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Work Christmas (err.. Holiday) Party: White Elephant Gift Exchange
Old 12-14-2015, 10:42 AM   #1
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Work Christmas (err.. Holiday) Party: White Elephant Gift Exchange

So my work is having our group's Christmas party potluck and has a $15 white elephant gift exchange. OK, I am good with that, but what just sits wrong with my FIRE attitude is why spend money (or regift) on some stupid crap item nobody would want? I can understand the gift exchange, we do the draw numbers and then you can pick unwrapped or steal process, can be some fun. I can't understand spending money on something a person will not like and get stuck with? Many co-workers do try and have a good gift item, but several make an effort to have something ridiculous.

To me giving some useless junk that is just a waste of money defeats the purpose of a gift exchange. Can someone help me improve my attitude about this? Right now my only consolation is this is the last time I put up with this. My DW said to just put up with it and try to have fun, but I am forbidden from throwing away my gift at work if I do not like it.
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Old 12-14-2015, 10:46 AM   #2
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Ebeneezer Scrooge lives!

Consider it $15 spent on entertainment.
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Old 12-14-2015, 10:48 AM   #3
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"One man's junk is another man's treasure"

Just because you think some of the gifts are ridiculous doesn't mean someone else won't love it. The two most popular gifts at our exchange this year were really, really ridiculous (one was highly inappropriate to boot). The next two most popular were both practical. Make your contribution something useful (wine always goes over well) and if you end up with something ridiculous, drop it off at a Goodwill on the way home. Somebody out there will LOVE IT.


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Old 12-14-2015, 10:49 AM   #4
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Consider it $15 spent on entertainment.

Also, this!

+1


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Old 12-14-2015, 10:49 AM   #5
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Most people I know just find something around the house that qualifies as a 'white elephant' gift, might even be re-gifting (we just did exactly that with a god-awful candy dish someone gave us year ago). Shouldn't be a need to buy a white elephant gift...surely you have something new/like new that qualifies?
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:08 AM   #6
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It's $15... get over it. Gift cards to a local restaurant or coffee place would be useful.
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:27 AM   #7
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I always hated these stupid gifts that nobody wants, also. Luckily at my former workplace, there was a very low maximum that one was permitted to spend on the gift, I think around $5-$7.

The best one I ever got, was a $5 gift certificate to Starbucks (which was right across the street from work).

I thought that was pretty cool because I didn't want to pay for Starbucks normally. I was saving for retirement, so you all know how that is.

Another gift I liked was a stupid, wacky, very low quality, cheap stuffed animal that I put on top of one of my file cabinets, to spruce up my office. It was a small stuffed alligator IIRC.
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:34 AM   #8
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Another vote for gift cards. After going through the belongings of 3 relatives and throwing out so much junk and useless crap, we will now only give "stuff" to our grandchildren and limit that to things they need.
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:40 AM   #9
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This has nothing to do with work Christmas parties (I skipped every single year), but...

Around the time I started my job, there was this ad campaign for raisins with a singing group, The California Raisins, doing "I Heard It Through The Grapevine". Claymation or something. I loved it. Word got around and at the time one of the fast-food places offered a California Raisin with purchase.

For several weeks, I'd get back to my desk and find a new raisin sitting there. Fantastic! I kept them all and when I packed everything to move this year I took that whole band along with me.
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:42 AM   #10
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+2 gift card. Amazon would likely go over well.
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:43 AM   #11
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For the finL few years of w*rk, my standard office gift was a donation to a charity. Some charities are set up to provide the giver with a card to give the recipient of the gift. You can judge your popularity and your colleagues' naked freed by the responses when they open it.
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:45 AM   #12
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Make your contribution something useful (wine always goes over well)
It doesn't with me. I don't drink alcoholic beverages of any kind, and neither does F. A gift like that would end up in a dumpster before I even got home, if I received it, and I would be a little cranky about it. And no, I wouldn't re-gift it.
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:49 AM   #13
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Our church just had a Christmas potluck and white elephant gift exchange. Fortunately, the exchange was voluntary. I just told them DH and I had de-cluttered before moving this year (which was true); thus had no white elephants to contribute and didn't want to bring any home.


I would have brought a wine-cooling bucket that belonged to my ex in-laws. It's over a foot high, extremely heavy metal, over-ornamented with cherubs, grapes, etc. and painted gold. I was going to leave it out as a free item on Craigslist but jokingly posted it on FB first and my SIL wanted it. She and my brother are down-to-earth LBYM people who know their way around Home Depot better than Crate and Barrel. I think she wants it just because it's the exact opposite of their usual tastes.
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Old 12-14-2015, 12:04 PM   #14
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If you are the analytical type, this might help make it more fun for you:

The Ultimate Guide To Winning Your White Elephant Gift Exchange Using Game Theory | FiveThirtyEight

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Old 12-14-2015, 01:01 PM   #15
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It doesn't with me. I don't drink alcoholic beverages of any kind, and neither does F. A gift like that would end up in a dumpster before I even got home, if I received it, and I would be a little cranky about it. And no, I wouldn't re-gift it.

That's funny. I am allergic to alcohol, but that's what I took home this year. I figure it'll be a great hostess gift next time I'm invited to a dinner.


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Old 12-14-2015, 01:05 PM   #16
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This kind of stuff reminds me of the upsurge in the "ugly sweater" Christmas party. What's the point of buying an ugly sweater?

I think the OP isn't objecting to the 15 bucks.. it's the white elephant part he doesn't like and I agree I don't want to buy something worthless and then take another something worthless home. Having said that, our local Menards had the perfect white elephant gift on sale for under 15 dollars, it was a plastic R2D2 Starwars showerhead!
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:07 PM   #17
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It doesn't with me. I don't drink alcoholic beverages of any kind, and neither does F. A gift like that would end up in a dumpster before I even got home, if I received it, and I would be a little cranky about it. And no, I wouldn't re-gift it.
A wine is a terrible thing to waste...
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:09 PM   #18
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My thoughts were exactly like W2R on the wine as I never drank alcohol...until this year. When is the party?
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:37 PM   #19
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My thoughts were exactly like W2R on the wine as I never drank alcohol...until this year. When is the party?
At the introvert's house...
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:46 PM   #20
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Which one? I see many around here.
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