Santa, a Bottle of Seagrams, and a Swedish Massage

Last night I went to a Christmas party with other members of my unit.  I didn't really want to go, but earlier I was talked into dressing up as Santa and handing out some presents to the kids.  After that, I was obligated.  No backing out.

So I got there, visited with folks, ate some of the pot-luck stuff that was there, and then it was time for me to suit up.  I went upstairs and put on the Santa outfit, and then came back down bellowing "HO HO HO, MERRY CHRISTMAS" in my best Santa voice.  I was instantly swarmed by kids as I made my way to the chair by the tree, where each kid had a present with his or her name on it.  All the parents were there with their cameras.

So I was sitting there with a long line of kids, listening to them tell me what they wanted for Christmas, when a girl of about seven walked up to me.  She stood in front of me with her arms crossed, narrowed her eyes and very suspiciously asked "so are you the real Santa?"  I told her I had my sleigh parked on the roof.  That's all it took.  Her eyes got wide, and she immediately told me everything she wanted for Christmas, and promised that she had been good all year.  It was pretty funny.

After I visited with each kid, and all the parents were done taking pictures, I went back upstairs and ditched the Santa suit and came back down.  That's when they said it was time to play a little game with some gifts.  As everyone arrived at the party, they were all handed a numbered ticket for some door prizes.  There were roughly 50 people there, and about 15 wrapped gifts.  I was told the game we were playing was called dirty Santa.  I had never heard of this before, but I figured out the rules pretty quick.  If your number is called, you are handed a gift.  You open it in front of everyone so everyone sees what it is.  The next person whose number is called can either get the next gift, or trade with you for your gift,  The catch is you have to decide on the trade BEFORE you open the gift.

So after about seven or eight gifts were handed out (and a few trades were made), they called my number.  They held up a small package about the size of an envelope, wrapped up like a gift.  They asked if I wanted to trade for anything.  Among the choices were a portable DVD player, a fake mustache, and a digital bank.  I opted for the unopened gift.

When I unwrapped it, I discovered it was indeed an envelope, but inside I found a gift card.  It was for a one hour massage at a Swedish day spa.  Bingo.  One of the guys in my unit told me that if his number was called, he would trade his gift for mine.  I crossed my fingers and hoped his number wasn't called.  But of course, it was the very next one.  They handed him an unopened gift, and he said "I want the Swedish massage!"  So I held it out to him, and he hesitated, then at the last second changed his mind and opened the gift he had in his hands.  It was a pair of pink slippers.  He was crushed, but took it well.

So I was safe for the time being.  There were a few gifts left.  By now, there were other gifts up for grabs - a snow board (or maybe it was a boogie board), a fifty dollar gift card, a set of fake antlers (the type you wear on your head after a few too many dips into the egg-nog), and an indoor Nerf basketball set.  On the very last gift, they called the number of a young lieutenant.  She didn't even look at the last gift.  She turned to me and said "I want your Swedish massage."  Reluctantly, I handed it over and took the last gift.  It turned out to be a bottle of Seagram's Seven.  Jackpot.  It was the last gift, no more trades.  I scored the best gift and was safe from the vultures.  I'm saving it for Christmas Eve.  And I will be merry.

Have a great weekend, fellow bloggers!

Uploaded 12/17/2011
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