What was the worst White Elephant/Secret Santa gift you’ve gotten?
December 10th, 2016 @ 9:58 am

I’m sitting here waiting on a couple of online exchanges I’ve done.  My gifts for them have been sent, but no word on mine.

Waiting got me thinking about my luck with these White Elephant/Secret Santa things.

When I was 10, I did a Girl Scout Secret Santa exchange.  My mother got our recipients a cool Coke can shaped coin purse. What did my sister and I get?  Soap. Lesson from that one: don’t give 9 and 10-year-old kids decorative Avon soap.  They won’t appreciate it like their mothers will. My mother loved the soap. Years later, I told the mother that bought the soap it was a disappointment when I shared the photo from that day with her.  Thankfully, she’s like a second mother to me that I could tell her that.

In 4th grade, the same year as the Girl Scouting one, we also did a Secret Santa. I got some Love’s Baby Soft.

When I was in high school, we did an exchange as part of the Peer Helping program I was in. I got my giftee some cool stuff for the 3 gifts we were to give, with the piece de resistance being a Squealer The Pig Beanie Baby. My giftee had a pig. I don’t know what happened with my gifter. The first 2 gifts were small and ok. My final gift, compared to everyone else’s final gift, was a disappointment. It was a cassettes box holder with some horrible candy. My mother said not to bash it, because maybe that’s all the kid could afford. I think the thing that got me was the disappointment of the gift compared to the other gifts, not the gift itself.

In college, we did a White Elephant for a Wesley Foundation party. I forget what I gave that year, and what I got. That year seemed to be a push. I think I got some body wash or spray.

And the funny thing with the body spray and stuff, my mother always told me soap and scents were a bad gift. She likened them to telling a person they stank. She deemed it an insult. She told me never to give soap or a personal cleaning product. So, when I get them, I always think of her viewpoint. I know they other person means well and it’s not a way of saying I stink.

When I started working, we would do a White Elephant each year I worked in the office. Items I got in the exchange:

Year 1) A giant mug with soap. I can’t recall what happened to the soap, but the mug was nice and I use it for soups.
Year 2) Wonder Hangers. They sucked because they didn’t work. What did I give out that year? A Snuggie.
Year 3) A digital photo key chain. I don’t really use it, but it was the best white elephant gift I got.
Year 4) Body spray! I think my sister took it because it was a scent she liked.

I sense a theme here with the soap/perfumes and me.

For the last 2 years, I gave an iTunes gift card. I played along with the White Elephant theme. One year the card was under a box of crayons. Another year the card was attached to a small box of Q-Tips. The gag part was to get a reaction for the crown, but that once the card was found, you didn’t feel like you were robbed.

And yes, some people have been robbed at these White Elephant parties I’ve attended. Someone got stuck with a Bobble Head that was from a Braves game two year prior and the person was just trying to get rid of it. Another gift was a bag of pork rinds stuffed into a box of cereal. A third gift was a two-year-old office t-shirt. One year someone brought a box of pudding. They were just really mean gifts if you stopped and looked at them. Which is why I had the iTunes card as the real gift. The girl that got the crayons the first time felt disappointed until a friend found the card. Sadly, once someone else saw the iTunes card, the gift was stolen and the girl’s gift choices just got worst.

Now, I’m not saying I have gotten bad gifts. For the 2 ornament exchanges completed online so far, I got some nice ornaments. One year was a cute penguin a friend saw and knew it was perfect for me. The second year was a Snowbabies ornament with a cute little rubber duckie.


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