Book Reviews

Alice Munro’s Best: Selected Stories by Alice Munro

13531679._UY200_.jpgThis is a dazzling selection of stories–seventeen favorites chosen by the author from across her distinguished career. I have to admit to ignorance – I had not heard of Alice Munro until she was awarded the Nobel prize for literature and when she gained the spotlight, she gained one additional follower.

Alice Munro has been repeatedly hailed as one of our greatest living writers, a reputation that has been growing for years. The stories brought together here span a quarter century, drawn from some of her earliest books, The Beggar Maid and The Moons of Jupiter, through her recent best-selling collection, Runaway.

Book Reviews

Fyodor Dostoyevsky – The Eternal Husband Book Review

The short novel The Eternal Husband, describes the almost surreal meeting of a cuckolded widower and his dead wife’s lover. Dostoevsky’s dark brilliance and satiric vision infuse the other four tales with all-too-human characters, including a government official who shows up uninvited at an underling’s wedding to prove his humanity; a self-deceiving narrator who struggles futilely to understand his wife’s suicide; and a hack writer who attends a funeral and ends up talking with the dead. The Eternal Husband and Other Stories is sterling Dostoevsky–a collection of emotional power and uncompromising insight into the human condition.

Book Reviews

The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendell Book Review

After watching “The Girl Next Door” (the thriller and not the ditzy comedy) I thought I actually bought the right book to chill me to the bone just like the movie did. I was wrong, I bought the wrong book. I should have gotten Jack Ketchum’s one.


It took me 151 pages to realise that what I was waiting for wasn’t going to happen and instead I was actually reading a story about the trials and tribulations of the elderly.

Book Reviews

Robber Bride – Margaret Atwood

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? An older woman knows. But how much older do you have to get before you acquire that kind of wisdom?

I loved this book. I found that some parts were really familiar and then I realized that some of the story had in fact been used in Moral Disorder and Wilderness Tips. The theme is quite similar. The book follows the lives of three women: Tony, Roz and Charis, all bound together by a fourth – Zenia – who takes immense pleasure in destroying their lives and stealing their men.
The book is about adultery – in all of its forms – and about the men that fall prey or enter willingly into it.
There is also the exploration of the aftermath and how different personality types deal with betrayal better than others.
It’s a big book (568 pages in total) and you might find yourself trying to skim over some detailed past experiences that seem to have nothing in common with the main plot – but believe me, they do. Not only does Margaret Atwood pencil down the lives and chagrins of these three women, she also talks about their mothers – figures that were present or not – and how they dealt with adultery.
It’s definitely a case of past experiences modelling humans into what they are today.

Where to start is the problem, because nothing begins when it begins and nothing’s over when it’s over, and everything needs a preface: a preface, a postscript, a chart of simultaneous events. History is a construct, she tells her students. Any point of entry is possible and all choices are arbitrary. Still, there are definitive moments, moments we use as references, because they break our sense of continuity, they change the direction of time. We can look at these events and marriages. And wars.

And each woman fights a war with Zenia. A war that spans over decades, a war that draws blood and breaks hearts. A war that leaves causalities and men suffering from PTSD. A toxic war where everything Zenia touches is poisoned.

The question begs: Who is Zenia?

She’s either an orphan from White Russian Jews, on the run from Europe – or maybe her mother was a gypsy, or maybe she was sold as a child to the highest bidder and prostituted for food. She re-invents a tragic story everytime she is asked, and her stories are all so pitiful and so closely related to the other person – that it’s impossible not to feel sorry for her.
She uses this trick as a hook for men and as a defence mechanism against other women.

“I admire you a lot,” he says to Tony. “You’ll always be my best friend. But Zenia needs me.”
“What does she need you for?” says Tony in a small clear voice.
“She’s suicidal,” says West. “You’re the strong one, Tony. You’ve always been so strong.”
“Zenia is as strong as an ox,” says Tony.
“It’s just an act,” says West. “I always knew that about her. She’s a deeply scarred person.”
Deeply scarred , thinks Tony. That can’t be anyone’s vocabulary but Zenia’s. West has been hypnotized: it’s Zenia talking, from the inside of his head. He goes on: “She’s going to fall apart completely unless I do something.”

