My First White Elephant

My friend, Sheri, invited me to a Christmas Party/White Elephant gift exchange at B.A.R.K. Its a shelter that Rez Dog Rescue works with. They take in puppies and dogs to their shelter to adopt out. They are great in helping out when we have too many puppies. They get them fixed and shots and so on. Let me tell you B.A.R.K. is SPOTLESS! You could eat off the floor in there. The director and volunteers are all amazing folks. I’ve seen many of the names on Facebook postings but had yet to meet many of them. The party would also have a white elephant gift exchange. I had no idea what that is. You take something tacky or funny and wrap it up and put it under the tree. The first person picks and opens a present. The next person in line can either steal that present or open a new one. Each present can be stolen by other people 3x’s. Keep that in mind, its an important part of the story.

All dolled up and ready to party

I put on my finest Christmas headband. I put some glitter eyeliner on as well. Just to be festive. I was one of the last folks to arrive. I found our table and went to sit down. Our table was going to be a fun one. It was Sheri, her room mate Vicki and our friend, Pat.  We had a goal for the evening, NOT to get kicked out. We can all be a bit obnoxious at times. I know, shocking but there it is.

The White Elephant exchange started and we were off and running. When my number was called I waved it in the air and yelled, “Bingo!” That got a few laughs. I picked a present that was inside a cloth bag for my gift. It contained the most amazing hat, EVER! It played music and it went up and down. I loved that hat. That hat made me giggle. I didn’t want anyone to steal it.  I had big plans for that hat. I think the angels were singing when I put that hat on. It could have been the music the hat was making. I was in love.

I’m sexy and I know it.

A couple more people opened gifts. Then it was our friend, Pat’s turn. She shocked me by saying, “I’m going to steal the hat.” What??!! I could have hit her. I was next to her so it would have been easy. In my maturity I stomped up to the front to pick another present. I yelled to Pat from the front of the room, “I know where you are parked I’m getting that hat back!” Which caused people to laugh. I opened my present and words failed me. It was the most hideous, off-center painting of some fluffy dog that looked like a vampire. The back was held on by blue tape. This thing was ugly and scary. I waddled my fat, unhappy ass back to my table. I was sure that nobody would want to steal this thing.

A man stole my hat from Pat. I was feeling pretty smug at that point. Ha! Sheri and Vicki were making a plan that Vicki would steal the hat back when it was her turn and give it to me. One kid, right before it was Vicki’s turn stole the hat! Arrrrgggg! My hat was lost to me forever. I think I may have pouted a bit. Because I’m an adult like that.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever. This is not a thing of beauty.

Then something shocking happened, a man stole my horrid painting. I literally ran up and hugged him.  By now I’m sure everyone thought I was crazy. I get that a lot.  My next steal was a beautiful picture frame that said, “Family” and had spots to put pictures. I thought that was pretty cool. I still don’t have any wedding pictures up in my house yet, so this might work. It too was stolen. Angie, the gal who stole it, told me that her “husband was a cop so I shouldn’t threaten to steal it from her in the parking lot.”  That made me laugh. Her poor husband was sitting next to our table. I told him what his wife said and he replied, “Eh, that would be a city matter, I’m county.”

Speaking of Angie’s poor husband. His gift was a cheap plastic pink fountain. He liked to remind folks it was up for stealing. I think he was shocked at some of the things he was hearing from our table. However, he was a good sport and lots of fun to joke around with.

My final present was a plastic plate, a box of Skittles and some Christmas decals. I knew I was done at that point. However, periodically I would yell, “I have candy!!” , while shaking the box of Skittles. Which came in handy later in the night. A family with kids had a bit of a disappointment. The brothers must have wrapped up some stuff of their own for the exchange. The little brother picked a package, not realizing it was from his own house. When he opened it he cried. Heck, I would be disappointed too if I got stuff that was already in my house! After a while, his mom wanted to know who had the candy. I told her that I did and told the boy I would trade him my candy for his cool pop up book of Headhunters. Score!! The boys told me it even had a recipe for Headhunter soup. I told them I had always wanted a recipe for that. So even though I lost my hat, I got a cool pop up book!

As everyone was leaving, one gentleman offered me the huge old Random House Encyclopedia that he had opened. Which was very nice and I took it. I think I can use it for something. I offered my friend, Casey, my cookie tray. She just moved into a new house and might need it for entertaining. hee hee  She didn’t feel right just taking that beauty, so she traded it to me for a polymer Christmas tree pin. Whooo whooo!! A triple score.

I have one more picture to show you before I’m done. When we were standing outside after the party, Sheri was leaning against a pole. She had a cute dress, a faux fur coat and LIGHT UP lucite heels. Her friend, Vick, and I talked about how from behind she looked like a hooker. So I had to get a picture of her by the pole.

I wish I you could see the shoes!

All in all it was a wonderful fun night. I had almost forgotten about the loss of that amazing hat. As I was walking to the car, some tween girls said to me, “Were sorry you lost your hat.”  I replied, ” Me too. Me too.”

Billings Animal Rescue Care/B.A.R.K.’s Facebook page

Rez Dog Rescue’s Facebook Page




  1. I have never heard of a white elephant… It sounds like so much fun…. Add you and your girls to the mix! woo hoo

  2. Oh, these types of gift exchanges are a hoot. We do a white elephant exchange for our Family Game Night party at church. Yeah, no getting as out of hand as your group. But a gaudy photo frame has been circulating through the years, with photos added of party-goers. It’s so much fun!

  3. I am sorry Bernie, I just got “caught up” in the excitement and the hat was so cool, I just knew my boss would love it as much as you!! I will behave next year and we will get our plans better!! Sheri did get even by stealing Maxine! LOL!!you can have my snow globe and pretend you are in a MN snowstorm!

  4. Wikipedia says: “The term white elephant refers to a gift whose maintenance costs exceed its usefulness.” The last time I went to a white elephant gift exchange, someone gave a plastic tray that had been warped in the microwave. Someone else brought a wooden finial (like you would put on the end of a curtain rod) with gaudy jewel glued on it. Other people didn’t quite get the concept and brought gifts that were actually useful. Regardless, it was fun. Sounds like you had a great time, too, and that B.A.R.K. benefited.
    Keep up the good work!

  5. LOL! I can’t believe you have never been to a white elephant gift exchange. They are so much fun and BARK does a great job with the whole concept.

    Maybe Santa will bring you another singing hat!

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