Thursday, December 20, 2007

White elephant gift exchanges--how I won this round!

The company division that my department is a part of had a holiday party today that included a white elephant gift exchange. Both my boss and I took to heart the white elephant part--take something from home that the individual would never use and did not want, and use this opportunity to foist...I mean allow another person to take it home. Last year at my family's gift exchange, I chose (and could not get another to take) an unopened box of a vintage 1970s hostess set including cow creamer, sugar dispenser, and salt and pepper shakers. I considered eBay as a way to make money and get it out of my life, but then I would have to post the listing, hope I get enough money to make it worth my while and then get to the post office to mail it. I am lazy so in my house it sat.

Then I received this party invite including a white elephant gift exchange and thought "Ah ha! I can get rid of this piece of clutter!" The damn thing haunted me and I just did not want it but could not throw it away. I was considering posting it on craigslist until this opportunity came along. Still, once I was at the party, I had to avoid getting something I despised even more and would only swap one piece of clutter for another bit of clutter in my house. Thankfully, I managed to downsize extremely well. I came away with a set of almost tealight-sized, Christmas-shaped candles. Small, usable and best of all, a lot easier to dispose of.

The gift I "received" is not completely earth friendly but compared to the entirely petroleum-based vintage set I had, I am thankful. Besides, I like candles and the size of the package is a tenth of what I had. I was able to avoid items that were completely useless to me and would only add to the clutter in my home. Besides, I already have an item I intend on using for the family gift exchange and would not want to displace that. Now if I could only be so successful Christmas eve (find something I like and no one steals it). Tall order I know. Here is hoping!

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