Traditional Holiday Book Club Gift Exchange Party

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We even wrapped them!

Our book club had a Christmas party. And confession: neither Leah nor I read the book. It was The Which Way Tree, by Elizabeth Crook. From reading the back, and from what I heard, it’s a retelling of Moby Dick in the Western style, with a woman trying to track down and kill a panther that’s terrorizing her family. Is it good? Let’s assume so. And apologies Ms. Crook!

Now moving on, the party was a blast! Our friend Katie hosted, and she lives in a house built in the early 1800’s. What’s really neat is that it’s been in her family for quite some time, so the house is chock full of all sorts of antiques and knickknacks, the latter which includes gigantic accordion cameras, paintings and pottery of all sorts, tin figurines, animal bones, fossils, and ceramic stoves that supply all the heat. At one time the house was a boarding school, and Katie claims that it’s haunted. Truly, it’s like going to a homestead, and Katie made a terrific meal with herbed chicken and a type of fancy custard dessert that I’d never had before.

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Our Christmas crowns

Katie’s family has a tradition, borrowed from England, of pulling holiday poppers. They’re rolled pieces of paper with a firecracker inside, a paper crown, a joke, and a small prize. Leah got a rattle, and I got a miniature deck of cards, and nothing says “the holidays” like a little indoor gunpowder smell. Then we did out Secret Santa gift exchange, and all the gifts were very apt for the receiving person. For example, I got a framed Stephen King poster, and Leah got llama socks and a vegetable-focused Farmer’s Almanac. But the “winner” of the night was a Comfy, which I guess you could describe as an insulated hoodie that goes down to the knees—it’s ridiculous and looks super warm.

Next time Leah and I will make sure to read the book! Hopefully! Hope early gift exchanges go well for everyone, and may you all get Snuggies, Comfys, or whatever other warm product is this year “replacing” the blanket!

–Jeff and Leah

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Does anyone else do Christmas poppers?

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