of my Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers. The only holiday parties that I remember are the one's with my dad's side of the family when we traveled to Pennsylvania for Christmas. Most of my aunts and uncles (except for the one that wouldn't let anyone into his house after I crawled around it when I was one and dusted his floor and his sister endlessly made fun of him) would have a party at their houses. Every night we were in town, we would go to a different house and have a different get together. (This was apparently passed on from a tradition with my great aunts and uncles.)
One of my uncles came up with a crazy, fun game that we would play every year. He would go and buy little "gifts" and wrap them up. When everyone arrived, he would put the presents on a table in the center of everyone. He would pass out a deck of cards and keep a deck to himself. Then he would call cards from his deck and the person with the matching card would get a present from the pile. When the gifts ran out, you had to "steal" one from someone else. At the end, you would open the presents that you had kept. They were always crazy things that nobody every really wanted, but that's what made it so much fun. Eventually other relatives would play the same game at their parties as well.
The first year my husband spent Christmas with my family, he and I decided to play the game with my mom's side of the family. We went to the "Good Dollar Store", a subsidiary of the Goodwill store and bought all of our "gifts" and wrapped them before we went to my parents' house. The most memorable gift was the toilet plunger that we wrapped very obviously. My dad, knowing this game well, didn't want any of his gifts, so he kept trying to pass them off onto other people. But we had something to take care of that: we awarded him a fruitcake for being the "most generous player". (You'll have to wait until December 14 to learn more about this fruitcake.)
This game was always the best part of the holidays when we traveled to Pennsylvania. I wish we could play it again, but it's more fun with lots of people and we don't have the big family parties in Ohio/Indiana.