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Christmas After-Action Report

I went to see my siblings, nieces & nephews, and ILORs (my sister-in-laws family, or In-Laws Once Removed) on Christmas Day. As usual, I had a wonderful time. It's always great to see my family, and it was especially nice this year. My sister had to miss thanksgiving because of her ill-health. It was heartening to see her well enough to make it to Christmas, and it was also heartening just to see her.

She is a wonderful sister. This year she did the shopping for my my niece and nephew and let me reimburse her. She got them nice gifts too.

We all gathered at the home of Franklin and Eleanor, my sister-in-laws parents. Christmas dinner was delightful. Franklin and Eleanor are not traditionally religious, but we always have some kind of blessing-like ritual before Christmas dinner. This time Eleanor asked everyone to close their eyes and think of someone less fortunate than us.

I indulged myself a little and asked if I could share my favorite Warren G. Harding quote, and everyone decided to humor me. The quote is "I want him to have Christmas dinner with his wife", which is what he said upon pardoning Eugene Debs. It seemed appropriate for the occasion and season.

We had roast chicken, salmon, and various vegetables including brussel sprouts. I usually hate brussel sprouts, but  Eleanor has the ability to cook them in a way that I actually like. I consider this to be a super power.

I spent the night, as I usually do. My sister-in-law went out shopping the next day, using the gift card I got her for Christmas. When she got back she said "Do you want to see what you got me for Christmas?". She showed me a number of clothing items she'd gotten from Marshalls. I'm sure I would have screwed up the sizes or colors or something if I had tried to buy them myself.

Later on boxing day, we played a word game my sister suggested. Everybody wrote down 10 words on slips of paper and put them into the bag. Then, people took turns drawing out 5 words and putting them in some order of importance to them. Everyone else was told what the words were and had to guess the order. It wasn't a competitive game...the goal was for everyone to come to a consensus and see how accurate it was.

I know the description above makes the game sound really boring. It sounded boring when my sister told us about it, and I played it just to be a good sport. But it ended up being a lot of fun. Part of it was learning about each other, and learning how much we understood each other. And watching the process of the consensus forming was quite interesting. Most of the time, people reached quick agreement on what the first and last words in the order were, and this consensus was usually correct. The rest were harder.

My sister did not know the name of this game, and searching around on the net for word games has not been very helpful. Maybe somebody out there in blogland knows and can tell me. If not, I guess my next stop is yahoo answers.