Tear Jerking Christmas Gifts

(Above you see Ellie playing with her gender neutral Christmas presents)

For the second year, my extended family decided to limit the holiday havoc and stress caused by purchasing gifts for every member of the family, and instead take part in a Yankee Gift Swap.  In case you are not familiar with what that is, this is the definition according to a friendly little site called Giftypedia

The Yankee Gift Swap, alias Dirty Santa, Yankee Doodle, and Chinese Auction, is a gifting game where the participants choose gifts not knowing who the gift is from with the option of trading them for a gift they like better. There are multiple variations of the game and the number participating can be as few as six to as many as you like.

Challenge one was getting an accurate headcount…I think we ended up with 19 gifts and 18 people, a mystery that was never unraveled, but we dove into the fun anyway.

I drew number 8.  Lucky number 8.  Seven people before me, selected and opened a variety of gifts.  I perused the already selected gifts, taking a long hard look at my options.  I pondered whether I should steal the box of brand new Tupperware, or the excellent set of 100 alphabet, number, and shape cookie cutters.  Or take a risk and choose a wrapped gift.

Instead of going for one of the safe options, I chose to roll the dice and grab an unknown wrapped gift.  I had seen my sister Mallory place a 3 part gift on the table, and I was very intrigued – despite the fact that out of all four of us, Mallory is the practical joker of the bunch.

It never occurred to me that I could be unknowing accomplice in perhaps another joke, even though she tormented me in my teens by repeatedly  hiding a rubber snake in various locations in my room, and running through the house squealing with delight when I discovered it and screamed.

As I picked up Mallory’s grab bag gift, I turned to look at her and she was ALREADY laughing so hard that she had tears running down her face.

I unwrapped the first package to find a lumbar back support.

The second package to find a Justin Bieber dental care set.

And the third package – wait for it…

A hand-held wand massager.

I honestly do not remember a time that I saw that many people laugh that hard, in unison.

Except for my grandmother…who looked a little confused.

Now, you might be wondering why I did not show a photo of said wand massager.

Well…Grandma was the one that had the great cookie cutters that I could use to make an endless variety of crafts and snacks with Ellie.  And I didn’t survive 3 years in a morning show control room without the skill of going after – and getting – what I want.

So…after the game was over, I asked Grandma very nicely if we could trade gifts…”because if not I was just going to go out and buy Ellie her own set of cookie cutters, which would be sad because there is this excellent set right here.”

And she said, “Oh sure, for my little Anabelle…no problem.”

Btw…she won’t call her Ellie.  I don’t quite understand why.  Actually, when she sends her cards, she put “Anabelle” in quotation marks, as if that is allegedly her name…but anyway…grandma got the wand massager and the Justin Bieber toothbrush set – I got the cookie cutters!

Hope your 2012 is off to a wonderful start!