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Top Shelf Stories: The Christmas Chronicles

It’s Christmas Eve in 2007, we have some family and friends over for dinner at our place …
Connor Jones - Top Shelf Stories

by Connor Jones


Ok, so readers know that we Joneses are ultra competitive and that we like to win.

It’s a little scary eh? It is gutless, ruthless, and impossibly fun.

It’s Christmas Eve in 2007, we have some family and friends over for dinner at our place. A lot of laughs, great food and drinks and of course a night ending, ‘game’ of some sort.

There has to be a winner, duh!

Most of the past get-togethers resulted in wild ping-pong tournaments and backyard three versus three family hockey melees. Or my personal favorite, the card game, ‘Pass the Ace.’ This year though, we’re playing the ‘Name Game.’

Here are the rules: Two teams, each player puts 10 different names into a hat, 60 seconds per player to go through and figure out a way to tell your team a hint of who it is. So for example, I write Pavel Bure for one of my names. I would say, ‘#10 for the Vancouver Canucks,’ boom, there’s your answer.

Another easy one, Will Ferrell, my clue would be, ‘He’s a funny actor in the movie Elf!’ Pretty easy right? You can write any name of any person.

Any clue or hint is ok as long as you are not saying or rhyming the person’s name. Once your team guesses, you can grab another name out of the hat and then you see how many your team gets in 60 seconds.

The family used to play charades every holiday. Until a fight over someone cheating ruined it.

Not totally clear about the details but from what I’ve heard, the movie Independence Day was popular that year so if anything Independence Day related came up, the males had a hand signal or something and guessed it right away.

The females put up a fit, a fight ensued, and charades was never played again.

There’s 16 of us , eight a side, and no more male and female split ups are allowed after the tragic charades incident of ’97.

We all grab our pens and paper and rip our names out and put them in my dad’s old top-hat, fedora looking thing. I thought to myself, ‘uh oh, another highly watched movie was out a month ago. Superbad, watch out for the hand signals!’

My team is first and Kellen volunteers to lead us.

First clue, he looks at me, “He’s in that movie we watched a week ago?”

“Michael Cera!” I yell out. Correct!

Next one, same thing, “The other kid in the movie?”

“Jonah Hill!” I scream again, correct!

He follows it up, “The cop?”

“Seth Rogen!” Yup!

“The fake id kid?”

“McLovin!” Got it!

“The girl Jonah likes?” We are on a roll.

“Jules!” Count it.

“The actress?” Kel has only been looking at me.

“Emma Stone!” Right again.

At the end of the round, after a new family record of nearly 15 points. The other team is quite furious about the twin performance.

Comments like, ‘Well that’s a bunch of BS,’ and ‘that’s unfair, they’re twins, they can read each other’s minds,’ and my personal favorite, ‘they do everything together, they have the same brain!’

Have you seen us both do math? Kel, good. Con, bad.

We don’t switch teams but there is a lot of huffing and puffing throughout the game. Our team is up big and each time Kel and I are up, we crush it. Capped off by me getting a point at the buzzer after Kel mumbles out, “The guy last night?”

“Russell Crowe!” I shout back. We watched Gladiator the night before.

“Wooooooohooooooo! Yes!” We shout in joy.

The game finishes, our team wins.

A few depressed minutes go by, then someone gets up and says, “Well, the twins aren’t allowed on the same team in that game ever again!”

Everyone starts to laugh.

“That was ludicrous!” Grandpa says, because it absolutely was.

It’s not about winning and losing, presents, and all that other stuff.

It’s about being together, with friends, family, whoever you got, and squeezing them tight, smiling a lot, and making sure you cheat discreetly.