This is really about Thanksgiving, but when I was a kid, the night before my aunt and uncle and their kids (who were like little brothers to me) would come over to chop up stuff for the dressing and other dishes. A few years ago my sister and her husband, along with Dean and I, started carrying on the tradition. We haven't done it for a couple of years now, and I sure do miss it! There was always a lot of silliness involved, and the chopping got done REALLY FAST because we'd have races. (Disclaimer: for the safety of your fingers, having races to see who can chop up stuff the fastest is not recommended!) My sister's signature dish is Brandied Sweet Potatoes, and...well...there was always a consequence for loosing a race.
At Christmas, my family does a gift game. Notice I did not say "exchange", but "game". We used to exchange names, but it always put pressure on some who maybe couldn't afford it that year, but didn't know that a whole month before when we drew names at Thanksgiving. Besides, there was that year every single person drew my sister's name.....
Anyway, each of the men bring a male gift, and each of the women bring a female gift. If someone can't afford it that year, they just don't bring a gift. So... Lets take the women. We put our wrapped gifts in the center of the room. Then we send around a pie tin with a pair of dice. If you roll doubles, you can pick a gift from the pile. If you already have a gift, and you roll doubles again, you can trade with someone else. Remember...we don't know what's in the box yet. We keep going until everyone has a gift, which only takes about 5 minutes.
Then the REAL fun begins! First, we open the gifts. Now that we can see what each other is holding, we set a timer for 7 minutes. The dice travel around the circle, and if you roll doubles you can make a forced trade with someone else. There always seems to be one coveted gift that everyone wants. We have a lot of fun with this game. No...really... we do! Once we're all done, we repeat the process for the guys. (which ends up sounding a lot like men watching a football game!)
So, what's your favorite holiday tradition?