In about a half hour we are off to one of the most fun parties ever. I belong to a local clergy group and almost a decade ago one of them decided it would be a good thing to throw an Epiphany party. A time for light laugher. A time for light fare. A time for light conversation (none of that heavy theological stuff we usually discuss). What better time than Epiphany. But, there is a twist, and a very clever fun one at that.
All of us, you included I’m sure, receive some gift or another that is, well, let’s just say not to our taste. It is one of those gifts that you give thanks for because someone thought of you and was gracious enough to give you a gift. But, it really doesn’t go with your décor, lifestyle, color scheme, or be put to any practical use that you can discern. In fact, you really don’t want to keep it, but being as how it was a gift you are hesitant to throw it away. And, so off to an obscure shelf it goes and maybe some many years down the path of life you’ll donate it to the thrift shop so someone else can enjoy it.
At our Epiphany party we have another solution to those gifts. We re-gift them to each other – anonymously of course. And, here’s where the fun begins. Each person brings a gift wrapped as a Christmas present and they are all stacked in the corner, wretchedly waiting to be re-adopted. After our potluck supper and a few sips of the grape, we all draw numbers. The number one person picks a gift and opens it. This is usually followed by howls of laughter particularly at the more obviously unattractive ones. The number two person then can either take the gift the number one person opened, or select another gift. The number three person can choose from either number one or number two’s gifts or open another gift. And so it goes for the evening and by the time we are finished our sides ache from all the belly laughing.
One year a really lovely (read rococo, ugly) Mary on the half-shell was opened. She was complete with painted ribbons and angels including one little cherub looking up her skirt. Only one person wanted Mary from the opener and everyone wondered why. As it turned out this gift was later put in a female clergy person’s church men’s room and it was not discovered for months. When it was discovered it reappeared in the back pew of another clergy person’s church. From there Mary circulated back and forth between various churches until it was finally presented to a clergy person leaving the mid-Atlantic for regions south. At last, the clergy sighed, that would be the last we would all see of Mary. Not, so. She recently reappeared in the church refrigerator of another clergy person, who, I am told has wrapped and shipped Mary, ribbons, angels and all somewhere into the netherworld!
Another year a box of elegant chocolates circulated among almost everyone because it was highly desirable. One year a really, really grotesque statue of some tribal chieftain was opened by the person holding number one. Guess what, nobody took it from him! I still have the micro-fiber throw I selected last year. I’d re-gift it but the rules say you can’t do that! But, I’m ready this year with two really bad pieces I have been given and, I have two more for next year! Let the fun begin.