It’s that time of year again… And invariably, some host / hostess will incorrectly title their intention of their party. In my humble opinion (IMHO) there’s a GINORMOUS difference between White Elephant vs Gift Exchange Parties. I was tricked into thinking I was attending a workplace White Elephant Gift Party. Granted, the co-worker that invited me was a troll with #ERBF (Epic Rest B**ch Face) I was horrified to figure out it was a GIFT EXCHANGE PARTY. Basically, I fell into the trap that this troll knew how to host this kind of party when she didn’t. Here’s what happened…
White Elephant vs Gift Exchange Parties: How I Was Tricked!
Let’s start this conversation with the difference between the two, in my mind! I’m confident there are some in the reading audience that have (and still do) confuse the ideas. The first time I ever heard of White Elephant was in 1995 at Payless Drug Store. A young lady approached me in the aisle I was replenishing with merchandise. She simply asked, “Where do you have white elephants?” I answered, “We don’t sell that here. Why do you need that, because white elephants don’t exist?” She was immediately embarrassed and quickly departed.
Even at 19 years old, I knew she was on a fool’s errand. And most likely, she was attending White Elephant vs Gift Exchange Parties. First of all the idiom of white elephant refers to the legend of the King of Siam. He would gift rare albino elephants to courtiers who displeased him, as they might be ruined by the animal’s upkeep costs. It’s an extravagant gift but burdensome to the recipient.
To me, White Elephant vs Gift Exchange Parties is the intention of the gift. To be funny, gaudy, or odd, versus a gift you would like to have if no one else likes it.
Alternatively, a Gift Exchange Party is simply that. A minimum dollar amount (usually $20) is set, with the same rules of “stealing” and “freezing” a gift after a number of “steals”.
So RFB tells me it’s a White Elephant Gift Party with a $10 minimum. I set out into the world of retail therapy to buy a real train wreck-y gift like something directly out of an informercial. I traveled to the nearest Wally World (i.e. Wal-Mart) I dragged along my little sister to assist. We found the “As Seen On TV” end cap in the middle of the store. To this day, I can’t remember what I purchased but it was so terrible it was funny.
At least to me.
Finally, it was the day of the party. The numbers were drawn for order of selecting the first gift. The person holding number one walked up to the pile of wrapped gifts as directed by rule and opened it. To my absolute horror, it was a beautiful candle set from the warehouse. I wanted to stand up, walk over, select my gift and leave for the best unexplained #micdrop and walk ever. Round after round another person would skip over my cheesy-tried-and-true-WHITE-ELEPHANT gift. My “turn” was finally up, as it seemed to take forneverness.
I promptly walked up to my donated gift, unwrapped, and kept it. Thankfully, no one “stole” it either. I mean-mugged ERFB the entire “party”. What a troll for tricking me! I unintentionally made a mockery of this gift exchange.
I gnashed my teeth together. I vowed to NEVER allow this to happen to me or anyone in my orbit that I care about ever again. That, and … never talking to ERFB again.
So, Spaceship Earth, have you confused this issue? Were you tricked like me? Lemme know in the comments below. Until next time, be good like you should, and if you can’t be good, be good at what you do.
Mic drop *bOoM*