The Elephant(s) in the Room

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Just for Fun / Social Life

White elephant.

A possession that is more of a problem than a pleasure; a useless elephantticketpossession (perhaps quite valuable) that one cannot easily get rid of. Legend has it that rare albino elephants in ancient Siam automatically became the property of the king. At least one such king had the custom of giving a white elephant to any courtier who had fallen out of favor. The courtier was soon ruined by the cost of keeping the elephant.


In the middle of a 3-day weekend, in the midst of an arctic spell, in the middle of January. Fourteen souls—perhaps hardy, perhaps foolhardy—make their way to the clubhouse to chase away the winter blahs. It’s the 3rd annual Maples White Elephant Party.

The invitation.

The wrapped “White Elephants” were placed on the pool table with care
In the hopes that someone would pick them to share.

Whether wrapped plain or fancy, whether they were big or small
It didn’t even matter if they were short or were tall!

Some would be a surprise, some would be a treasure
(Maybe one of this year’s items may even help you survive the weather!)




This cleverly wrapped gift inspires one neighbor to say, I know what a white elephant is. It’s when the wrapping is better than the gift inside it.



The procedure, with an insidious twist.

We draw numbers to determine the order for choosing a package. The first person selects one, opens it, and reveals it. When it is your turn, you can either choose a package or steal one that has already been opened. Then that person selects again.

The happenings.

janandtrayJan draws #1. She is very happy with this tray that she unwraps. But… unfortunately for her, someone else likes it too. A few minutes later, the tray is stolen from Jan. She chooses another gift, which turns out to be a drying rack that she also likes. She tries to keep it out of sight and avoids eye contact with any potential takers.


When it is my turn, I find two gifts in the package I choose. Here’s the first one…


And here, in my opinion, is the best, most appropriate white elephant of the day. Who in the world would be clever enough to wrap up white elephants? Sara, that’s who. Thank you, Sara!




It is almost as much fun watching others open their gifts as choosing your own. Bob does the best job of looking photogenic while observing, so here he is.




The verdict.

Our social committee hosts another fun event, keeping us entertained on a Sunday when neither the Bears nor the Packers will be playing football.

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