Sunday, November 2, 2014

White Elephant Gifts by Anna Adams, Anna J. Stewart, and Melinda Curtis


The holiday shopping season is upon us!  Well, almost.  We thought it would be fun to share some of our white elephant gifts and presents you end up re-gifting - you know, the gifts that have no purpose and/or have missed the mark completely from the gift-giver.

Since Christmas, Actually was just released, we're leaping with holiday spirit here, so commenters on our blog from yesterday (Saturday), today, Monday, and Wednesday will be in the running to win a Christmas ornament (shown here). Comment each day for your chance to win (yes, you can backtrack and comment if you like).

Now for our gift stories:

Anna J Stewart: One year I had to re-gift a ceramic candycane Christmas tree...it was so cute, twirled and sparkly and completely doused in peppermint oil.  I couldn't stop sneezing!  Hated to give it up, but alas, I prefer to be able to breathe.


Melinda Curtis:
  Breathing is important.  Not that I want pity points, but one year my dad left his wife and took another woman to Hawaii. He told me he'd bought me a very special Christmas gift. I couldn't wait.  My oldest brother received a Nikon SLR camera with two additional lenses. My other brother received a shiny new shotgun. And I received...a kimono. I was in college and could have used a new set of tires. I did manage to get some use out of it as a Halloween costume.

Anna Adams: I hate to admit what came to mind when Melinda mentioned white elephant gifts. My husband gave me one of those silky sweatsuits that were so popular in the 1990s. Do you remember them? They were static machines, and I already attract static like a cold car door handle on a freezing day. I tried to wear it once, to keep from hurting his feelings, but I looked as if I'd been playing with an atom smasher. (Hair standing on end, little bolts of lightning zipping between me and every bit of metal I passed.)

Anna J Stewart: How about we lighten things up? This one would be proof of how well my best friend and I know each other. One year we each bought the other the same Xmas gift--it was a 3-D Puzzle of a Hobbit House from The Shire (Geek alert!). On top of that, I'd already bought myself one, so I ended up giving the one I bought for myself away a few months later.  Great minds (and friends), think alike.

Melinda Curtis: OK, something not quite so personal. Hhmmm. I received a laptop bag one year
from a relative with his company logo on it. It might have been nice if he'd worked for a cool company, like Apple. 

So, tell us about a white elephant gift in your past or a present you ended up regifting. Authors please comment, but you're not eligible to win.

Christmas, Actually is a collection of three holiday stories about three siblings living in Christmas Town, where tradition has it that a kiss on Christmas Eve in the town square gazebo will lead to wedding bells in the new year!


23 comments:

  1. This is not a comment about a white elephant gift, but along the lines of Anna J.'s story. Each Christmas, my husband and I are challenged by gift giving for different reasons. Regardless of how innovative I get about wrapping (add a small dumbbell to a box; wrap a little fridge magnet BBQ instead of the real thing), invariably, he guesses what I got him. In all the years we've been together, I've managed to stump him only a couple of times.

    I also sympathize with him because I am very hard to buy for. I truly can't think of anything I want, and I tend not to be big on collecting traditional gifts such as jewelry.

    My husband does love watches, though. His most prized one was his father's, but he has a number of very good watches—both casual and dressy—that he has collected over the years.

    Imagine our surprise one Christmas when we gave each other the exact same brand and style of watch, the only difference being that one was the men's version and the other the ladies'. Neither one of us hinted at wanting a watch, and we purchased them at different jewelers in different cities so it wasn't a jeweler promoting a particular brand. He didn't guess what he was getting and we both love our watches. Mission accomplished! It also gave us a cute story to share with friends.

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    1. This is so great, Kate! You were truly meant to be together

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    2. Kate, shopping for the husband is my most difficult task. I'm already begting for hints this year. Love your non-white-elephant Christmas!

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  2. One year my brother and his wife gave me a silver fruit bowl for Christmas. While this might seem like an okay gift, I hate polishing silver. That bowl got passed on to one of my friends who didn't mind having to clean it all the time.

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    1. LOL, Linda! One year, my mother gave me a ceramic chip and dip bowl with a nearly naked man perched on the edge as if he was about to take a "dip". She had ordered it online and didn't really look closely at the man. He's still sitting in his box in a cupboard - not quite sure what to do with him

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    2. LOL. You might dress him and go ahead and use him.

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  3. Mel, you have the BEST white elephant gifts! Hands down! :-)

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  4. Hi, I'm not sure anyone could top a gift that circulated in a variety of clever ways through the family of a good friend of mine. A box of chocolate covered prunes. I recall hearing about the traveling box for several years. One year when she and I worked adjacent to each other, a florist delivered her a vase filled with long-stemmed chocolate prunes. All of us in the office got the biggest laugh. The next year she had to regift it I moved and haven't asked her about it in years. I'll have to put a note in my Christmas card to see if they finally gave up.

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  5. Ah, well I wrote that before I saw Mel's post. I think yours tops that of my friend, Mel.
    Roz

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  6. Love these--except the kimono; that was just awful! :-( I've been lucky in the gifts I've received, and my husband is great at giving them. Someone did give me a really kitschy pumpkin dish one year that I fully intended to pass off to Goodwill, but somehow it became the keys dish and has remained so ever since.

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    1. Yes, and when I had a party a couple of weeks ago, I dumped the keys, washed the dish, and put candy in it!

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  7. Our family does a white elephant gift exchange every year. There are just too many of us to buy gifts for each family member. We keep the budget low ($25), so you never know what you're going to get. I've been very lucky. My nephew has not. Poor kid wound up with a bottle of chocolate wine! lol Since then, we've put the kids in their own catetgory.

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    1. I've had some of that chocolate wine - it is a white elephant gift, even if you're an adult!

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  8. I feel left out. No good stories to tell. Never gotten anything too awful - Ron's good at shopping and the kids make things and I love that. Love getting Christmas cookies - they may turn ME into a white elephant. There's my connection!

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  9. I love Anna J's geek alert and Melinda, I would have a serious issue with getting a kimono when my brother got a SLR! I don't have any good white elephant stories, but I hate secret Santa. I always get the short end of the stick. One year, I gave cute little things like chocolates and snowflake mugs from Crate and Barrel and I got scented hangers. SCENTED HANGERS. I didn't even know they made scented hangers!

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  10. Ugly scarf. Gave to someone else disclosing how I received it

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  11. My mother left a nice sweater at my house. I wrapped it up and gave it back as one of her presents for Christmas. Everyone had a good laugh because she thought I was giving her a duplicate and hadn't realized she had lost her original sweater. She laughed the most!

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  12. I don't really have a white elephant gift, but our Sunday School class plays Dirty Santa at our party and one gift that has been floating around is a silk sheet set with a young George Clooney in Speed-os. Last year a very prim and proper friend opened it and the look on her face was priceless. She didn't keep it long because someone stole it from her...she was very thankful.

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  13. And the winners are.... Dianne Wagner, Darlene Holley, and Denise Stout Holcomb! Congratulations! We will be in touch with you soon to get your contact information. Thank you everyone who participated! :)

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