THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

No one wants to say it, but I will. There is an elephant in the room. It is white, usually appears around Christmas, and I don’t like it. In case you’ve never played the White Elephant Gift Exchange, these are briefly the rules:

  1. Everyone brings a wrapped gift of a predetermined amount to a party.
  2. Gifts are placed in one spot (i.e. under a Christmas tree.)
  3. The organizer counts the gifts and writes a number for each on small pieces of paper (beginning with 1, 2, 3, etc.)
  4. Each person playing draws a random number from a container.
  5. Number 1 selects a wrapped gift, opens it, and shows it to everyone.
  6. Number 2 can either “steal” Number 1’s gift or pick from the wrapped gifts remaining, and Number 3 can steal from all already opened gifts or choose an unopened one.
  7. One gift cannot be stolen more than twice and the Number 1 person gets the last turn to steal or pick the last wrapped present (#7 rule is often contested.)

Call me Scrooge, but buying a non-gender specific gift, one that everyone will love, with no particular person in mind is like ordering dinner when you can’t read the menu. What’s the point? Then adding insult to injury, when you finally decide on a gift you’re certain checks all the boxes of non-specific and will be THE ONE that everyone will want to steal, you see on the face of the person who picked your gift that it’s about as popular as a fruitcake. Then, of course, you have to pretend you don’t have a clue about who brought that gift while everyone is thinking, “Boy, I’m glad I didn’t pick that one.” You guessed it. My gift has never been THE ONE that everyone is fighting over. Hello…I am not a gift psychic.

My preference would be to present my present to a person in person…if that makes sense, but that is against the rules. The Elephant was once again invited to our annual family Christmas party this year (not by me.) However, since my gift debacle of last Christmas, I had given my options much thought. I could say I was going to be out of town, but that would be difficult since the party is always at my house. I simply had to find the perfect gift to redeem myself. One that would appeal to almost everyone (I know you can’t please everyone), but it would be THE ONE that at least two people would want to steal.

Ah, it finally came to me. What do people love to do? Buy what they really want themselves with A Gift Card! I disguised the Gift Card inside an elaborately wrapped shoe box. As I was gathering all the presents together to start the White Elephant Gift Exchange, I overheard the women saying: “Don’t you just hate it when people give you gift cards?” Where is my elephant gun?