Commentary: So what did yule all receive for Xmas?

SFFaudio Commentary

Did you get what you want for Xmas? I did. I always seem to. This year the theme seemed to be coffee. I got enough to last me until next July! Huzzah!

But the real gift, as always, was that I got to spend some time with my family. On Xmas eve we play a great game called “The Game” – the object of “The Game” is to steal specially wrapped Christmas presents from your relatives and other party attendees – it is especially fun to steal presents from children. There are a few rules, and lots of fake drama, and bogus strategy all designed for fun and it’s basically wall to wall laughter for about 75 minutes. The gifts are generally pretty junky, like dollar store toys or tools – one of them this year was a miniature bale of hay, another was a light in the shape of a fried egg. I love it.

At these parties I get to see lots of uncles and aunts, cousins and other relations all of pleasant disposition. Actually the whole thing is about as close to a Hobbit gathering as you’ve ever seen in real life (though most of us are taller and wear shoes). It’s more that there’s always plenty of food and thoughtful gifts – genuine merriment and respect. It’s rather lovely. But there are always surprises too. Like the one from last Christmas, or the year before. One of my distant relatives, down from northern British Columbia, told me he had happened upon my podcast through the Anne Is A Man blog and that he had been listening to it. That gave me a good laugh! It was one of the best gifts I received. I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising, most of my relatives seem to be readers.

This year the most relevant gift wasn’t actually for me, but it gave me another good laugh.

See one of my cousins, an avid reader, received a new paperback copy of WWW: Wake by Robert J. Sawyer. It was a Christmas present from her aunt and uncle (who happen to be my aunt and uncle too).

Penguin paperback of Wake by Robert J. Sawyer

I happened to be sitting beside her as the gifts were being dispersed and unwrapped. So, when I saw that she’d received it, and that the book was in the new tall paperback format I asked if I might have a look inside (I’d only heard the audiobook). I opened the front cover only to see this:

Seth Wilson blurb In Wake

That’s from Seth Wilson’s review!

That was a good laugh too!

So what did yule all receive for Xmas?

Posted by Jesse Willis

5 thoughts to “Commentary: So what did yule all receive for Xmas?”

  1. What a great surprise! And it sounds like you had a great Christmas! :-)

    I got a unique “tilting” teapot that I’d seen and admired so long ago that I’d forgotten all about it.

    And our family’s latest obsession is the game I bought, Pandemic. Rather unique in that everyone has to work together in order to beat the game. The overall effect is something like playing a RPG computer game … and a lot of fun. The world has been overcome by disease something like four times (playing at introductory level) … and then we finally beat it! (Loud cheers) It is fairly simple but until you get used to the rules it seems complicated.

    Now we must see if we can play at the “normal” level and win.

  2. When I come to Dallas, I am stealing that teapot!

    As far as sff goes, I got the earlier book of Catherynne Valente poetry from one of my sets of inlaws. It was the first Valente I ever read and I’m happy to own it now! I also got the movie Return to Oz, from my husband who knows how much I love it. Most people are unfamiliar but to me it is more quirky like the Oz books actually are!

    Cool to see a review in the Sawyer book (and a good reminder that I haven’t read the other two….)

  3. Wow, that’s amazing. Here in the UK my wife’s family always play “The Game” at Christmas, though they call it “The Present Game”. It has spread to friends and friends of friends as a dinner party game with some “gifts” such as a facial spa on a perpetual journey round the dining rooms of suburban London!

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