And Zenia, for boredom or for sadistic pleasure because she could, goes on to steal Tony’s man, Roz’s man and Charis’ man. Three men which are depicted weak and ready to feel more manly by helping out a damsel in distress. Leaving their wives and sanity behind. Once Zenia drops them, they become empty shells, husks, shadows of what they once were, like invalids with a piece of their soul missing. Roz’s husband commits suicide on a lake shortly after Zenia is found dead (she actually faked her death).

Tony’s Story

It’s possible that Zenia’s obsession was having somebody else’s preciousness. Tony loved West, so she took him.

“No,” says Zenia, with a hint of impatience. “I mean, what do you want to do with your life? What’s your obsession?” Obsession . Tony doesn’t know anyone who talks like that. Only criminals and creepy people have obsessions, and if you have one yourself you aren’t supposed to admit to it.

And then maybe Zenia became Tony’s obsession. She was already the center of every party, the talk of the school that they both attended. She stood out. She formulated her environment so that she stood out if that could be done.


All the others, in their black, sink into the black background of the walls. Zenia stands out: her face and hands and torso swim against the darkness, among the white chrysanthemums, as if disembodied and legless. She must have thought it all out beforehand, Tony realizes – how she would glow in the dark like an all-night gas station, or – to be honest – like the moon.

Tony feels herself being sucked back, pushed back into the black enamel of the wall. Very beautiful people have that effect, she thinks: they obliterate you. In the presence of Zenia she feels more than small and absurd: she feels non-existent.

Tony is the first to feel it – the jealousy, the awe, the admiration. She respects Zenia for being different, for being so visible. She is fascinated by her.

Brilliant, and also fearsome. Wolfish, feral, beyond the pale.

And Zenia uses the opportunity to re-model Tony. She switches her normal glasses with some big ones saying that beauty is supposed to be unbalanced, exaggerated and filled with attention. Zenia has found out who she was quite early in life and she uses that to her advantage. She makes Tony wear oversized sweaters even though they don’t suit her tiny frame.

“I look like a stick,” she says. “I look ten!” “Slender,” says Zenia. “Juvenile. Some men like that.” “Then they’re warped,” says Tony.

“Listen to me, Antonia,” says Zenia seriously. “All men are warped. This is something you must never forget.”

This friendship that the two girls share seems quite normal on the outside. Two girlfriends trading secrets. Except Zenia is on a mission to find out everything she can from Tony. Who she was, who her mother was, why did Tony’s mother leave her and her father, everything.

She can see it’s a painful subject for Tony, but this doesn’t deter her; if anything it spurs her on. She pushes and prods and makes all the right noises, curious and amazed, horrified, indulgent, and relentless, and pulls Tony inside out like a sock.

And as Tony talks about her past, we find out that she liked to spell things backwards, that she had an imaginary twin “TNOMERF YNOT” which was everything she wasn’t. In her imagination, she was brave, outgoing and right handed, when Tony was left-handed and ashamed of it.

Tihs . She writes these words with fear and awe, but also with a superstitious relish. They are Tnomerf Ynot words. They make her feel powerful, in charge of something. She breathes and writes and rubs out, breathes and writes. The air is unfresh, filled with the dry, burnt smell of the chintz curtains. All the time she’s writing, she’s listening to the silence of the house behind her. She’s used to silences: she can distinguish between full silences and empty ones, between those that come before and those that come after. Just because there’s a silence it doesn’t mean that nothing is going on.

As it turns out, her lovely mother was having an affair with one of her dad’s co-workers. She loved the excitement that the affair offered compared to her domestic boredom, not the man himself (as the pictures proved). She changed men as she got older, but she never returned home. It’s possible that she never really loved her daughter.

She never says “I truly, truly love you.” It’s always Mother , as if Mother is someone else. Rehtom , thinks Tony. Evol . The metronome ticks on.

When Tony’s mother finally departs to a sunny part of the country, she leaves a note behind:

Darling, you know I would like to take you with me but I can’t right now.
When you are older you will understand why. 
Be a good girl and do well in school. I will write you lots. 
Your Mother who loves you very much.

P.S. See you soon!

(Tony kept this note, and marvelled over it later, when she was grown up. As an explanation it was of course inadequate. Also, nothing in it was true. To begin with, Tony was not darling . The only people who were darling , for Anthea, were men, and sometimes women if she was annoyed with them. She didn’t want to take Tony with her: if she’d wanted to she would have done it, because she mostly did what she wanted. She didn’t write Tony lots, she didn’t love her very much, and she didn’t see her soon. And although Tony did get older, she did not understand why.)

