This list of holiday-season-themed competitive activities forms the basis of my proposed Xtolympics. X for Xmas. You know.
The Xtolympics will be held sometime during the holiday season, and it will be illegal for citizens of the United States of America to not watch. professional Xtolympians will compete on TV, at length, to fill as much as possible the space vacated by actually entertaining stories written by writers1.
Simultaneously, local and regional competitions will be held. Everyone can join in!
The events are as follows:
Tipsy Partygoer Bathroom Slalom
Imbibe the regulation number of toddies and try to make it to the bathroom through a sea of holiday party guests. Dodge left, then right, then left again for maximum style points as you attempt to remain upright and in control of your bladder.
Clamshell package shucking contest
Remove as many electronic items and toys from their clamshell blister packs as you can before the time runs out. Try not to sever an artery.
You will receive ten gifts of dubious appropriateness from ten relatives who should know you better, or should just plain know better. Hide your natural reaction, which will range from puzzlement (Yanni concert T-shirt?) to outright disgust (second-hand edible thong?) and do a perfect, appreciative Gift-take complete with sunny expression.
Folks from your high school days are in town for the season! You’re all out shopping at the same local mall. Spot the folks based on your foggy memory of how they looked “back in the day” and avoid detection before they approach you and you are forced to reveal that you do not remember their names. Advanced Level: you must stand in line and pay for your items before you can exit the store.
Miniature Calorie Golf
Make the rounds for 9 homes of Mini-Calorie Golf. At each home you must minimize the calories you consume, but it’s not as simple as merely abstaining. You must eat creatively while you try to remain under par at each home, because offending the host or hostess is an automatic 3 dessert penalty.
You are pitted against that relative or in-law who is always ready with the left-handed compliment, snide sotto voce insult, patronizing attitude or other underhanded social attack that is one-level removed from the open discussion. Parry and thrust, but your own wit must be quick enough to keep you alive without resorting to scorched-earth tactics. You get points for taking the high road, but you cannot ultimately prevail unless you score high enough to exit the room with a satisfied smile on your face and a bewildered opponent in your wake.
1 And completely inane stories you can’t believe writers were paid to write. But that’s for another day.