Saturday, December 11, 2004


I have discovered a new way to exchange presents at parties. Last night, I went to the first of Christmas parties at a friend's place. She and her fiance have a fabulous apartment in River Valley and we had popiah and kwey pie ti and Penang laksa for dinner, and helped the hosts decide which wine they should have for their wedding, and finished off with homemade Christmas cake. After a rousing rendition of Christmas carols, where everyone butchered 'The First Noel' and 'Feliz Navidad', we did the exchange presents thing. Everyone had been instructed to bring a gift of not more than $20, which we put under the Christmas tree the moment we stepped in.

I've always done the gift exchange thing with other friends the democratic way, i.e. we draw lots and when it comes to our turn, stick our hands down a bag and grab something. But this was different. We still draw lots to see who goes first and last. But the present you pick may not end up being the present you go home with.

Rule #1. The moment you pick a present, you have to open it immediately and let everyone have a good look at it.
Rule #2. The person who goes after you can choose to take your present or open a new one. And, no, whatever you say about how much you luuuurve your present and how the spirit of Christmas is all about lurve and caring and sharing, it's not going to help you keep your present.
Rule #3. You can only snatch people's presents which have been opened before your turn.
Rule #4. If your present has been snatched, you can either open a new one, or snatch someone else's present.
Rule #5. A present cannot be snatched more than twice.

In playing this game, I have learnt that, a) it's best to be last in this game, so you can practically pick your choice of presents and provide much torture , b) it's best to have brought a date for the dinner party, as you can collude with your partner-in-crime for getting the object of your desire, and c) it pays to keep very quiet once you get your present and try not to draw any attention to it. Don't try to be tricky and say things like, "Oh, it's lousy, you wouldn't like it." It only makes someone else want it more.

There were some choice presents at last night's party. The hot items were a Country Road wine-opener, a sterling silver Royal Selangor box, a Timberland bag and a green jewellery box. I came away from the game with the present I picked out, although it actually got snatched from me. But after the game, I managed to do a mutual swop with the person who snatched it from me (I had an item she wanted).

I went home very happy with my porcelain 'piggy' bank, only it's not actually in the shape of a pig, but a cow wearing jeans, specifically cow boy jeans. I have decided to call it The Cash Cow.


cour marly said...

This sounds like way too much fun for a Christmas party!!

FF said...

What pressie did you buy?

Cowboy Caleb said...

this sounds like a very good idea!

JellyGirl said...

FF: I brought some tealight holders from Crate & Barrel.

Woof! said...

Ours is slighty less interesting.. we pre-picked our recipient, and will exchange it on Xmas eve..

Haven't / won't have time to do much Xmas shopping, so it's time to dig up "just in case" presents from my top cupboard.. in fact, I bought tons of those from Crate & Barrel when I was up in SF in May..