An atmospheric image of the silhouette of a girl standing in a doorway into a Dark room.After her mother left, Tony was left alone with her father – and they didn’t really have anything in common.

He would come into Tony’s room and sit there watching her while she did her homework, as if he wanted her to say something to him. But by this time she was older and more hardened, and she expected nothing much from him. She had ceased to consider him her responsibility; she found him simply an irritating interruption. He was much less interesting than the siege techniques of Julius Caesar, which she was studying in Latin. Her father’s suffering wore her out: it was too flat, it was too wordless, it was too powerless, it was too much like her own.

This is where Tony starts discovering her interest in historical wars. And her passion grows into a full-blown career when she is older. After Zenia leaves her with broken scraps and a lighter bank account.

Zenia is a manipulative con-artist. She does not study, she starts copying Tony’s homework in school, she stops going to school altogether, she is late with her rent and expects Tony to cover her everytime she and West are about to get kicked out. (If it was me, I would have drawn a line at the high number of loans with no return date..)

But Tony is kind-hearted and Tony loves West and Tony does not want to appear un-generous when she has a small inheritance left over from her mother and father. And Zenia, knowing all of this, takes full advantage. The sums are always small at first and then higher and higher.

But Tony! We had to eat! You don’t know what it’s like, to be hungry. You just don’t get it! You don’t know what it’s like to have no money at all!

One evening she bursts crying that she has a history paper due the next day and she needs Tony’s help. What she meant was that she wanted Tony to write her paper on a deadline. (Again, any normal person would have told her – what the hell have you been doing that you didn’t write your paper? Or being put on the spot would probably alter people’s behaviour. Would you have done this for a friend?)

Armed with the knowledge that Tony cheated during her final year in Uni (even though it wasn’t for her own benefit), Zenia goes into Tony’s bedroom like a thief at night and blackmails Tony into giving her a grand or she will tell the university about what she did (even though it was her idea). I was gasping at this point at the level of audacity! How can someone be such a viper!?

Zenia proceeds to disappear and leaves behind a rumor that Tony actually was borrowing money from her and not the other way around and puts her in a bad spot with heart-broken West.

How could he have won this battle? Hard to say. By avoiding recklessness? By drawing the enemy out first to estimate its strength? Strength and cunning are both essential, but each without the other is valueless. Tony herself, lacking strength, will have to rely on cunning. In order to defeat Zenia she will have to become Zenia, at least enough to anticipate her next move. It would help if she knew what Zenia wanted.


Charis’s story with Zenia

Charis is the ultimate free and loving soul. Imagine a hippie chick, believing in the restorative power of nature, vegetarian and raising her own hens for eggs and doing yoga for money. Charis was in the same school as Tony and Zenia but they moved in different circles. So when Zenia appears at her yoga class looking ill, claiming that she’s suffering from cancer and has nowhere to go, Charis takes her in, to the displeasure of the live-in boyfriend. Charis had a boyfriend who was mostly mooching off her – taking her money, her food and giving in return just the occasional sex or doing rebellion meetings in her tiny rented house. He escaped the Vietnam war enrolment and went to Canada as a refugee but he’s hiding from the law and from the border agencies.

Charis now has one man she loves very much and one woman she hasn’t met in ages living under her roof and not contributing anything towards the expenses. She makes cabbage juice and vitamin boosts for the sick Zenia and tries to keep the peace in the household. She does yoga and tries to keep her boyfriend happy. And Zenia. And Zenia talks about her gypsy past, about her mis-carriage, about her cancer and poor Charis is being suckered in.

“I’m a terrible person,” Zenia would tell Charis, her voice tremulous. “I’m not worth all this trouble.” “Oh, don’t say that,” Charis would say. “We all have those feelings. They’re from the shadow side. Think of the best things about yourself.” Zenia would reward her with a little wavering smile. “What if there isn’t anything?” she would say weakly.

Never does Charis ask to see Zenia’s scar. Never does she doubts her story or her motives.. Maybe if she did, her boyfriend didn’t see it before her.. It seems to me that’s almost a saint in her behaviour. Never a bad word, never attracting terrible kharma. She works or the three of them starve.

I have to work or else we don ’t eat? That doesn’t go over too well: he thinks it’s a criticism of him because he doesn’t have a job, and then he sulks. He prefers to believe that she’s like a lily of the field; that she neither toils nor spins; that bacon and coffee are simply produced by her, like leaves from a tree.

