You Better Watch Out, Karma Claus Is Coming To Town


O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your boughs can teach a lesson
That constant faith and hope sublime
Lend strength and comfort through all time.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your boughs can teach a lesson.

Fa, la, la, la la…Christmas time is here again.  The hustle and the bustle of wracking your brain trying to think of gifts to give loved ones who don’t really need anything.  Gorging on seasonal cookies and sweets until you have to pull your fat jeans out again. Crafting that better-than-Hallmark family Christmas card that showcases your “perfect” family (that is, perfect for at least the five seconds it takes to shoot the picture).  Stressing over mandatory “cocktail” attire for the office holiday party when your wardrobe screams, “cheap beer” attire.  And, the ever popular – it just won’t die – the white elephant gift exchange.

For those not familiar, the white elephant gift exchange is a holiday game in which participants bring gifts of a predetermined monetary amount, usually something low-cost or a gently used item from home.  In other words, gently used crap that you move from drawer to drawer thinking it will still have a use some day.  Players are allowed to “steal” or “trade” gifts if they would rather have someone else’s gift or if they end up with the white elephant – the least desirable gift in the pool. 

My contribution to the white elephant party I attended were some funny napkins that said, “You can’t scare me, I have children” paired with wine glass charms I’ve had in a drawer for ten years.  Dusty, but still relevant.  I drew my gift late in the game, which is a key strategy for going home with the best gift.  I chose one from the pile as opposed to stealing someone else’s gift and ended up with a leaf themed candle holder that would have looked good in one of my bathrooms. 

Contrary to most white elephant gatherings, this was a well-mannered crowd.  In the holiday spirit, everyone seemed to be happy going home with someone else’s crap and there was no stealing.  That is, until the gingerbread latte monkey on my back took over and I declared, “I’m going to be a bitch and steal the Starbuck’s gift card.”  Always a good way to silence a group of women hopped up on Chardonnay and creme de menthe brownies that were complete strangers until the party. 

Well, Karma Claus must have been watching because the last player taunted me by walking around the whole room in search of the perfect gift before ripping the Starbuck’s card out of my hand.  Leaving me to pick the last gift on the table.  I should have known something was up when the mother/daughter team in the corner started snickering.  I opened the gift and saw two of the ugliest Christmas tree ornaments on the planet.  Yes, I ended up with the white elephant gift. At first I thought it was some sort of Webelos Scout craft until I saw the Dillard’s logo on the box.  On the bright side, the ornament set was an heirloom piece of crap that they had saved for the right occasion.  I hung the ornaments proudly in the back of my tree in the hopes of generating some positive karma.

In the aftermath of coffee-gate, I’ve been trying to be good for goodness sake because I know Karma Claus is watching.  And, to ward off any future butt-ugly Christmas ornaments I may have to hang on my beautiful tree.  Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.  Make that a GREAT night.  (Did ya notice that Karma Claus?)

What was the worst White Elephant gift you ever received?

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3 thoughts on “You Better Watch Out, Karma Claus Is Coming To Town

  1. We did 3 white elpehants, the best was from our book club that doesnt do gag gifts and ended up with a book I bought which is why I bought it anyway 🙂
    The second ended up having more of an adult theme so we ended up with a collection of handcuffs, whip, body oil, Crisco and body frosting. We left that at the hosts home. If we had ended up with the sex swing it may have been different! It wasn’t as kinky as it sounds, there were 25 players and 22 were your normal varity.
    The third and final party we took inspiration from our second gift and duplicated that as best we could but substituted the body frosting and oil for surgical gloves and duct tape. Sara actually got a xmas dish and spreader that she liked so amongst the other 60 people in the room she hid it and ended up winning it!

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