Wednesday, 22 December 2010

On a Winning Streak

Two weeks ago, I had two Christmassy get-togethers one after the other.

On the Friday night, we had our annual Christmas dinner at work.
As I have been working for this company for 8 1/2 years now, I have witnessed the establishing of some traditions, my favourite of which is playing Bingo for the presents.

This is how it works:
Our bosses get Christmas presents sent from business partners, manufacturers and customers, and all those presents are collected in an extra room. At the Christmas party, we play Bingo; who has "BINGO" first, gets No. 1, the next one No. 2 and so on. A week later, we are all called into the extra room where all the presents are, and No. 1 has the choice of ALL presents, followed by No. 2 and so on; so, you can imagine the choice is not so great if you happen to have Bingo quite late in the game.
I came 28th (of 30!) and so I already knew that I wasn't going to get anything "great" - which is perfectly alright because this bingo game with all my colleagues is so much fun, the outcome doesn't really matter (there were still 3 presents to choose from when it was my turn, and I went for a rather big box of traditional German Christmas cookies called "Aachener Printen").
The following day, Saturday, I got everything ready for an evening with a group of friends, one of which came all the way from Hamburg (this is the other end of Germany from where I live - about 800 km, I think) just so that she could join the rest of us. She was to spend the night at my place, so I got the spare room ready for her.
I made pizza, my friends brought salad and drinks and chocolates, and after we'd finished eating, we played what we call "Schrottwichteln":
Everyone brings a nicely wrapped present - it is supposed to be something that you have been given yourself, but do not need, want or like, but can't really just throw away (imagine the horrid vase you had 5 years ago for your birthday from Auntie So-and-So? You get the idea, I guess!). So, yes, it is not supposed to be a nice present but something everybody can have a good laugh about.

Everyone places their own parcel in front of themselves, and then the dice come out.
With throwing the dices clock-wise, the presents are given to the person sitting next to you clock-wise as well. If someone throws a match, direction is changed. If someone throws a double six, they can swap parcel with someone else.
The whole thing is timed for, say, 10 minutes.
When the time is up, everyone should have a different parcel in front of them - not their own. So you have no idea what you are going to get, but you know who is going to get your "special" present :-)
The unwrapping begins, accompanied by lots of laughter and funny faces, and of course you have to tell the others the history of this particular present.

What I did with the present I received - a cheese platter, so actually not that bad a present at all - I sat on it accidentally... and I am sorry to report that it did not withstand 57 kg :-D
It was a great evening with my friends, and I felt on a Winning Streak; I think you understand why, don't you!


  1. Love these pictures and the descriptions of your Christmas parties. Too bad about the cheese plate; it was really a nice gift.

  2. Thank you, Jill! Ah, it didn't really matter. That's one cheese plate less in the world, and whoever originally gave it to my friend will never know what happened :-)

  3. Interesting going back to some of your old posts and learning bits more about you and your life.

    1. I am glad someone does, Graham! You know, every now and then, I go back to old posts of mine and marvel at all the things I have already put here. Sometimes I even think, "wow! did I really write that?", and funnily enough, it was during my worst times that I wrote my best bits.