Monday, December 10, 2007

Of white elephants and yankee swaps...

or what my favorite sister-in-law likes to call a chinese polyanna - ever done one? With the family or at work? Maybe with all the neighbors? The idea of this gift exchange is that everyone brings a wrapped gift of similar value. It's all anonymous and everyone who is participating draws a number. The person with #1 selects a gift and opens it so all can see what it is. The person with #2 can either "steal" #1's gift or choose a wrapped gift from the remainder. The game continues for each subsequent player so that higher numbers are more desirable (because you have more open gifts to steal) - and that's the fun of the game - the stealing!

I've only ever done these where you have to go out and buy a gift to participate, but at our holiday party at work tomorrow we're doing a white elephant with *unwanted or gently used* items from home. Ought to be interesting, I bet. Of course, I throw anything like that away (can't stand the clutter!) - so I wrapped up a little box of Godiva chocolates received as a freebie for spending a bit too much there of late.


I'd love to hear of any wacky gifts you may have received (or gotten rid of) in a similar gift exchange. Stories, please!


Mary said...

It wasn't call Chinese Polyanna, but we played it here at work last week. Our gifts were unwrapped and out of 30 gifts, everyone wanted the same three and the stealing went on forever until everyone decided, enough is enough of this already. Take your darn crock pot and be done with it :o) I went back to my office with my own gift donation because I like it so much - a pretty box of tree ornaments from Borders.

Randa said...

At our office we call it the Tacky Gift Exchange. The item you bring is supposed to be a tacky thing from your home, which you wrap, and remains wrapped until the point when all of the 'stealing' is done, and everyone opens their gift. My favourite gift I ended up with was a pair of bright red slippers covered with red feathers. They were purchased new (as opposed to the 'white elephant unloading')...but MAN were they tacky!

Jennifer said...

This year, we are having our holiday party on January 4th. Each of us is to bring one item to Re-gift... something we received that we really don't want... wrapped. We'll tie a string to it, then put them all in a pile so you don't know which present is attached to which string. At present time, you chose a string and follow it to your present. You have to take it... whatever it is!

KGMom said...

This wasn't a gift I received, but one my husband did. It is a small figurine--a circle of four dogs, with space in the middle for a votive candle!
He got it at his office party last year--exactly in the kind of gift exchange you described. And he thinks it is wonderful.
(Shudder--that's me reacting to it)

Dan Trabue said...

We do this every year at my pastor's house on Christmas Day (she opens her house for all, but especially because some in our congregation wouldn't have a family to celebrate with otherwise). We limit the money spent to $5 - but something you're unloading is excellent, too (especially if it's a tacky gift).

There are always some interesting gifts - and often the weird ones are the ones most fought over. The Nancy and Ronald Reagan houseslippers, for instance (Nancy on one foot, Ronald on the other) - that sort of thing.

Great fun.

Mary C said...

Hi Laura,
A couple of years ago I ended up with a box of tea bags, called PMS Tea. And this year I got a small stuffed Christmas bear stuffed with a floral scent. Both of these gift exchanges were within our small department at the hospital where I work. We definitely get some really wacky and tacky gifts. But it's all in fun.