Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Pollyanna: A Time for Sanctioned Family War

The editr in his Pollyanna finery.
Family members examine Leah's (right) family Christmas book.
The boys and our Pollyanna vests.
Gloria Swann photographs, Parker,Weiss, Joan Beverly and John Swann, her hubby.
Hunter Swann (standing) takes one of Gloria's goodies.
Herb Edwards hides behind a metal flower I really wanted, but didn't get.
Bea Clements loved this snowman, but lost it.

John and Glo with the Foreman grill, which John traded for finally.
I had the flower for a while and it went with my hat. Sigh.

Bea looked sweet, played like a ruthless veteran.
Gloria must have opened half the gifts. This one left her quickly.
Paul and his dad, Chip Clements examine Leah's book.
Chrissie and her dad, Herb Edwards enjoy a moment.
Future model Parker and her mama Joan.
Gorgeous sisters Glo and Leah.
Herb shows off his Scarface towel.
John and I all pretty in our lovely finery.
Paul sneaks up on the dwindling gifts.
Me as Santa-Dorf
I got introduced to the Pollyanna last night and it had nothing to the innocent little girl of literarary note. This is a Christmas season game that features all the human emotions of modern Christmas: greed, competition, corruption and fierce ruthlessness. Ah, Christmas.

The idea of the game is to place a bunch of wrapped gifts in the middle of the floor--one per player--and draw numbers so that each person can pick a gift. Contestants can select a gift from the pile or from another player and that's where it gets tricky. If you really, really, really want one gift, you go after it. Sometimes players (kind of off the books) team up to get a specific gift. Some are so stubborn that they piss everybody else off.

At the end of the evening, everybody's face hurts from laughing. I was the rookie last night, so I wound up with the two "Tipsy Wine Glasses", glasses with bent stems that nobody--especially a recovering drunk like me--wanted. I had my shot at several of the best gifts (a great metal sunflower, a hummingbird feeder, a George Foreman grill, a snow sled), but tried to be nice and lost them all. Next year, I will not be a rookie. Next year, I will wear the eye of the tiger.

I was surprised at the fierceness of the competition, especially from players like Sis, who was wild-eyed and obsessed, and Bea, a woman whose inside and outside don't always match. She can be fierce and gorgeous at the same time. She plays the game. She wound up with what she wanted. And more. Same for John Swann. The guy can play the game and if he doesn't get what he wants while it's going on, he trades for it after the game's over. He can do that. It's his house.

Fun? Yep. Nervewracking. Sure. Wanna do it again? You bet. How about tonight? I'm not a damn rookie any more.


  1. ...and a good time was had by all. What a great story, captioned by fantastic photos. Thank you for sharing, Dan. Merry Christmas.

  2. And exactly how do the frightening vests fit in to the game?? :)


  3. Rob: The vests are worn in honor of the father of John Swann, whose house this was held in. His father wore these vests when he was alive. Very flamboyant man, I understand.