About the regular evenings with my friends I have written before; several years ago, we have started to have the December meeting at one of our houses instead of going to a restaurant, and make it an evening with games. The most important game of that particular evening is the swapping of trash gifts. Yes, you read that right: trash gifts.
Think of the numerous things everyone has at their home: the especially ugly vase given to you by Aunt Hilda for your wedding; the well-meant but never needed hot water bottle (your fifth one already); the vintage item you discovered at the jumble sale and thought you really had to have at the time; the decorative object that is so totally NOT your style but somehow never found its way into the bin... you get the idea, don't you? (I am sure Frances could come up with a list of scented candles, bath salts, diaries and lots more!)
Everyone chooses one of those things (it has to be clean and intact, no real rubbish) and wraps it up nicely as a Christmas present to bring along to the December meeting.
Once we're all settled and have had something to eat and drink, the fun begins:
Each of us places their own parcel in front of them on the table. A timer is set (10 minutes is plenty), and dice are thrown. The numbers rolled don't matter; with each rolling, the parcels are moved one place further on around the table, clockwise. When someone rolls a double, the rotation changes to anti-clockwise. When a double of six is rolled, the person whose turn it was gets to choose who to exchange their current parcel with. Of course nobody wants to end up with their own parcel, and you won't believe how hysterical we all get as the 10 minutes are drawing to a close, with everyone trying to move the parcels as quickly as possible!
Then the parcels are opened, and usually, much mirth ensues. Often, the "gifts" really ARE so ugly and/or useless the recipient is not going to keep it. But every time we play this, there is at least one of us who is really happy about what they find in their parcel. (I have just realised that I have already described the game here and here - the gift I ended up with in 2011 went to one of my Mum's friends, who truly loves it!)
|Everything you need for Toast Hawaii.|
|The untoasted bread is buttered (or marged), the ham goes on it, then a slice of pineapple, and the hole is filled with ketchup.|
|One slice of cheese on top of each toast, and they go into the oven.|
|I never set a timer for these but simply take them out as soon as the cheese is melting, after an estimated 10 minutes.|
The same food as last year - Toast Hawaii - was on the menue this time. There were only five of us, but as you can see, that did not diminuish the fun :-)
|Only five sets to prepare this year, and no Pukky to hang around the kitchen while I was making the toast :-(|
|The parcels waiting for us while we eat.|
|A vintage set for coffee and sugar! I really love it, this is no "trash" for me!|
|Two tiny snowglobes. Not sure yet what I'll do with them.|
|A game of Memory was played afterwards.|