Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dinner and Gifts

Last night we attended the Christmas gathering of our small group. [Is "small group" Christianese? I think it probably is.] *REVISION* Andy and I meet weekly with a group of people from our church, all right about our age, to study the Bible and worship God together. Last night we all met for a Christmas celebration. (Better?) We did a progressive dinner, which I had never done. It was a lot of fun! We went to four different houses for appetizers, salad, dinner, and dessert, respectively. We brought Elise with us, and she really did quite well considering how late it was (we didn't get home until 10:00) and how much running around we did. She had her moments, but for the most part she seemed to just enjoy all of the attention that was lavished on her by our friends.

At the last house, we had dessert and coffee (which is, in my mind, pretty much always a good way to end an evening) and exchanged gifts. Each couple brought one "real" gift and one white elephant gift, and we drew numbers to determine who got to choose a gift first, typical white elephant style. If someone else had a gift that you particularly wanted, you could steal it from them rather than choosing from the pile of wrapped gifts. I chose number one, and we were playing by the rules that said number one got to go first AND last, so I chose a gift from the pile - an amazingly hideous pair of sweater socks - and then at the end, after everyone else had their gifts, I "stole" the prize gift - a soft, heavy fleece blanket - from someone else, leaving him with the women's sweater socks...which he had brought in the first place. Poor guy. Andy suggested that we already have too many blankets as it is, but I was not about to go home with the sweater socks. I love socks, but these

Towards the end of the gift exchange, we noticed that there was one too many gifts. Everyone denied bringing an extra gift, so we were bewildered. At the end of the exchange, we decided that the poor guy who was stuck with the sweater socks should also get the mystery gift. As he was opening it and we were all trying to figure out where it came from, one woman suddenly yelled, "JOEL!" (her husband). Joel broke out into a huge grin and just looked back at her. She had figured it out. Joel had slipped the extra gift in. It was this book. We all had a good laugh, and I think Joel's poor wife was thoroughly embarrassed.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening. Really, I can say that about this entire month. This has been a very enjoyable Christmas season. The mix of family, friends, activities, and rest has been just right. I hope the same is true for you.

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