There are no friends in the White Elephant game. No random acts of kindness. It’s hand to the back meet bus.

That’s how it was Saturday night when the Simpson family gathered for our Christmas celebration. Things intensified when Kyle, Shelby’s boyfriend, stole Will’s miniature drone. We don’t discriminate even against the youngest and most tender and innocent. Everyone is fair game.

But he’s no amateur to the game. At 11 years old, he’s a seasoned and hardened veteran. So he waltzes over and steals Aunt Sherry’s $25 iTunes gift card along with baby Jesus in the tiny nativity scene. Ruthless.

Then Sherry asks her husband Joel if he wants her to steal back the drill from me that I stole from him earlier. It was kind of sweet in a way. But he declined. I was pushing for her to steal Shelby’s $25 Olive Garden gift card, but Shelby threatened to stab anyone in the eye with a fork for such treachery.

It’s kind a how I’d envision the Sopranos playing the game.

In the final move of the night, Bella, who was the very first to go, got the opportunity for one last steal. She commandeered the drone from Kyle. And in the most surprising turn of events, as Bella returns to her chair, she drops the drone in Will’s lap. Bella ends the game with nothing of her own and Will walks away with the drone and a $25 iTunes gift card.

And baby Jesus.

Which is fitting because baby Jesus came to return to us what we lost in the Garden. A perfect and intimate relationship with God. An abundant life. Joy. Peace. Heaven. Salvation. Hope. Wholeness.

And no one can steal these things from those who believe.

“I give them eternal life and they shall never perish. No one shall snatch them away from me.” John 10:28.

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