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Awkward Gift Exchange, Year Three

Robby's Christmas Party 2012

Three years ago, Skye hand painted a Christmas canvas for the white elephant gift exchange at Robby’s Christmas Party.

It went, well, not well.

(If you follow.)

Then, last year, she decided to forfeit handmade and instead brought a fancy copy of The Dark Knight, a seemingly unstoppable crowd favorite.

It, too, went poorly.

So there was some excitement (in my mind) for this year’s gift exchange.

Skye brought some popcorn and spy glasses and a copy of the movie Unknown.

(It wasn’t a spy movie, the glasses were unrelated – a superpower extra, if you will.)

She’d quite liked the movie and who can argue with buttery food?

(No one, presumably.)

So we sat in a circle and Robby explained the rules and gifts were picked and ooh’d and ah’d over and finally someone picked up Skye’s present.

The best part of the annual opening of Skye’s provided present is the first sentence uttered.

The past two years have seen the amazing combination of “what does it do?” and “oh my gosh, I don’t want this.”

This year the recipient was Sarah, and she opened Skye’s gift saying, “Oh, a DVD, I can’t watch this.”

Not that Unknown is beyond her sensibilities, or that she’s going on an electronics hiatus for the coming year, but Sarah is our friend who moved to Japan.

Where she lives with her Japanese computer and Japanese DVD player and can only watch DVDs that are regional to Japan.

It’s okay though, because she was the last trade and thus was able to force it upon someone else.

(Who, as it turns out, was Skye herself.)

But the curse of Skye’s present continues.

Robby's Christmas Party 2012

I was able to snag one of the gifts from Sarah and her boyfriend and thus got amazing, Japanese goodness in my bag.

So it was a banner gift exchange year for me.

And for Skye, there’s always next year.

Apparently I don’t have any good photos of Skye opening gifts


That first photo

Is possibly the only side picture of me

Without a triple chin

Ever taken

So there was no way it wasn’t being shared with the world,


{ 30 comments… add one }

  • Melonie (Nagzilla) January 8, 2013, 11:05 am

    I think it’s to the point now that Skye needs to deliberately find the worst possible present ever, just to keep the streak going. Bonus points if she creates the gift that gets regifted at the white elephant exchange every year. We had a hand-knit pair of knee sock/slippers that kept coming back to our exchange for three years running. Epic. Sadness.

    • Megan January 8, 2013, 11:17 am

      Oh my goodness – that’s so sad! Hand-knit socks? That must have taken so much time and effort! That poor person. He/she definitely wins saddest white elephant giver award!

  • Bridget January 8, 2013, 11:13 am

    Number 1 Rule In Life, post any and all good photos of ones self. Always.

  • joe January 8, 2013, 11:29 am

    We had one of those at a company Christmas party when I worked for the government. Evidently the interns were still of a college mind, and one created an interesting package with a ‘personal’ shaped vibrator, condoms, some massage oils and other unmentionable items. The woman that opened it was rather religious and so it did not go over well. To be nice I grabbed it from her saying my teen aged son would find the items very useful. Nobody stole it from me.

    • Megan January 9, 2013, 9:27 am

      Wow. Actually, at Skye’s work, there was a tradition for over a decade of a dirty book that was given every year, usually with alcohol. Though this year, last year’s recipient was fired. So, sadly, the book is forever gone!

  • Robin (Masshole Mommy) January 8, 2013, 11:43 am

    Ugh – around here we call them yankee swaps and I hate them with a passion. I think I wrote about my hatred of them last year, but someone always thinks it’s funny to bring a “joke” gift while most people bring a legitimate $15 (or whatever the price limit is) gift. It’s so frustrating and last year I actually just threw out what I ended up with because it was a piece of junk. I don’t even remember what it was, but it was something that noone else wanted either.

    • Megan January 9, 2013, 9:26 am

      Yes – that’s the worst part, is that there’s always such a mixture and then people are unhappy and it can get quite emotional!

  • Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell January 8, 2013, 11:49 am

    We do this in my family each Christmas and we just out and out call it a gag gift exchange. I think they’re fun so long as everyone knows the presents are gonna stink!

