Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pass the Fruitcake

Recently my husband was off at a meeting, and the PBA and I were home together for the evening. It's not often that he's the one who is gone in an evening, and I was looking for something to entertain the troops. Let me explain the parameters: it had to be done at home (I was already in my jammies...it was 6:30 for crying out loud!) and could not involve a screen.

Now I don't make this rule very often, as a favorite past-time with the PBA is for all four of us (or three of us) to gather around the tv and watch something ensemble (you have to say that last word with a French  accent otherwise it doesn’t make sense). Yes, it sounds like we're not interacting, but I assure you that we are. We run the gamut when talking about the show we're watching: we’ll discuss foreshadowing, whether the characters are making good or poor decisions, as well as things we know about the characters. If we're so bold as to watch some sort of documentary or educational programming, we’ll talk about how the current show relates to information we'd previously learned.

Yes, we know how to party. Come on over anytime, but be sure to wear your jammies. You’ll fit right in.

Anyway...this particular evening, I decided that we were going to have at least 30 minutes of actual face-to-face contact. I would love to do crafts with them, but they are kind of over that. The 11yo will, occasionally, indulge me, but rarely the 9yo. I wasn’t feeling up to pushing my luck.

And I didn't have all my supplies for my Christmas baking yet, so we couldn't even do that.  And frankly, baking simultaneously with both of them is kind of a nightmare. I can handle them one at a time, but not really both together. To be honest, it kind of stresses me out.

But now, in case you were concerned, I do have all my supplies for my baking...well, the most important supplies I should say.

I love CVS. And while not typically the first place you think of when making your Christmas baking shopping list, it is a place always well-stocked with the tasty Christmas candies...specifically Hershey's Kisses.

We popped into the (yes, “the”) CVS this morning, as soon as I finished my workout, and picked up 6 bags of candy.  Don't judge.

The candy was priced at a reasonable sales price, however I had some tricks up my sleeve. They were on sale: 4/$10. I had three $1 off/2 bags coupons. And I had $10 in ExtraBucks (LOVE me some ExtraBucks!). So if I just bought 4 bags, it would only be $8 after my coupons, so I would lose $2 from my $10 ExtraCare Bucks coupon (they were all on one coupon).

And since I had three $1 off coupons, I went ahead and bought 6 bags at $2.50 each, then combined with my ExtraBucks and my $1 off coupons, it cost me $3.05.

But wait! There's more! Because I had purchased a minimum of $10 worth of Hershey's chocolate, I got $3 back in ExtraBucks. So it really only cost me 5 cents out of pocket for 6 bags of candy.  Hershey chocolate, no less. You can’t beat that deal with a stick!

I honestly do not understand how I didn't do well in Math growing up, because I can rock this kind of  math anytime. Actually, I know EXACTLY why: it's practical application. Finding the tangent or cosine STILL doesn't apply. It might in a couple years when the PBA get to it, but by then I will have found a tutor for that...and it still won’t apply to my grocery bill. But I digress…

Back to my night with the PBA.  Since crafting and baking were out, of course we played a game.

We played my favorite Christmas game and yours: Pass the Fruitcake.

Pass the Fruitcake is a card game...it is Old Maid but with Christmas gifts you have to match (such as Pony in a Box, Jet-Powered Skateboard, Vacation to the Moon, Your Own Time Machine Complete with Mad Scientist, and many others.)

And, as the name would probably clue you in to, you clever readership you, each player tries to pass off the fruitcake to someone else; the one who has the fruitcake at the end is the loser. Not really a winner to this game – just a loser. So who wouldn’t love that?!?

Since it was just the three of us and you use the whole stack, we all started out with a bunch of cards fanned out in our hands. Due to the way we were seated, my 9yo always drew his new card from me, looking for matches and trying to avoid the fruitcake. 

He always drew from the same spot (and please don't clue him in that he does this). It made passing off the fruitcake easy – peasey, lemon-squeezey...and from now on I will always strategically place him to my right when we play this game. Does that make me a bad mother?

The 11yo has MULTIPLE tells when he selects the fruitcake. I don't see a future card-shark in the works with that one. Or a politician. Or any profession which requires some level of “deceit”. He’s too honest.

The 9yo, however...I'm not sure if I should be impressed or concerned with his ability to deceive.  He NEVER let on that he'd drawn the fruitcake. Not through any hand did he ever give any outward sign he had it.  And trust me…I was watching him for it.

I'm steering him towards acting.

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