Just finished up another successful Christmas day family party. We had a good turnout -- probably about 70 people. Not present were my father, a sister and her husband, and a nephew's wife. Everyone else in the extended family were able to make it at some point during the party. We also had a few family friends. It was unorganized potluck -- my sister baked a turkey; I prepared vegetable munchies; and I bought dessert from a Filipino bakery. The rest were whatever else that people brought in. As always, people brought in tons of food (main dishes, side dishes, desserts, and snacks). All had plenty to eat and savor. There were lots of leftovers.
As it should be, it is a holiday for kids. They all had a great time. We have had to tone down the gift giving and exchanging part of Christmas for the kids; the past couple of years, we have suggested stocking stuffers instead. This did not dampen the anticipation and excitement from the kids during the opening of their stocking stuffers and other gifts. The kids all had a marvelous time and were satisfied with their Christmas loot. In past Christmas parties, the host house would always be crammed full of all the presents brought in for all the kids. All the kids would be given black Hefty garbage bags to collect all their opened gifts. There would be the same amount of garbage bags full of wrapping paper and gift boxes.
As for the teens and adults, we had a white elephant gift exchange which is becoming a holiday party tradition. The rules and requirements are ever-changing We have included the teens this year. The week before Christmas, at a brother's birthday party I hosted, we randomly drew the theme (a color and a letter from the alphabet) for this year's gift exchange -- the color green and the letter "T". So the white elephant gift had to be green and/or starts with the letter T. Also, the price range for the gift had to be between $15 to $25. To get a lot of people involved, as well as to get them excited and be creative about the gift selections, I included prizes for the most creative/popular gifts as voted by all the participants at the end of the gift exchange.
The winners were Donna for her tee-time gift (the picture on the box for the item got her the most votes); Mia for her tumbler with family portraits on the outside; and CJ for the box of toilet paper and a $15 iTunes gift certificate.
We had other games and contests scheduled -- Santa hat making, gingerbread man cookie decorating, and ugly sweater competition. After all the eating, munching, drinking, playing, socializing, gift opening, and gift exchanging, everyone was all pooped out. The other games were canceled. So we just hung out and socialized, ate some more, watched tv, or tuned in on their smart phones. Most of the kids were in the basement playing with their new toys.
The following are a few pictures. A lot more pictures are posted on my flickr account (http://www.flickr.com/photos/8745081@N04/sets/72157625668338176/). I took picture of most of the guests in front of the Christmas tree. For a few others, I was not able to take it in front of the tree because it got crowded in that area.
A few group pictures before it got really crowded.
There were a few groups (couple or family) that were dressed festively -- Mng. Joey and Mng. Marina in their green tops to match the white elephant gift exchange theme; Gerry, Melody, and Alyanna in their Christmas red and black clothes; Ron, Donna, and Jayan wearing purple Lacoste polos; and Michael and Arlene wearing matching sweatery-looking shirts.