Sunday, December 20, 2009

White Elephant

The annual White Elephant party with my mother-in-law's family is always a highlight of the Christmas season.  Offerings can range from "that's actually nice" (none come to mind immediately) to "how on earth did you think of that?!?" (last year's live rat and the port-a-john from the year before that).

As usual, we started off with a wide array of delicious food and ate until we didn't want to anymore.  Then it all stayed out for anyone who wanted to continue grazing.  We all moved into the living room and pulled out all the packages.  We started youngest to oldest, but the grandkids actually got real gifts to open. Some of the gifts opened before my turn included a giant candy cane, a bath set, a pair of old muddy boots from (I assume) Bicknell, and a painted duck that holds your toilet paper.  I was responsible for that little nugget and it ended up being opened by my sister-in-law, the interior decorator.  Sorry, Shellee.

Throughout the evening I had been eyeing two flat gifts which had been brought by Dustin and Alyssia, who are an artist and a photographer, respectively.  My hunch was that those two gifts were quality stuff.  One of them was almost selected just before my turn.  The verbal exchange and these gifts were considered let me know that one was not so good.  Neither gift was chosen, so I was left to hope the one I picked would be the good one.  I got this:

It was painted by Dustin.  I was a little disappointed that I got the "bad" one, but still thought it was hilarious.

The second piece was chosen on the turn after my own.  It did not disappoint.

I guess I did get the good one.  Gary picked this delight named it Harold.

It was Eric's turn next and he was the proud recipient of one of the largest bras I have ever seen in my life.  Shortly after that there was a rash of gift stealing.  I lost Conan to Lindsay's boyfriend.  I'm good with that.  Conan wouldn't have seen the light of day in my house.  I took the bath set and got to keep it because it had been stolen twice.  Conan was stolen the last time by Tyler, who preferred Conan to Harold.  Harold was stolen by Lindsay, who intended to hang him up in her roommate's bedroom as a surprise.  Eric's bra was stolen and he ended up taking a toy that our daughter can play with.

After all the fun of White Elephant we were split up into groups and given a few jars of Play-Doh per group.  We were then given instructions about which part of the manger scene we were to mold.  My group consisted of myself, Eric, Lindsay, and her boyfriend.  We were one of two assigned to make animals.

The creche scene on the plate it pretty straightforward and easy to recognize.  Going clockwise from the top the figures are: shepherd, three red sheep, a yellow cow (by Eric), a camel (by Lindsay's boyfriend), a donkey, two mice (by Lindsay), two snakes (also by Lindsay), a sheep doing a Rudolph impression (by me), and a mini Tyrannosaurus Rex (also by me).  The T-Rex came about because there was extra time and leftover Play-Doh when I finished my other animals. I started the angel above the stable as a bird, but smooshed it when we realized no one had been assigned angels.

As always, it was a lot of fun and had a lot of the unexpected.  Here's to next year!


[Morgan] said...

HA! sounds like so much fun. those pictures are too funny.

i remember going to parties with my parents and the kids would be doing an activity and the parents were playing the "white elephant game". as a kid, i COULD NOT understand the concept of the game. WHY in the world did any one think that it was fun? crap gifts and someone can take yours? twice?! ha ha ha.

i still have something for you. turns out i ended up sick AGAIN, i caught whatever jonas had, on thursday and i'm barely on the mend. can i come by tuesday or wednesday and just drop it off?

Carrie and Karl said...

Sounds like you had fun. Karl's Mom's family has a Christmas Party each year that is fun too. The gifts are pretty good, and are randomly assigned by number, then everyone opens them at the same time. The fun part of that party is when everyone stands up to say their name and what they got. Last year turned into an AA meeting, and this year everyone added their age and whether their hair was real or not. It is a lot funnier than it sounds.

Carrie and Karl said...

BTW, I'm eating my cinnamon almonds right now and they're yummy!

Braun Family said...

our white elephant gift was a light switch of michaelangelo's "david"....and the light switch replaced his...well business. UP and Down it goes.....


(don't be jealous) ;)