Last night, I got together with a group of friends for our traditional holiday Yankee Swap. It started out as work party, but even though most of us have left that organization now, we remain friends.
We always do coordinated potlucks- the hostess asks everyone for their top two choices on what they want to bring, and then once she sees everyone’s options, she tells us which one to make. This means that the dinners are not only delicious, but go together well.
I brought Asian meatballs (recipe here though I used turkey and omitted the Sriracha for this crowd) as an appetizer, and someone else brought veggie sushi rolls. We chatted and drank wine while we nibbled and wandered around the house, looking at all the pretty decorations.
The main meal was much more traditional. There was a Christmas ham, a Greek bean dish, roasted sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts, and a salad with baby spinach, walnuts, goat cheese, and apples.
After eating as much as we could, it was time for the Yankee swap. Our group’s rules are that you can’t buy anything and we tend to go for the more out there gifts. Everyone picks a number, and the first person picks a gift and opens it. Then the second person can either steal their gift (in which case, the first person opens another gift) or can open one of their own. This continues down the line until everyone has picked and opened a gift. The first person to choose also has the chance to switch with anyone’s gift at the end.
These Yankee swaps are so much fun. I was crying laughing at several points. There was a toy dog in a rain jacket who danced and sung “Singin’ in the Rain,” a ceramic snowman statue that was about a foot high, and the worst smelling vanilla candle ever. I brought a Shewee, which had everyone in hysterics, especially when we read the instructions out loud,. I went went home with an electric fly swatter- it’s about the size of a badminton racket and you zap bugs with it.
We finished off the night with slices of a Yule log and some tea. A perfect festive evening, even if it was freezing rain out.