Every family has holiday traditions. In my late husband’s family, Christmas morning brings about the happy game of Christmas Gift.
The object of the game is to see who can say “Christmas Gift” first when encountering another person, family or not. Of course these encounters were always face-to-face originally, but the game evolved with the times and now includes the phone, Facebook, email, and texting.
It is especially fun to play with little children, who squeal with delight when they manage to sneak up on someone and holler “Christmas Gift” first.
A family tradition of old
“Christmas Gift” started well over 100 years ago in my mother-in-law’s family.
Christmas celebrations in the late 19th century at Gale Hill, the family home place of the MINOR family in Albemarle County, Virginia included the Christmas Gift game and more.
When my in-laws married in the 1950’s, my mother-in-law kept the tradition going and it spread to my father-in-law’s family, too. The game continues as the years go by, each generation passing the fun along to the next, delighting in the friendly competition and the smiles and laughter it brings.
The game continues on
I can still hear my in-laws saying “Christmas Gift” to ‘the little girls’, their four granddaughters, and encouraging them to say it back. It wasn’t long before the granddaughters caught on. They quickly took to hiding around corners and lurking under tables in their attempts to say “Christmas Gift” first.
Those ‘little girls’, my now twenty-something daughters and nieces, still enjoy competing to be the first to say “Christmas Gift” to whoever they encounter on Christmas Day.
Years from now, I will be saying “Christmas Gift” to my grandchildren of the future and encouraging them to say it back. And when they ask why we say “Christmas Gift” I’ll tell them about Christmas celebrations at Gale Hill.
What about you?
What Christmas traditions do you and your family enjoy? Please share in a comment.
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