With Christmas round the corner, everyone’s rushing to do some "last minute Christmas shopping". I was buying some toiletries at Watson’s just now and the lady in the cashier queue behind me was loaded with tons of pre-wrapped decorative items, face towels, etc. As she dumped the entire load onto the cashier counter (knocking into me in the process), her hand reached out to grab some teddy bear candle/wax that was at the shelf just below the cashier. My immediate thought – a lot of people are going to get some very useless gifts this Christmas.
Sometimes I think whoever came up with the idea of having a gift exchange did it to save money from buying a gift for everyone. I suppose if everyone participated wholeheartedly, having a gift exchange could be fun. Unfortunately, more often than not, a gift exchange (especially office ones!) is a place where most presents given end up as unwelcomed, "white elephant" gifts.
Take Iceman for example. His kind colleagues have ensured that his cup will never runneth over. Kind of hard when you have 5 spare cups sitting in the cupboard. Thankfully, I’m not subject to any mindless gift exchanges in the office.
A couple of years ago, my church cellgroup decided to put a little twist to this whole gift exchange thing. Instead of getting a random gift for someone in the cellgroup, a "white elephant gift exchange" was introduced. The idea is to exchange an unused gift that you received with someone else in the cellgroup – with the hope that the recipient can find some function for the gift. Heh. Some funny gifts have appeared in the last 2 white elephant gift exchanges. I think my personal favourite has got to be this coughing ashtray.
Anyway, Iceman was subjected to another gift exchange this year. Instead of buying another meaningless gift, Iceman thought maybe he should write a cheque of $15 and address it to a charity. That way, he would be helping the recipient make a donation to the less fortunate this Christmas. I thought that was a brilliant suggestion. After all, what could be more meaningful than the gift of giving this Christmas season?
Not sure if Iceman went ahead with that idea because there was some resistance from some of his colleagues when he told them the idea. *Rolls eyes*. Perhaps some people prefer white elephant gifts after all. I suppose I could dig up some useless photo frame for them…