There are those of us who like to use emotional pressure to make everyone keep on doing the same thing. We hate change, and once something awesome has happened once, we demand it every single year.
We call it tradition, and Christmas is our kingdom.
There are so many Christmas traditions that I love, like how we always eat fondue on Christmas Eve, or how we like to change the tunes of Christmas carols (did you know you could sing them all to the tune of “The House of the Rising Sun”?), or how my mom always gives us library books… that we have to return after Christmas.
But one of my favorite traditions is a newer one, only about six years old. On Christmas Eve (or in this case, the Saturday before Christmas, because now we all have crazy schedules), my group of close high school friends has a White Elephant gift exchange… at 8am at Bob Evans. Everyone told us that we wouldn’t stay close after graduating, but I can honestly say that these are still some of my favorite people and I love getting to come together every year, catch up, and welcome new people into our group.
Plus, who doesn’t love White Elephant gift exchanges? In the past years, some of the best gifts included the life size Orlando Bloom Legolas cut-out, the dancing N’Sync puppet, the book of Conversational Klingon, Elevated Friend Status, and a giant lump of actual coal.
Don’t be confused — this is a serious gift exchange. Before we got out of the car, I might have given James the rundown on how to win (and yes, there are winners and losers in White Elephant, anyone who thinks otherwise hasn’t gotten stuck with the half empty container of marshmallows). Always go for Jordan’s gift, though Shannon’s is often edible and delicious, and Rachel’s is usually entertaining for all. This year boasted some fantastic gifts including lots of silly string, favors from a wedding that was several years ago, a book of awkward family photos, a nerf gun, and a tic-tac-toe kit. And after the paper settled over our breakfast dishes, I am pleased to announce that we walked away with a second year of Elevated Friend Status and a box of floppy disks. Wegmanns for the win.
What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions, be they sacred, ceremonious, or ridiculous? I love them all.