Sunday, December 4, 2011

Letters to Santa and our Yankee Swap

    Letters to Santa were always a big deal in our house.  We got the sales papers from the toy stores, and the sporting goods stores, and the electronic stores and looked for the best gift ideas.  Since we exchanged gifts with all the immediate relatives, we needed to provide a long list of hints.  I was always nervous about last minute additions to Matt's list which was kept on the refrigerator.  A friend of mine who had older kids,  told me to calm down and just try to enjoy it all.   She reminded me that Santa would bring what Santa would bring, and kids should be allowed to add to their lists until they went upstairs to bed on Christmas Eve.  It didn't matter that things like computers, and printers and cell phones were added at the last minute.  As a mom,  I loved to see my kid's eyes pop out of his head  when he got the gift he had wanted the most.  As he got older,  the quantity of gifts were smaller, because the gifts were bigger and more expensive.  I grew up one of four kids, and we could barely get into the living room on Christmas day.  I always liked having lots of stuff under the tree, so that was a big adjustment for me.
   My siblings and our families celebrate Christmas Eve together, and we total fifteen people before we add friends and cousins.  When the kids were younger, the room was filled with gifts, and that would make me happy!  Today, all kids in college or younger get gifts from everyone.   The rest of us participate in a Yankee Swap.  It makes life easy for the twenty somethings who don't know until the last minute if they can stay for dinner and gifts.  Everyone who brings a gift, goes home with a gift.  We determine a reasonable amount, and then all stick within that price range.   We each buy an item that we would like for ourselves, which means  there are the correct number of gifts for guys and gals.  We draw numbers, and then go in order.  Our game allows us to open a gift and swap with someone else who must take your item.  The higher your number, the more options are available.  Number one gets to go back and swap from all the gifts.  Side deals tend to happen after the game,  while we are having dessert.  After all, you may not be able to get on a plane with a shop vac! 
  Consider a Yankee Swap this year.  It cuts down on shopping, and you can even decide to swap yard sale items that cost nothing.  Be prepared, because it doe take some time, but it's a lot of fun when the right person winds up with the wrong gift....and the beat goes on....the beat goes on......

No comments:

Post a Comment