Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 10: You're Yanking Me

Here we are, Day 10 of my little 25 Day excursion.  There's only fifteen days until the big day and I guess I need to start thinking about what we are going to do for Christmas.  I still need to take the Minions shopping for The Trophy, we need to plan #1's birthday sleepover (more on that at a later date) and we need to figure out my family Christmas.

Every year, with the exception of last year, my side of the family gets together before or after Christmas.  I don't have a huge family like The Trophy's, she's number ten of thirteen kids but I have some interesting characters and we like getting together for the holidays.  Last year we didn't get together because both my Mom and Dad were in the hospital at that point and seeing that they were the elders of the family, we figured we should hold off.  This year though, in the spirit of my Mom, we are having the family Christmas at my house this year and we need to prepare...I guess.

It's always a simple get together and we limit gift giving to anyone under eighteen which makes it cheap to do also.  We don't do a traditional sit down dinner like you see in Better Homes and Garden or in one of those cheesy TV movies.  You see, we're Polish.  We do things different.
Instead of a prime rib or a turkey we make pierogi, lots and lots of pierogi and I'm not talking your fake ass pierogi you buy from the frozen section of Walmart, I'm talking homemade dough, homemade fillings (yes plural) and 100% not-for-your-diet-what-so-ever pierogi.  We do three different types of kielbasa and dozens of golumpki.  There are babkas and did I mention the pierogi?  We cook all of that up and we eat like scavengers, picking and pulling from eat pan and once we have our plates filled we find a seat anywhere we can find one.

One tradition we started many moons ago was after the per-eighteen years olds opened their presents we do a Yankee Swap.  Unless you're from New England, it's probably called something different where your from.  In a nutshell it's where you purchase a gift of a predetermined dollar amount, wrap it and then bring it to the party.  You pick numbers out of a hat and and when it's your turn you can either pick an unwrapped gift of steal the gift from one of your family members.  Sounds like a hoot doesn't it?

It started in our family as a nice thing to do, the gifts were usually thoughtful and there wasn't much stealing going on.  As the years progressed, the Yankee Swap began to spiral out of control with presents that no one wanted and it became a hassle.  "Oh shit, we gotta get a Yankee Swap gift...fuck."

So we upped the ante a little bit and raised the dollar amount you were allowed to spend.  You can buy gifts much more crappy that way.  One year though changed the family forever.  Everyone bought some sort of popcorn item for the Yankee Swap and we had fun joking about how this wasn't planned and how that was the best Yankee Swap in years.  Then the log appeared one year.

Is that a beef stick or are you happy to see me?
My Mom bought a basket of cheese, crackers, spreads and...the log.  The problem was the log was an expired Hickory Farms Sausage log that no body wanted.  This thing wasn't you little tiny pre-wrapped sausage either, this thing was over a foot long.  I forget who ended up with it but that started the whole Sausage Log Saga.  Each year the log has made an appearance in the Yankee Swap.  Sometimes its cleverly disguised or hidden within a nice gift or sometimes it's wrapped up and there is no doubt what you are picking.  We had the log several times due to back number picking and soon it turned into "I got the log, now I need to get rid of it by putting it in the trunk of someone's car or casually leaving it in one of the kid's stockings" game.

The last time the log was seen was two years ago, it ended up in the spare tire compartment of my Uncle's Subaru.  He has moved to California since then.  I fear that the log will not be gracing us with it's presence this year...or will it?

 I'm pretty sure this is a sign of drug addiction...Santa sent us a perverted, drug addicted, suicidal little shit!


  1. You know, you could always create a new version of the log! You could always...oh wait, nevermind! For one there will be children present and for another, it's your family!

    1. I know where you're going with this...yes, children will be present.

  2. Hilarious post! I think your Elf is even too far gone for even the help of Dr Phil! :)

  3. HAHA love it!!! First of all we always have kielbasa for every Holiday. My grandfather was Lithuanian and it is our family tradition. We get it at the local Polish deli. Soooo yummy. Second, I was a part of a Yankee Swap yesterday at our annual Family Christmas party at the local VFW hall. I was so excited to get my Hot Booties that I fell off the stage. Then my husband stole them from me when I got home.

    1. OK, I'm not sure what I'm more concerned with Hot Booties (what are they?) or that your husband took them (assuming they are a female product)

  4. I had to look up pierogi, being English...and stupid. I think I've put on 5lbs just from looking at the pictures.

    Oh dear, I think it's time for the Elf to be sectioned.

  5. We call it a "Chinese Grab" (even though my SIL is from New England and she started it... LOL)... It gets a little viscous, though. Great fun! Perhaps I will have to bring a log this year. Someone always brings a clunker... for fun.

    I love pierogi and kielbasa... there's a town not far from here where you can still get homemade Polish deliciousness at one of several delis... yum! Now, I may have to make a run!

  6. I enjoy any and all Christmas Traditions that aren't "traditional".