Christmas Eve Gift!!! If you're reading this, you have been "got"!!!
One more tradition before I tuck traditions away for 2007. This on came from my late husband's family, but no one really knew the story of the origin. I asked several of the older generation, and they just didn't know. Here's how it works.....
On Christmas Eve, everyone in the family tried to "catch" the others. It could be in person or a phone call, and it was a lot more fun before caller ID became standard on our phones. When you talked to someone for the first time on Christmas Eve, anytime during the day, you had to be the first one to say ... or usually shout ... "Christmas Eve Gift!!" If you were first, if you"got" the other person, they owed you a gift!
We used to lurk around corners in the house and jump out to shout "Christmas Eve Gift!" We listened carefully for the early morning sounds in order to spring on the other and be first. In fact, we've been known to wake someone up, wait a few seconds, the "get" them before they realized the date. I know ... cheezy way to win, but it worked! We would try to call a relative and yell "Christmas Eve Gift" before they realized who was on the phone. My husband even went so far as to call some relatives shortly after midnight on Christmas Eve, usually waking them up, just to win at the game.
With the advent of caller ID, we began blocking our number when the calls were placed. This worked a time or two, but after "hello" there was usually a fairly simultaneous "Christmas Eve Gift" at both ends of the line, followed by gales of laughter and an argument about who was first.
Then I got smart and started answering the phone by saying "Christmas Eve Gift," getting ahead of some of the family members, but also having to explain this to a lot of startled others who were calling. Most of them took it with laughter.
The game actually lost it's punch after caller ID came about, but Glenn never gave up trying. And since he passed on, most of the family has let the tradition slide away. The strongest competition was between Glenn and his Uncle (also a) Glenn who passed away about 1990, and it was losing momentum from then on. It was fun in it's hey-day, but one of those traditions that I'm just as happy to put to rest because it didn't adapt well to the advances of technology. I'll bet it was a lot of fun when the whole family lived in the same town, close enough to walk to each other's homes and spring a surprise. It's a relic now.
BTW, those gifts were never forthcoming. The fun was in the game, learning to be cunning and quick. However, if you have read this, you owe me! LOL!!