Merry Christmas Eve Gift

“Merry Christmas Eve Gift! I got you first! Now you owe me a gift!”

Annette Torre fondly remembers this festive family tradition dating back to at least her mother’s childhood — a holiday-themed variant of the classic game of tag.

My mother was born in a family of 16 kids — huge family, lived on a farm. And their big thing was to have Christmas Eve gifts. So when we were small, Mom surprised us when we got older — and I say older, three or four — and she would wake us up at midnight and Christmas Eve gift us. And she told us that meant we had to give her a gift. Well, we had to go buy gifts, of course.

As we got older, we learned how it worked, and she couldn’t get us quite so easily as we got in our teens. And we used to get her. Now the big prize was a candy bar. Who wouldn’t like a candy bar? That was the big prize. The fun was trying to get the other person first.

You had to say their name, had to say “Merry Christmas Eve gift,” and had to touch on the arm so that that person knew they were got. That is our tradition. And we did it up until the time my mother passed in 2015. It is a fun memory of every Christmas we’ve ever had.

Happy Holidays!

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