When she finds out she’s pregnant, she’s over the moon and can’t wait to tell her lover and kindly ask Zenia to move out so she can use her bedroom as a baby room. All hell breaks loose as Zenia shows her true colours and runs off with Charis’s husband the following night. Also all her chicken are killed.

Charis is going through a break-down and we find out who the darker version of Charis is. When she was young, her mother left her with her grandmother and then committed suicide.

Her mother couldn’t help it. It was her nerves.

Her aunt and uncle became her legal guardians and took her away from her grandmother’s care. Under their roof, Charis experienced sexual abuse from her uncle for years until her period came. She tried to tell her aunt what was going on but her aunt called her a liar and compared her to her no-good mother. It all comes back to mothers.. That’s why Charis is frigid, scared of sex, and happy to be with any man who won’t pressure her too much.

Tony and Roz come to her help and the Zenia-hating club has now a new member.

What I loved best in this section was how Charis’s acquaintance to Zenia was explained in a few sentences:

The history of Charis and Zenia began on a Wednesday in the first week of November in the first year of the seventies. Seventy . Charis finds both parts of this number significant, the seven and the zero as well. A zero always means the beginning of something and the end as well, because it is omega: a circular self-contained O, the entrance to a tunnel or the exit from one, an end that is also a beginning, because although that year saw the beginning of the end of Billy, it was also the year her daughter August began to begin. And seven is a prime number, composed of a four and a three – or two threes and a one, which Charis prefers because threes are graceful pyramids as well as Goddess numbers, and fours are merely box-like squares.


Tony has thought a lot about Zenia and has decided that Zenia likes challenges. She likes breaking and entering, she likes taking things that aren’t hers. Billy, like West, was just target practice. She probably has a row of men’s dicks nailed to her wall, like stuffed animal heads.

Roz’s story with Zenia

“Don’t show what you’re thinking,” they tell her. “Play close to your chest. Know when to fold.”

Roz has had plenty of warning about Zenia. Roz knew what type of snake she was and how demented this woman behaved. But she still agreed to meet her when Zenia told her she knew her father was a war hero. She probably gathered loads of information beforehand from different magazine articles so that she could hit Roz with a well designed made up story about how her father was heroic and brave during the war. Roz desperately wanted to believe everything she said for the simple reason that she stopped thinking her father was a war hero after she found out that him and his buddies stole as much as the Germans did and sold it all back for profit after the war had ended.

The reason why Roz was really well off was because her father brought them into new money. She went to a private school, she lived in a large mansion. She married a young lawyer who was interested in her despite her plumpness. She has other qualities which she found during a stay in camp.

Roz can see that she will never be prettier, daintier, thinner, sexier, or harder to impress than these girls are. She decides instead to be smarter, funnier, and richer, and once she has managed that they can all kiss her fanny.

She invests a bit in a woman’s magazine and she shows real skill in management and business. She doesn’t yet have a profit but this is when Zenia enters the picture and the business and wants a share of whatever Roz has – even the memories of her dead father.

So I used to pretend that your father was my father, and that some day he would come to get me, and I’d move into his house. I wasn’t even sure where he lived.”

I mean, you’ve got all this, you’ve got a home, a husband, you’ve got your kids. You’re a family, you’ve got solid ground under your feet. I’ve never had any of that, I’ve never fitted in. I’ve lived out of a suitcase, all my life; even now it’s hand-to-mouth, that’s what freelancing means, and I’m running out of energy, you know? There’s just no base, there’s no permanence!”

Roz, of course, has no idea. She has a cushioned life, she has twin girls and a son who’s just turned 20. She’s been married with a man (Mitch) she loves (even though he had stepped from the well lit path of marriage a few times and had flings with bimboes). From Roz’s own history, she knows that in order to keep a marriage working, a woman should not make a big deal out of mistresses, because in the end, the husband always knows where home is.

She’d read about mistresses in the murder mysteries. Mistress was the word she preferred, because it was more elevated than the other words available: “floozie,” “whore,” “easy lay.” Those other words implied nothing but legs apart, loose flabby legs at that – weak legs, legs that did nothing but lie there, legs for sale – and smells, and random coupling, and sexual goo. Whereas mistress hinted at a certain refinement, an expensive wardrobe, a well-furnished establishment, and also at the power and cunning and beauty it took to get such things.

