The Package Game

Wrapped

Present giving has never been that central to the Christmas celebrated in my family – packages always has. Every year we play The Package Game. In The Package Game your goal is to end up with as many packages as possible. Traditionally, every family member will bring two packages. Each contains a small mystery item (or items). Finding the right item is half the game. It may not be expensive nor downright useless. On the other hand it should not be useful either unless it’s extremely ugly as well. Finding the perfect balance between repulsive and interesting is an art. Then comes the wrapping. Your package should not be giving itself away but it is considered good form if you are capable of making it appear as something it is not. It is customary to add fake weight to boxes or include items that will rattle, chime or make other sounds in order to obfuscate and – indeed – fascinate.

Once the packages are all placed on the table the game may begin. It is considered polite to offer compliments and/or show appreciation of the packages (in doing so you may reveal which package you will be trying to get so a bit of fake interest can be useful). Once everyone has taken in the glory and splendor of the packages a single dice is passed around the table. Everyone gets one roll every time the dice passes them. If they roll a 6 they are allowed to take a package and place it next to them (it should be noted that passing on the dice is very important. It is considered extremely poor sportsmanship to forget about the dice and greedily lunge at the packages – such actions may result in mockery and threats of physical violence). This continues until all the package s has been claimed.

All out war is about to begin. A participant will set a timer. Only he will know how long the game goes on for. The battle can rage for hours of a lot less. You never know! The dice is passed around the table as before only this time you are allowed to steal a package every time you roll a 6. As before it is considered extremely poor form to be sluggish in passing on the dice. Doing so while in the posession of many gifts will result in shaming on an epic level. Once the timer finishes you get to keep the packages you have won – exploring their wonderfully rubbish contents.

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