Christmas Eve Gift!
For as long as I can remember, my family members have taken great delight in trying to be the first one to say "Christmas Eve Gift" to all the other family members. The theory being that whoever said it first could then expect the other person to give them a gift. (Followed by the obligatory, "Got you! Ha, ha, ha!") And believe me, we have gone to great lengths in order to win or to at least not "get got".
As a kid, I remember mamma or daddy waking me up and telling me "Christmas Eve Gift", or later in life, my brother calling me at 12:01 a.m. just to be the first. Then my mom got sneaky and started answering the phone with "Christmas Eve Gift" instead of "Hello?". Once caller id came along, all bets were off; it became a great challenge to get each other.
Over the years we have passed this tradition on to others outside our circle of family members. When Brodie was in vet school, his friend Brian became the target of our weird, competitive, yuletide greeting. But he was up for the challenge and still tries to get us each year. In fact, Brodie had to get up at 5 this morning and he was making a little too much noise. So I wandered into the bathroom and told him "Christmas Eve Gift!" (Ask him sometime how competitive I am. I think sometimes he lets me win so I won't pout for the rest of the day.) As he was getting ready to leave I told him, "Don't forget to call Brian!"
I tried to go back to sleep, but I started plotting how I could "get" everyone else. So I gave up on sleep and texted "Christmas Eve Gift!" to my mom, my siblings, Ginny, and a few friends. I even texted Brian so I could beat Brodie to it.
Then I found myself wondering what Grandma Vonia would think about caller id and text messages. The tradition has morphed from a friendly face-to-face greeting into something that now has to rely on technology in order to one-up each other. And where did it start anyway?
So I did some Googling.... and I learned 3 things: it seems that many years ago people used "Christmas Eve Gift" instead of Merry Christmas as a form of greeting, it's seems to be a Southern thing, and no one really knows where the tradition came from but that it has always been done in the spirit of competition instead of an actual gift exchange. And all this time I thought it was limited to my fun family. (small pout)
So this is my "Christmas Eve Gift" greeting to all of you! May you have a wonderful Christmas and I truly hope that each and every one of you receives the real Christmas Eve Gift of God's perfect love in his Son, Jesus Christ!
Here are a couple of other folks who seem to have similar traditions: