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    Dark. No dance.

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    Terry Halley, caller
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Checkerboard Squares Celebrate Christmas

Helen opens a gift from under the tree.

The club gathered in Gresham for a Christmas party that included feasting, games  and a gift exchange.

Everyone brought a gift. Upon arrival, each person received a number. When a person’s number was called, he or she could select a present under the tree or take a gift from someone else. After the third steal, the gift became off-limits for anyone to take.

Gifts included home decor and candy.

Steve and Jo directed games as they have done in the past. One game involved addition, subtraction and multiplication to arrive at a particular set of numbers. Three persons correctly finished the project within the allotted time. Because only one prize was available, the three winners picked a number between one and 10. The person closest received the prize–a serving dish with matching salt and pepper shaker.

The puppy Wanda opened was a popular gift that circulated among other club members. Wanda did not go home with this gift.

A favorite game that the club played  last year involved Steve reading “The Night Before Christmas.” He inserted “right” and “left” as he read. Club members, sitting in a circle, passed gifts until the “right” or “left” designation came. Then the order of the gift passing reversed. At the end of the poem, whoever held a gift got to open it and keep it. One gift was a green stocking full of glittery ornaments. Steve and Jo donated the prizes.

The Checkerboards are known for their cooking. A long buffet table held a turkey and dressing, salads, main dishes and desserts. Bev brought her popular punch–grape-based with ice cream floating in it.

Bill, a new dancer, opens a gift as his wife, Mim, looks on.

Everyone taking lessons was invited to the party. Many new dancers attended, to the club’s delight. Club members were welcome to invite friends and family, too. One new student hurried off to a jamboree, but most people at the party lingered, visiting and snacking.

This year, unlike last year, no one brought table games to play after the dinner, games and gift exchange. But that was OK. Being together was the highlight of the evening.

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