Our friends, the Allenses, once again hosted the only Christmas party that matters. Things were a little disjointed this year due to the unfortunate passing of Jen's grandfather. But she and Ms. Robickle battled through long drives and little sleep to make sure they were there for the festivities.
With Jen's lack of sleep and my battling a cold, I wasn't expecting much drama. Certainly nothing like two years ago when I had made such a spectacular ass of myself while trying to liquify my brain. But despite very little alcohol intake, I still managed to let myself down.
The Secret Santa gift exchange is a staple of the Allenses Christmas Party. Much time and stress is invested in the selection of your $10 gift. Everyone piles their gifts under the tree and a random draw determines the order of gift selection. The twist (and drama) comes from the tradition of "stealing" gifts. I've had my issues with this feature in the past. The thing is, when you get something really cool, people are gunning for you. There had been confusion on the parameters of when and what you could steal in previous years so the rules were reviewed and reiterated and hammered home before the first gift was selected.
And I still fucked it up.
I kicked off the stealing by grabbing a Jim Beam barbecue set that Judy had already selected. I was pretty sure that wasn't going to remain in my possession for long. But when I lost the wireless indoor/outdoor thermometer, I got a little ticked off. I looked around the room and grabbed the coolest thing that first came into view. One of the "volleyball" friends had just stolen a skull shaped shot glass which lead to my thermometer getting stolen so I just stole the shot glass. And that was wrong. We weren't supposed to be stealing the same gift in the same round it was originally stolen.
I realized my mistake later. I felt shame. When all the gift selections and stealing were done. I approached the volleyball group and admitted my transgression. The person I had stolen from accused me of just wanting the gift that she had replaced the shot glass with. My apologies were accepted but you could tell suspicions remained. I probably ruined any chance of building a bridge between the volleyball friends and the Deere friends. Ah well, I guess I don't have to bother trying to remember their names anymore.
Aside from that, it was still good times. People are there that I only see on that one day of the year. We didn't stay long and their certainly wasn't any 4 a.m. euchre game but the Allenses Christmas Party is still a highlight of the holiday season. Thanks again guys!