A Christmas Story

Last year, a group of women from my church started getting together once a month at one of the minister’s houses for dinner. For Christmas, they organized an ornament exchange. They decided to do it Dirty Santa style.

For Dirty Santa, someone writes numbers on scraps of paper corresponding to how many people are playing. Each person is assigned a number. The person with the number 1 picks a present first. Sequentially, each person after that can choose a new gift to open, or they can steal someone else’s. In our version, after an ornament was stolen twice, it was frozen and nobody could steal it. If someone’s ornament was stolen, they could either open a new one or steal one that wasn’t frozen.


I sat by my best friend, and we were bantering back and forth. She was number three or four. I told her she should open mine.

She said, “I don’t trust you,” and she picked someone else’s off the table. She really liked it, but a few rounds later, it got stolen.

During the first several rounds, I noticed that everyone had gone for cute and creative ornaments. Nobody was going for funny. I became slightly nervous about mine.

“You should open mine,” I said. I was laughing and I couldn’t contain my giddiness.

She picked mine off the table and said, “I’m doing everyone a favor by doing this.” Then under her breath she said, “Is this going to end our friendship?”

I said, “Ummm. I sure hope not.”

She opened it, and she died laughing; her laugh is wonderful. It was a great moment for me.

“I LOVE it!” she said. And she continued to chortle.

What was it?

I’m glad you asked.

I found an ornament of the leg lamp from A Christmas Story on Amazon (you can get it here), and I thought it was hilarious. I had no idea if anyone else would find it humorous, but I didn’t care.

My friend absolutely loved it, and nobody stole it from her. I was pleased with the outcome.

I cannot believe she thought my ornament would end our friendship. She was obviously speaking in hyperbole, but she knows I always go for humor and she doesn’t trust me. Probably with good reason.

Overall, it was a wonderful night. I’ve grown to really enjoy communing with those women, and I’m coming out of my shell a bit.

I’ve almost always automatically said no to social gatherings, but after several successful outings, my new default response is saying yes.

It’s helped that I’ve finally found myself and my voice. I feel like I have something to offer when I’m in a group, and that has not always been the case. I feel like I have value in this group and like I belong.

It’s a good feeling.

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