Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Fun with relatives

In the early 1980s as more grandchildren came along and my parents went through a tough time after my Dad’s serious illness, we cut back on gifts. We began choosing names. Also, we started playing the “dice game.”

Each person was to bring several gifts valued at about $1.00 each and wrapped in newspaper. They were all dumped into a pile and if you shook doubles, seven, or eleven with the dice, you got to take a wrapped prize. When they were all gone, you unwrapped them, picked out 2-3 to save and put the rest in front of you. Then the dice went around again for about 15 minutes. Doubles, seven, or eleven meant you got to “steal” an unprotected gift from someone else. Certain gifts kept getting “taken” by others. Grandma Gert (Cook) Hanley always looked forward to this game. There were always a few “special gifts.” No one really wanted
them but would actually take them to rewrap them very specially for the next year and someone else would win them. Now the great grandchildren beg to play this game and we will do so at a family brunch the day after Christmas. They think the gag gifts are hilarious but also enjoy the packs of gum, candy bars, popcorn and other things they get to win. Once in a while a package held a $5.00 bill and that caused an uproar. Some of us obtain special gifts all year long to make this game more fun.

We also played this game with my children’s paternal grandparents and the rest of that side of the family. One year Grandaunt Kay Rowan put an old girdle in the dice game. It was complete with garters and that reappeared for several years. I remember my brother-in-law modeling that one year.

Christmas memories are special. I hope we have built them so that my grandchildren remember.

© 2010 – 2014, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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