The Holiday Advent (As In Advent-ure) Posts: Day 15 – The White Elephant Party

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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 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 party-goers bring a gift that is low-cost or gently used crap from home 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 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 fished from the back of a drawer – dusty, but still relevant. 

I drew my gift late in the game, which is also a key strategy for going home with the best gift.  I chose one from the pile as opposed to stealing someone else’s gift.  I ended up with a leaf themed candle holder.  Not exactly something I would buy for myself, but I could visualize it sitting on the sink in my half-bathroom. 

Contrary to most white elephant gatherings, this was a well-mannered crowd.  In the holiday spirit, everyone seemed happy to go home with someone else’s crap.  Surprisingly, 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 who were complete strangers until meeting at 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 the duo had set aside 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.

What was the worst White Elephant gift you ever received?


4 thoughts on “The Holiday Advent (As In Advent-ure) Posts: Day 15 – The White Elephant Party

  1. Worst white elephant gift? Don’t remember clearly, but it was a scoop on a long handle and a bucket. It also had some instructions about not following the elephant too closely while operating.

  2. My husband’s family used to do this when we gathered on Christmas Eve. In recent years we gave this up. But, at the first one I attended, my hubby and I opted to toss in a pair of fuzzy hand cuffs and some kinky underpants. From that point onward, his relatives were always fearful about being stuck with a gift from us.

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