Merry and bright

I went to a holiday party last night, and it reminded me about the many good aspects of this time of year. Of course, there was the buffet full of lots of great food prepared by the party guests. That’s yummy and all, but the best part of the buffet was all the little kindnesses it contained. This was a party for our Toastmasters club, and there are lots of us with food issues. We have some vegetarians, some vegans, and even a few members who are gluten-free. There was lots for everyone to eat because the party guests went out of their way to bring food that would be suitable for everyone. It was very sweet.

We had twenty-seven people there, and it’s great to be somewhere surrounded by so many people whose company that you enjoy that you don’t get to talk to as many people as you would have liked to. I’ve been at other parties where I had to force myself to make small talk and had to check the time quite a bit. I feel lucky to know such marvelous people.

The best part of the party was the white elephant game. If you don’t know this one, I’m going to tell you how to play. Everyone brings a wrapped white elephant gift, which is usually something they don’t want and want to give away. Sometimes it’s something tacky, sometimes something lovely that’s been in a person’s home for too long. Then each person at the party draws a number. Number one picks a wrapped gift. Number two can pick a wrapped gift or steal what number one has. The person who is stolen from can then do the same. You can’t steal an item directly back, and once an item is stolen twice it’s safe from further theft. The game is great fun, and I’ll never forget the Santa made out of coconuts that made the rounds last night. I expect to see him back next year. I can hardly wait.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

210. Pay attention at the next holiday party you attend. What makes it so much fun (or so dreadful)? Also, consider adding the white elephant game to your next shindig. It’s a great way to laugh with friends, and everyone leaves with a present (whether they want to or not!)

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