It’s been a week of potlucks. Christmas is so busy, but never as busy as the week leading up to Christmas Day. I was semi in charge of putting together three of the four potlucks this week. It was a chance to fellowship with the small groups I am a part of in our church. I told my daughter, “Why is it I plan potlucks when I don’t even like to cook?” She just laughed.
Despite some anxiety about being the “hostess” at these potlucks, I absolutely LOVE the fellowship, especially with my church family. Our social gatherings are always centred around our Saviour and remembering Him and all He did for us. It is that tie that binds us so closely together!
Whenever we gather for fellowship with church family at Christmas, there is always much laughter and activities that have become almost traditional to do each year. Our Sunday School class (Connection Group) looks forward to our yearly “White Elephant Gift” exchange. I’ve included the rules here for those of you who would like to try it this or next year. Here are some other activities as well: How Well Do You Know the Christmas Story and Christmas Carol Quiz.
WHITE ELEPHANT Gift – an item you no longer need or want…unusual, or indescribably tacky is best…
DO NOT SPEND MONEY on it! All gifts should be wrapped. Do not mark your gift with your name and don’t indicate whether it’s intended for a male, or a female.
Game Basics: Decide who will go first…oldest to youngest or vice versa…or draw names or numbers, or whose birthday is closest to Christmas etc.
The game consists of ‘rounds’ where gifts can be stolen from other players.
Anyone who has a gift stolen from them may then steal from another or open a new gift.
The Rules of ‘Stealing’:
Each gift can only be stolen three times. Once that gift has been stolen three times it is no longer in play and whoever has it in their possession keeps it.
When a player is trying to decide what to take, hold your gift so that it can be seen. (Hiding gifts is not allowed.)
Rounds continue until all gifts have been opened and/or stolen and all players have a gift.
Hints and Strategy:
Gifts usually fall into one of two categories: ‘duds’ and ‘desired’. If you are unfortunate and open a ‘dud’, it will probably be yours for the rest of the evening. Our sympathies will be with you.
The ‘desired’ gifts will be obvious. They will be the ones that everyone tries to steal. (There is no accounting for taste with some people).
You should consider stealing a desired gift even if it’s of no interest to you. The chance that it will be stolen from you is what can keep you in the game and allow you to continue to choose.
Do not choose your own gift thinking that someone will steal it from you… You may go home with it!
It is MORE FUN if there is a lot of stealing! I know it breaks about 2 or 3 of the 10 Commandments (at least) but it’s just a game… repent, if you must, afterwards.