Dec 26, 2012

Christmas Eve - at a friend's place

"Let us go to our place for some snacks", Susan invited us after the Christmas Eve celebrations at the Summit View church.

People were greeting Merry Christmas happily to each other with joyous hugs. Outside, the weather was cold and had started to snow. "It was our first white Christmas!", I exclaimed to my wife who was already enjoying the evening.

By the time we reached Susan's place, a couple of inches of snow had accumulated on the road. "Have some tea", Cheng Yu, Susan's husband, offered us as we entered. "Take as many cookies as you can", he added pointing to the spread on the dining table.

"This is a Japanese snack. I mean real Japanese, because I bought it when I went to Japan last week", he said. I took a couple of snacks and settled on one of the chairs.

"Would you like to have some hot Apple cider?", Susan asked us before offering a cup each to my wife and myself. By the time we finished the delicious cider, vegetable soup was served.

What started as snacks became a small dinner party by the time Gloria arrived with more food. Soon, Susan's kitchen was occupied by more volunteers helping Gloria and Susan to cook or heat the food. Pasta and breads were served followed with cold Apple Cider in place of a Champagne. We ended the party with a toast for a better year ahead.

"Shall we leave?", I asked my wife after we had snack-cum-dinner. She nodded in agreement. When I was about to inform Susan about our decision, she asked "Would you like to watch some movie?". We looked at each other. Surely we weren't planned before for a movie night.

"We can watch an Indian movie", Cheng Yu suggested.

"Slumdog Millionaire", someone from the party said. "But its not a real Indian movie, isn't it?", asked another.

After some time, when there was no conclusion, I wanted to say "we want to leave" when the topic changed to playing games. "Let us play Dutch Blitz", a girl suggested.

Its been a long time since we played games. A part of us wanted to play and so involuntarily asked "how to play?". Soon everyone gathered near a corner of the room where the beautiful Christmas tree was decorated.

"Its so exciting", my wife said. "This was our first time playing with a group of complete strangers", she continued.

"Stack a pile of ten cards. This is called as Blitz pile. Have another three cards called post pile. Your objective is to empty the Blitz pile, the one with ten cards", a girl explained the basics of the game. "The one who finishes all the cards from Blitz pile calls for a stop saying Dutch Blitz", she continued.

I had a good first round with my positive score equalling my negative score giving a net score for the round as Zero. My wife was struggling with a strategy, and had scored more negative points than positive.

"Its simple. Play your cards from the Blitz pile", I suggested to her.

"But the pile has bigger numbers", she said, her voice showing the disappointment.

"Don't worry dear. Use the post piles and get rid of the bigger numbers from the Blitz pile", I replied.

The next round started. As soon as I cognized the cards on my hand and piles, someone said "Dutch Blitz"! 

"That was real quick", we all commented. "Even I had finished all the cards on my Blitz pile", my wife said ecstatically. 

She continued to win the next two games scoring a hat-trick and her score soared up in the positive, competing with the top player.

Two more rounds, and the game was over. The top player had scored 35 points, which we had set as the winning target. My wife came second with 27 points.

"What was your score?", she asked me in the end.

"31", I replied, mumbling "negative" under my breath.