Tuesday, December 30, 2008

An Evening of High Amusement

Although we're taking a break from it this year, traditionally my family has hosted a New Year's Eve party for our friends and family. All the holiday bread is gathered up and baked into a bread pudding, which we eat flambe style. Aside from the eating and drinking, we make merry with a host of vintage games and other entertainments. You can click on this picture to view our program from a few years ago.

Maybe you've played "Blind Man's Buff," where one person is blindfolded and must catch another person and guess who it is before he is allowed to take off the blindfold. Or "Pass the Slipper," where one person sits in the middle of a ring of friends packed tightly together. They pass a shoe behind their backs and "it" tries to guess who has the shoe at any given moment. High jinks!

Our most excruciating game is called "Poor Pussy." In this one, someone is picked to keep a straight face while another friend does their best cat impression, be it sweet or wretched -- whatever it takes to get the other person to crack a smile. If "it" can say "Poor Pussy" three times in a row without so much as a smirk, they are off the hook and the cat has to go to someone else. If not, they are the cat! (It's difficult to describe how hilarious this one gets. Maybe there's a YouTube video about it.)

One of the most dramatic games we've played is called "Snap-Dragon." We float a handful of raisins in a bowl of brandy and set it on fire. Then, whoever wants to take a turn must pluck a flaming fruit from the bowl and put it out by popping it into his or her mouth. This one is played with the lights out, the blue flame atop the brandy the only illumination. The most exciting part happens when the players are so hasty that flaming brandy flies all over the room!

At midnight, we fire the confetti cannon and all left standing sing "Auld Lang Syne" and make wishes for the coming year. What's yours?

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