The holidays are inherently entertaining.

There’s suspense, not knowing what you’re going to get. There’s drama, what with all the family members converging on one place. And there’s singing and storytelling and merriment.

But sometimes, it’s not easy to enjoy the entertainment value of the holidays when you’re in the middle of them.

With your family all around.

That’s why the “Home for the Holidays Cabaret” at Lucid Stage sounds intriguing.

You can sing holiday songs, tell holiday stories and even trade presents in an old-fashioned Yankee swap.

But you don’t have to see any relatives you don’t want to see. Or any relatives at all.

The night is scheduled to begin with a cabaret-style show, with the cast and audience singing 15 holiday songs. There will be chances for the audience to get involved, as when two female singers perform the flirty holiday favorite “Santa Baby.”

“One lucky guy will get the chance to come on stage and have two pretty women sing to him,” said John Bryson of New Edge Productions, the show’s director and producer.

Bryson said cast members will also share stories — personal stories — about their own holidays and families. Members of the audience will be invited to share personal stories too.

They can be heart-warming, funny, whatever. “Anything anyone can relate to,” said Bryson.

Which is a fairly broad area when you’re talking about the holidays, because most of us have seen it all by now.

After the performance part, there will be a Yankee swap for anyone who wants to participate and would rather get gifts from strangers than family. Though not everyone will be a stranger, because Lucid Stage has an extensive community of volunteers, performers and supporters who will likely turn out.

But even if you just walk in off the street, you can participate in the swap. and if you’ve never been to a Yankee swap, this would be a good chance to participate in one without angering family members.

One of the fun things about a Yankee swap is that when it’s your turn, you can either open a new gift or “steal” a gift that was already opened by someone else.

People who want to participate should bring a wrapped, used gift for re-gifting (a perfect way to get rid of unwanted presents from years past) or a new gift that costs less than $25.

The gifts are put under a tree, then numbers are drawn to determine who picks when.

The first person will unwrap a gift, then the second person can either unwrap a new gift or steal the first present. Then the third person can either unwrap a new present or steal from the first two people.

And so on.

“But it will be orderly; it won’t be a free-for-all,” said Liz McMahon of Lucid Stage.

An orderly holiday gift exchange — now there’s something to dream about. 

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

[email protected]