So, what exactly does the term, "white elephant" mean to you? To me, it involves an exchange of hilarious, second-hand Christmas gifts. You don't go out and buy something new to give to someone at a "white elephant" gift exchange. If you did, then that would just be a plain "gift exchange". At my workplace last Christmas, the administrative support group did a white elephant gift exchange together and by the time the exchange was over, most of us participating were in tears because of some of the hilarious gifts we gave to each other. I honored someone with the gift of a mini "Christ of the Ozarks" statue that someone had given me a long time ago. Because it was such a random thing to give, the gift was a hit, and I'd LOVE to hear if this was re-gifted this year if my old place of employment is doing a white elephant gift exchange.
Anyway, this past week at church, we had our Relief Society Christmas Dinner and the invitation to the dinner said, "White Elephant Gift Exchange (No more than $5). Because of my understanding of the term "White Elephant", I brought this absolutely hideous craft kit that came with the sewing machine my mom gave me a few years ago. It was a kit to help you learn how to sew this dark denim blue shoulder bag that had a big yellow star on it and maybe a red apple...eww. So, I thought this would be really funny to give to someone as a white elephant gift. And I think it did have a funny effect. However, most people gave things like candles or candy for their white elephant gifts...in my opinion, not a true white elephant, people! I think there were only a few true white elephant gifts given that night and mine was definitely one of them. From this experience, I have learned my lesson--when you have a church activity and the invitation says "White Elephant" that really just means gift exchange.
On another note, I wanted to let everyone know that I found out I passed the written Foreign Service Officer Exam! I just found today and I am...dumbfounded, actually. I really didn't expect to pass. Now, some committee will review my application along with my test scores to determine if I qualify to take the next examination, which is an oral examination. I should find out if I qualify sometime in February. Anyway, I'm just happy I passed the written part--it gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. hee hee