Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 89 - White Elephant Game

Some people have played this game and call it the "One person's trash is another person's treasure."  Other names are: White Elephant Game, Yankee Swap, Chinese Gift Exchange, Dirty Santa, Thieving Secret Santa, or Parcel Pass. The term white elephant refers to a gift whose maintenance costs exceed its usefulness. When I was young, in a sunday school class we were asked to bring something that maybe somebody else would want that we planned on throwing in the garbage.  You take the item and wrap it nice and pretty in a box.  Everybody does the same thing and brings their gift.  This gift can be modified also for Holiday Parties or Baby Showers to buy something with a limit on the amount.  Whenever my in-laws would come, I would buy all the gifts, wrap them and then place a twenty-dollar bill in a nicely decorated bag. 

You will then need to fill up a bowl or hat with numbers equal to the amount of players. When it's time to start the White Elephant Gift Exchange, you will have everyone gather in a circle and draw a number. Once all of the numbers are drawn, have player #1 go first choosing a gift of his/her choice.

Once the player has opened the gift, holding it up for everyone to see, the next player then either chooses to steel his/her gift or open a new one. As the game goes along, the players have the choice to steel any gift that someone has opened or open a new one.

If someone steels your gift, you get to open another gift, or steel another. However, the key rule to this game is that a gift can only be stolen three times, once it has been stolen three times, that person gets to keep the gift and it's untouchable.

Inevitably, the money always adds a nice dimension to the game.  It brings out the true competition in all people.  I've seen sweet
daughters grab the money bag from their own mother as their mother pleaded with them, but I neeeeeeeed the money more than you!  Ahhh the atmosphere of the game is pure joy. The idea of something being of value to someone else other than ourselves is common.

Recently we saw a toy chest and a bathroom cabinet out in our neighbors garbage on the road.  The cabinet was brand new.  We painted it and put on some new knobs.  The Toychest was still full of toys. We cleaned out the toys and picked up the chest.  The fasteners were loose so the toy chest had come apart.  We took it home, tightened the fasteners, changed the handles, recovered the top and for $20ish have a brand new chest.  It's reborn.  The right thing to do when you see someone putting out something in the trash that you know somebody can use is to rescue it!  One could sell the item or give it as a gift.  I'm just appreciating the new pieces in our house.  No worries about it being more money to maintain than to keep.  It is maintenance free and it holds all the other white elephants I may have running around the house!

“The greatest treasures are those invisible to the eye but found by the heart.”

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