Saturday, December 17, 2005

White Elephant

I went to one of those "white elephant" Christmas parties last night. The invitation was from an in-law of my brother's, so it was rather unexpected but very nice of her to include my sister and me. Of course, the challenge was to find the appropriate white elephant gift for the gift exchange. Having never attended this now 8th annual party before, I wasn't quite sure how far I could push it. The hostess is my sister-in-law's aunt who is also my age. She's a pleasant woman, somewhat reserved and quiet, and I've never met her friends before save her male roommate. My sister works at a local university and found a good generic gag gift at the student store. I'm not a big fan of shopping in public this time of year and was really drawing a blank until I remembered the horrendous golf sweater set of years past.

Once upon a time, I was a yuppie, and therefore, a golfer. I still have my clubs, although sadly enough, they are collecting dust in the back of a closet somewhere. But when I was in the heat of my golfing rage, a friend of mine, a friend who has known me for many, many years and should certainly know better, bought me the most hideous golf-themed sweater set as a birthday present. I accepted the gift with as much grace as I could muster, stuck it in the closet, eventually gave up golf, and here we are today. It occurred to me that the sweater set from hell was the perfect white elephant gift if, and it was a big if, I hadn't thrown it away or donated it to the Salvation Army. So I rummaged around my closet, and lo and behold, there it was, awaiting it's first stop in what is likely to be a long life of white elephant gift swaps.

Even though I put it in a giant red bag, it wasn't chosen until somewhere mid exchange. We were at the point where a few "good" gifts had been opened and were being stolen. There was one man who was kind of big, doughy and good humored. Someone had just stolen his third or fourth gift when he went back to the tree and finally chose the big red bag. He had to pull about 15 sheets of tissue paper off the top when he reached in and grasped the hanger. Before he got any of it out of bag, he could see what it was and visibly began groaning. Everyone started yelling, "let's see it!," and I was quite pleased with myself when it was finally revealed in all it's glorious kitschosity. The whole party completely erupted. In fact, the sweater-set-gone-horribly-wrong literally brought the festivities to a complete standstill for 10-15 minutes while all the men tried it on and posed in it. (Tragically enough, I had left my camera at home... these pictures were taken before I wrapped it.) I feigned modesty while everyone congratulated me on my successful rookie gift.

Which of course brings me to this. What the hell am I going to take next year?


At Saturday, December 17, 2005 5:30:00 PM, Blogger GetFlix said...

Whew! I thought you were going to say you made that! (Which would have been a complete departute from the cool bag you're giving your mom.)

It's funny all the guys wanted to try it on!

At Sunday, December 18, 2005 12:01:00 PM, Blogger PixieGaf said...

I went to one of those parties last year and I just ended up getting a cheap prom dresss from a thrift store. Your sweaters are awfully funny though.

At Sunday, December 18, 2005 10:25:00 PM, Blogger LA said...

GetFlix - While I'm certainly not above joke knitting (I'll post something funny soon), I wouldn't put as much time and effort as that ugly sweater took for just a laugh.

Pix, I've already given away the stuff I got... cookie cutters and a salsa bowl.

At Tuesday, December 20, 2005 10:02:00 AM, Blogger Mike V. said...

OMG, that sweater is awesome!
Perfect party gift for that kind of thing.

One time, I was part of an extended family gift exchange.
Now, we all have enough things, no need to go and try to find something "useful".
I went to Cost Plus and bought one of those foot high African statues with made out of wood and he was sporting wood.
I put it in a weighted wine bag.
The person that grabbed that one pulled it out. The look on his face was horror.
His adult son, an uptight preppy was like, "that sucks!".
As God is my witness, that made my fucking year!

At Tuesday, December 20, 2005 10:49:00 AM, Blogger LA said...

HAHA! That's friggin classic! Cost Plus, eh? I might stock up on those right now! I love that the uptight prepppy nearly had a coronary, too. Nice touch! ;)

At Tuesday, December 20, 2005 9:17:00 PM, Blogger Mike V. said...

God, this was probably like 10 years ago, so I'm not sure how many wooden Africans with boners they still have in stock.. :)

At Thursday, December 22, 2005 10:38:00 AM, Blogger Chuck H said...

Hahah...that's an awesome gift! I've usually brought a knitted something or a painting, but I might try something horrendous next year, just for kicks :)

seriously, what a sweater! I wish I could say I made that...


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