In Mitch’s cosmology Roz’s body represents possessions, solidity, the domestic virtues, hearth and home, long usage. Mother-of-his-children. The den. Whereas whatever other body may currently be occupying his field of vision will have other nouns attached to it: adventure, youth, freedom, the unknown, sex without strings. When the pendulum swings back – when that other body starts representing complications, decisions, demands, sulkiness, and weepy scenes – then it will be Roz’s turn again. This has been the pattern.

Roz is an excellent observer. She always knows when her husband is having an affair as his office hours become longer, he draws his belly in before walking in front of a mirror, he uses different aftershave.

The numbers of conferences he goes to, the numbers of showers he takes, the amount he whistles in them, the quantity and kind of aftershave he uses and the places where he splashes it – the groin is a sure giveaway – such things are minutely observed by Roz, looking pleasantly out of her indulgent eyes, bristling like a bottle-brush within.

Does Roz secretly enjoy all this? She didn’t at first. The very first time it happened she felt scooped out, disjointed, scorned and betrayed, crushed by bulldozers. She felt worthless, useless, sexless. She thought she would die. But she’s developed a knack, and therefore a taste. It’s the same as a business negotiation or a poker game. She’s always been a whiz at poker. You have to know when to up the stakes, when to call a bluff, when to fold. So she does enjoy it, some. It’s hard not to enjoy something you’re good at.

But Mitch having an affair with Zenia doesn’t even cross Roz’s mind. There are none of the tell-tell signs and when they are both in a room together, they don’t seem to even make eye contact let alone talk to each other. But Zenia has set her eyes on handsome Mitch and she wants Mitch and she wants money. So she forges Mitch’s signature on 50 cheques and then runs off with 50,000 dollars all the way to London, leaving Mitch in her wake, like a lost puppy. Mitch attempts to reconcile with Roz after he left her to very openly live with Zenia but Roz shows some spine and refuses to take him back. Mitch tries to find Zenia in London and he gets so close that Zenia concocts a plan where she “dies”. Mitch shortly after the funeral drowns in a lake in a suspected suicide.

Roz’s heart hardens. It ceases to burn and drip. The rent in her chest closes over it. She can feel an invisible hand there, tight as a bandage, holding her body shut. That’s it, she thinks. That finally tears it. She buys five murder novels and takes a week off, and goes to Florida, and lies in the sun crying.

This was all right for Roz until Zenia came along. Zenia took advantage of her silly pride and fooled around right under her nose.

Book Reviews

The Woman Before Me * Ruth Dugdall – Book Review

Not since “Orange is the new black” and “Sleeping Beauties” have I had a chance to peek inside a women’s prison. Ruth Dugdall writes with great insight coming from her past working as a probation officer in 1996 with offenders guilty of serious crimes, including stalking, rape and murder.

“The woman before me” starts off with Rose Wilks sneaking through the back door into Emma’s house. It’s close to 3AM and she goes to the child’s room and picks up and cuddles the baby, Luke. Then she hears sounds of intercourse coming from Emma’s bedroom. She must be in there with her husband Dominic.

Growing Up

How to Make the Most Out of Your Thanksgiving Party

Are you hosting a Thanksgiving party this year? If so, have you thought about making sure that you enjoy yourself? Unfortunately, when it comes to hosting a party, such as a Thanksgiving party, there are many party hosts who tend to worry more about their guests than themselves. While it is always important to make sure that your guests are having fun and enjoying themselves, what good is a party if you can’t enjoy it yourself?

Growing Up

Self-defence nerve centres do’s and don’ts

be5eaec6141836167160842992_700wa_0I know I’ve been talking about self-defense – which is essential for every woman to know from a young age.

Hit hard, hit fast, hit often’ and the attacker is likely to leave and look for an easier target.

There are different things you can do when faced when an assailant of either the same size as you or a greater size.  There are different responses to different attacks and you should never retaliate with more force needed (ie, do not strike a killing blow for a pat on the bum).

You all know about hitting a person’s nose (you can chop it or punch it with a close fist) and the blood will disorient them enough for a run. Don’t sit and fight ladies!

If you are already in close to an assailant, this is an excellent target.

DO NOT step in close to hit at the nose if you are out of fist-hitting range! 


Deep blue sea * Theatre

Sometimes I like taking advantage of the perks of having a Cineworld Unlimited card – it means I can go and see a theatre play, in the cinema, with only £8 (or abouts). I saw “The deep blue sea” a few weeks ago and it’s only now I managed to put aside some time and talk about it.


