by Bonniebeth A.
(Lafayette, Louisiana USA)
I have used this game at children's school parties and at parties for women at Christmas.
The children or the women have brought a wrapped gift to the party. Sometimes the party will specify that the gifts be the same - such as each lady brings a Christmas ornament or Christmas socks or a candle, etc.
For the children's parties, if they are very young it is better if the gifts are some type of party favor such as puzzles or puppets or some other fun gift for children that one of the adults has already wrapped and brought. Small children often don't understand receiving a gift different from the one that they brought.
For older children they can bring a specified gift or each can bring whatever gift they choose.
Those attending the party sit in a circle holding the gift they brought. Or in the case of younger children, they are each given a gift to hold and told not to open it yet.
A specified adult will read the book 'Twas The Night Before Christmas'. Each time the word 'the' is read the ladies/children pass the gift they are holding to the right. At the end of the story, whichever gift the person is holding is theirs and they may open it and keep it.
The word 'the' occurs many times in the story and it is great fun for the participants to listen for the word and to pass the gifts around.
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