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Happy Boxing Day!

The only thing about shopping for yourself is that you know what you're going to get in advance. I even knew about the laptop, as Mum told me about it before she and Dad bought it during Thanksgiving break and gave it to me as soon as they bought it. This, of course, meant that I hardly left my room after that.

They did wrap the laptop box for me because, well, I'm a little kid inside too, and I like unwrapping things just like everyone else. I even pretended to act surprised. It was great.

Since just about the entire family was in dire straits this year, the adults in the family decided to have a gift exchange, where everyone brings one gift and, well, we exchange them. Since Jeffrey and I are both at least eighteen, we both counted as adults, so we did this too. I did my deed; I went out and bought a gift (a pretty cool neck massager that I wouldn't mind getting back). Jeffrey, on the other hand, actually asked Mum for money to get a gift on Christmas Eve because he had already spent all his money (which, I should add, Mum gives him since he doesn't have a job). Mum said no. Instead, she had two new towels left that she was planning to give to Jeffrey and me (hey, I have to wash my own towels now; I'd like a break in between washing them). She told him to wrap them up and give them. He did.

Now, here's how the whole thing worked:

* Bring a gift valued at about $15 USD
* Everyone draws a number. (In this case, it was 1 through 12.)
* Number one opens a gift. Everyone oohs and aahs.
* Number two can either steal Number one's gift or open another gift.
* If Number two steals Number one's gift, Number one opens another gift.
* Numbers three through twelve have the same option: steal or open. If they choose to steal, the giftless person opens another gift.
* At the end, when everyone has a gift, Number one can steal from anyone they wish, so they can get anything they want. The end.

So clearly everyone wants to be Number one. We drew numbers (Brother!Mark and Rebecca hadn't shown up yet, so only ten of us drew numbers.)

I was number one.

I chose a green paper bag. Inside the bag was a wrapped package. I was about to open it when Brother!Mark, Rebecca, Alyssa, and Logan (the kids) came in. We gave the adults their numbers, and I started opening. The package contained a plain white box, which I opened to reveal something wrapped in blue tissue paper. I unwrapped that to find a small white envelope. I opened it and found a Bi-Lo gift card.

What a wonderful Christmas, I thought, but then I remembered that I could steal from anyone in the end. I wound up calling the toll-free number at some point to find out that it was a $10 gift card. Sure enough, Uncle Burford (Aunt Amy's husband--she died earlier this year) stole the gift card from me. I chose an envelope from the gift pile since after all, I could steal from anything in the end, so I may as well enjoy unwrapping stuff. I unwrapped a $20 Pizza Hut gift card. Cheryl's husband Mark stole it from me five seconds later. I finally decided to open my present. Grandmother stole it from me. I chose another gift and opened a gorgeous lamp that took a candle instead of a light bulb. Very cool.

In the meantime, Dad opened Grandmother's present. It was a shell-shaped bowl with a roll of toilet paper, some candy, and an envelope...at first sight. Dad looked at the envelope. Grandmother had written on there that the envelope contained a one-dollar silver certificate from 1957. Dad opened it. Sure enough, it did. Then Dad kept digging in the bowl to see what else was in there. Jeffrey saw Dad pull out the five-dollar bill, and we all knew what would happen next. It did. When it was Jeffrey's turn, he stole Dad's present, and Dad opened a magnetic light, but I can't remember who it was from. Nobody stole it.

Brother!Mark finally went (he was #11), and Jeffrey's towels were still there. After Mark decided not to steal a gift, Jeffrey and I convinced him to take Jeffrey's present, and he did. He opened the towels. We all laughed, but he didn't look disappointed. Finally Rebecca took the last gift (a label maker), and it was my turn to steal whatever I wanted.

I looked around. What did I want? I looked at the more interesting options. I could take my massager back, but to be honest, Grandmother could probably use it. The Pizza Hut card could be useful, but did I really want my output to be a night out for pizza? I don't have a TV (by choice, if you're wondering), so a DVD player would be pretty useless--besides, I can watch them on my computers anyway. The blender could be good, but the best milkshakes I've ever made have been by hand. Of course, I could put it aside for a few years until I really needed it. And then there's Grandmother's present, which was currently in Jeffrey's possession. Did I really want Jeffrey to leave with all that? If I traded with him, like Grandmother was egging me to do, I'd get all that, and Jeffrey would get a frilly lamp.

But then I looked at the shiny, and I couldn't keep them in agony any longer. "I'll keep it," I told them. And right after that, Jeffrey started digging into that bowl and found all the money in it--fifteen dollars in dollars, half dollars, and silver dollars.

Still, I'm a fan of the shiny.