A flat in Ladbroke Grove, West London. 1952.

When Hester Collyer is found by her neighbours in the aftermath of a failed suicide attempt, the story of her tempestuous affair with a former RAF pilot and the breakdown of her marriage to a High Court judge begins to emerge.

With it comes a portrait of need, loneliness and long-repressed passion. Behind the fragile veneer of post-war civility burns a brutal sense of loss and longing.

Book Reviews

Stone Mattress: Nine Wicked Tales * Margaret Atwood

It’s been a while since I’ve picked up Margaret Atwood. After returning from the Caribbean holidays where I read the stories of seduction, deceit and infidelity from this wonderful Canadian writer, I decided to give Stone Mattress a go. Oh my goodness! The stories are interwoven but not even about growing up like Bluebeard’s egg but about people who were young together grew old apart – about the sadness left behind, about the pleasures of being a mistress to a poet, about the pains of being the provider for the same one.

The book is a sour read. It’s an insight into a life of an adulterer, the life of a victim of such a crime and the others. I think this would have been a better name: The life of others.

Atwood illuminates heavy themes with a lightness of touch, giving insight not only into the nature of stone but the trials and tribulations of flesh and blood (Anita Sethi Observer)


Adult Christmas Games

Not all Christmas games have to be for children, or have to be serious. Good gracious, adults like to let their hair down and have a good, silly time too.
Here are several games to get you started.
antlersIf this is a group that’s not afraid of looking silly, here’s just the game. Provide a pair of pantyhose for each team and a total of 8 balloons. When the game begins, the team should begin blowing up the balloons and the inflated balloons have to be put into the legs of the pantyhose. To make this game fair, the teams should be of equal number and the pantyhose not a petite size.
The game ends when someone gets all their balloons into the legs of the pantyhose, “wears” the antlers and sings the first verse of “Jingle Bells”. Be sure to make everyone finish the game, however, so you can get a great picture of everyone in his or her pantyhose antlers.
For a fun relay-type game, how about making a Santa beard? Make a big bowl of cotton balls and get a container of Vaseline. Put some Vaseline on the chins of each member of each team (ideally, 2 teams of about 5 people each). The first players in line run to the bowl of cotton balls and sticks their chin in trying to get as many to stick to the Vaseline as possible. They run to the back of their line, so the next player can have a turn.
When everyone on a team has a beard, that team wins. As with the other game, be sure to take lots of pictures of everyone wearing their Santa beards. Also have plenty of towels and water to get the Vaseline off.
santas-bagThis next game is great for a smaller group of people who are open to a more quiet game. This is about packing Santa’s bag. You start by saying, “I packed Santa’s bag and in it I put pajamas.” The next person continues with, “I packed Santa’s bag and in it I put pajamas, and toilet paper.” Each person continues, each time adding a new item, but also listing the items that were added before. You are out of the game when you miss an item. Someone could be sitting outside the game keeping a list of all the items so if the game goes on for a bit, you will know if someone misses an item.
If you’re having a Christmas party for adults, why not offer up a fun game that’s sure to remind them of a childhood favorite? Create a Christmas scavenger hunt. You will tell people to create teams (about 4 people per team is adequate, but you might want to have larger or smaller teams depending on the size of your party). Make a list of items they need to return with.
If you choose to keep the searching local, either at your home or in the neighborhood, include items like a miniature light string, a piece of holly, a leave off a poinsettia plant, and the like. If you choose to have guests traipse all over town for items, you can have even more fun. You might require them to purchase a holly-decorated box of tissue, or have them provide photo proof that they went down your city’s Christmas Tree Lane. Whatever it is, be creative and enjoy the process. People love this game, not only because it reminds them of childhood, but it helps people get to know other party guests they might know that well and it’s a game that gets people working together, which can always be fun.
Everyone enjoys Hershey’s kisses at Christmas. Divide your group into two teams and have two bowls of Hershey’s kisses at the other end of the room. Give each team one set of oversized mittens or gloves. The first person in line runs to the bowl of kisses, and has to unwrap the kiss while wearing the oversized mittens/gloves and pop the kiss into their mouth. They run back, tag the next person in line, and exchange the mittens/gloves and the next person runs forward to get a chocolate kiss. The winning team is the one in which all members have enjoyed a kiss first.