Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"Oh Mandy!"

My friends Tom and Faye Wingard each December host a "Yankee Swap" Christmas Party at their home in Brewster, Mass on the Cape. It is always a fun time with plenty of good food and drink as each guest brings a some food to share with everyone. In addition to the food; each guest brings a small wrapped gift for the "Yankee Swap". This year there were about thirty people at the party as we celebrate the Holiday season and catch up with each other on current events and past memories.

The "Yankee Swap" commences after everyone has had a chance to eat,drink, and be merry for a while. Tom and Faye write numbers down on small slips of paper to represent the number of people at the party and put the numbers into a hat. Everyone then draws a number from the hat to determine the order in which the presents under the Christmas tree are opened. Number 1 is the best number to draw and this person picks first. Number 2 goes next, opens a gift and has the choice of keeping that gift or swapping his gift with the first gift opened. As each new person opens a gift they can keep their gift and exchange (swap) with any other of the previously opened gifts. After everyone has opened all of the swap gifts; then number 1 can swap again with any other gift and that ends the "swap".

It is always funny to comment on each gift as they are opened and also to see people lobby with the other people in the swap to exchange with them if they would rather have a different gift than the gift they have as well as to watch how many times certain gifts get swapped from one person to the next.

This year, one of the gifts was a compact disk (CD) of Barry Manilow's greatest hits. I'm not sure who ended up with this valuable gift but after the gifts were opened Tom put this classic into the CD player and cranked up the music. All of Barry's hits started blasting throughout the house such as "Copa Capana", "I Write the Songs", and the ever popular "Oh, Mandy".

Tom,Faye, Michelle (Shell) Kimmey,Rickshaw(that's me), Richard and his wife, and others all gathered around the CD player and started belting out the tunes at the top of our lungs along with clanking beer bottles together, (particularly on the Copa Cabana song), and blowing into the empty beer bottles in time with the songs along with a general "danceathon."

"Oh Mandy!" That Barry Manilow can really rock this party.