I belong to a group of 7. We are former colleagues and although we haven't been working for the same company for over 7 years, we are a pretty close circle of friends. There are 3 guys and 4 ladies including yours truly in our group. We keep in touch via phone all the time but make sure we get together at least every month.
Our outings are usually of the expensive kind because, all of us like to eat and drink and Istanbul is a gem of a place. We almost never go to the same place twice in a year. Since it is only once a month, I do not mind the expense. It is pretty much my only splurge. Usually alcoholic beverages cost a lot because of the enormous taxes imposed by the current conservative Government. They cannot ban it as they would love to do but they keep upping the taxes so, our outings cost dearly. I usually do not drink so that I can drive some of my friends home and whenever I feel like drinking, we leave all the cars and use public transportation. We are all responsible adults with ages ranging between 42-54. Oh and btw, we always divide the bill among us equally because doing it otherwise would make us feel cheap. The guys are the bigger drinkers so they usually treat us to coffee afterwards or pay the parking tickets and try to balance the expenses out. It is cute.
For the last 3 years we started a new tradition of gift giving for the New Year's (we do not celebrate Christmas, since we are not Christians but, we do celebrate the New Year and for some of us exchanging gifts is something we like to do. More religious types frown upon that but, I do not care).
Yesterday night was our gift exchange night and we had a blast. We do have some pranksters in our group and they love their tricks. So, I ended up with a very elegant 100% wool shawl (my principal gift), a cute puppy bookmark and a couple of cute bowls and a horribly slutty looking sequined shirt which was my funny gift from the pranksters:)
I have bought everyone funny multi-colored toe socks:)
I am sure glad I belong to this funny, intelligent, thoughtful group of friends. They are the best!