Our family gatherings usually focus around food – lots of it, all good – and often presents, since we usually gather to celebrate someone’s birthday or anniversary or, duh, Christmas. We celebrated Christmas with my extended family on Sunday and just to make things a little different, I had us play a game together.
Usually, I groan inwardly at group games, but this one is so simple and fun, I’ve done it a couple of times. It’s called “The Right Family Christmas”. To prepare, you need a wrapped gift for each person playing the game. I used this opportunity to regift a few things: a scarf, a box of Turtles, a movie, a CD, a book, that Body Shop gift package I blogged about earlier – stuff like that. They were things that I thought various family members would like. With everyone sitting around the table, gift in hand, I read the story below. Each time the word “right” or “left” is spoken, the gift has to be passed in that direction – so you don’t know what you’ll end up with in the end. When the story is done, folks can open their gift and either keep it or try and swap it. I’ve played this with up to 30 people (which is hilarious) but it worked just as well with a small group of 8.
I’ve also been part of work or church gatherings where everyone has brought a wrapped gift that either had to be home-made or thrifted and not over $5. That’s how our family ended up with this ugly lamp.
The gifts are piled in the centre of the circle and everyone gets a number. The first person chooses a gift, the second person can either choose another gift or take the first person’s gift, in which case that person gets to take another gift. This process continues with folks either taking a gift from the pile or from another person, the only rule being that you can’t just take back a gift from the person who took it from you. A lot of people play this game and there’s great debate about whether or not the gifts should be opened as they’re chosen – I prefer to play it where the gifts remain a mystery until the very end when they’re all opened at once. Have you played this game? If so, what’s your preference?
Do you have a great party game to share?
Here’s the story for the Right Family Christmas. Enjoy!
Christmas was almost here and Mother Right was finishing the Christmas baking. Father Right, Sue Right and Billy Right returned from last-minute Christmas errands.
“There’s not much left to be done,” said Father Right as he came into the kitchen.
“Did you leave the basket of food at the church?” asked Mother Right.
“I left it right where you told me to,” Said Father Right.
“I’m glad my shopping is done,” said Billy Right. I don’t have any money left.”
The hall telephone rang, and Susan Right left to answer it. She rushed right back and told the family, “Aunt Tillie Right left a package for us right on Grandma Right’s front porch. Ill go over there right now and get it,” she said as she left in a rush.
Father Right left the kitchen and brought in the Christmas tree.
By the time Susan Right returned, Mother Right, Father Right, and Billy Right had begun trimming the tree. The entire Right family sang carols as they finished decorating. Then they left all the presents arranged under the tree and went to bed, hoping they had selected the right gifts for their family.
Now I hope you have the right present for yourself, because that’s all that’s left of our story… except to wish you a merry Christmas… isn’t that right?