  • John (Daddy Runs a Lot) January 8, 2013, 12:24 pm

    See, I always bring liquor to these gift exchanges, my thinking that it’s unlikely that a decent bottle of booze wouldn’t be traded-for, should someone who doesn’t / can’t drink pick one up. Somehow, though, an 18 year old cousin ended up with my bottle of cognac, even at the end.

    • Megan January 9, 2013, 9:24 am

      People have brought liquor in the past and it was quite popular. Though then I forgot it existed. So… idea for next year!

  • Reading (and chickens) January 8, 2013, 2:38 pm

    The only gift exchange I participated in, I gave a pie and it was unwrapped and one of the last to be picked. WHO DOESN’T WANT A PIE? Unrelated, but I would like to meet Skye.

    • LDiggitty January 8, 2013, 4:50 pm

      Well, you neglected to mention the type of pie… there are a few (just a few) types of pie that I find somewhat offensive.

    • Megan January 9, 2013, 9:23 am

      Wait, what?! EVERYBODY love pie. That’s just basic humanity 101.

  • Skye January 8, 2013, 2:39 pm

    Maybe next time I should just poop in a box.

    • Melonie (Nagzilla) January 8, 2013, 4:14 pm

      Pics or it didn’t happen!

      • Megan January 9, 2013, 9:22 am

        HAHA, we would totally be banned from Robby’s. Though that would be so insane of a moment it might be worth it.

        • Christina January 9, 2013, 11:10 pm

          Or a combo of some of these suggestions, a la The Help…poop in a pie?
          I think Skye is awesome, and I would love her gifts. Handmade?! (Maybe not the poop.)

          • Megan January 10, 2013, 10:46 am

            Next year I’m totally going to bring some fake poop pie and find it hilarious and everyone will just stare and I’ll have to be like, oh, yeah, not a joke with any of you, just with the Internet!

  • LDiggitty January 8, 2013, 4:47 pm

    Awww! Poor Skye! I, too, am cursed by the bad gift curse. I’ve brought gifts that I thought were quirky, clever, thoughtful, YOU NAME IT. No one ever likes them.

    It hurts my feelings, but I think I’ll survive. Like you said, though, there’s always next year…

    • Megan January 9, 2013, 9:22 am

      YES! One day, all cursed gift givers will be redeemed. By what gift, we just don’t know yet.

  • Mindee@ourfrontdoor January 8, 2013, 6:31 pm

    White elephant exchanges freak me out. It’s too much pressure – I try to arrive after they are done.

    • Megan January 9, 2013, 9:21 am

      Sadly, we’d foil your plan, ’cause we always do the gift exchange late to make sure nobody misses it! And I’ve given up feeling pressure – the knowledge that whatever you pick is going to make somebody go “meh” is oddly freeing.

  • debby 'baro January 9, 2013, 2:51 am

    People should just be nice enough to give ‘worthy’ gifts when they paticipate in gift exchange programmes.

  • Kari @ bite-sized thoughts January 9, 2013, 4:33 am

    Catering to Japanese DVD requirements is a big ask, but I am beginning to suspect that Skye’s present would be doomed no matter the cultural requirements :)

    As for you, I’d say photos one and two feature only one chin (although, of course, one chin per photo, which I will concede is two).

    • Megan January 9, 2013, 9:07 am

      Ugh, chin foiled again! Dastardly chin. It always comes out on top. And, yes, Skye seems eternally doomed re: Christmas gift exchanges!

  • Karen Peterson January 9, 2013, 3:15 pm

    I hate being the one to give the present that no one can use or understand. It’s a bummer. And totally awkward.

    • Megan January 9, 2013, 7:29 pm

      It’s a total bummer! Perfect word.

  • spilledinkguy January 10, 2013, 10:48 am

    My DVD player has a bit less of protectionist stance.
    It has decided not to play DVD’s regardless of their country of origin.

    • Megan January 10, 2013, 12:40 pm

      Well, that’s nice – I do hate to hear of discriminatory DVD players. Some may say yours has taken fear of nationalism too far, but, really, is there really such a thing as too far?

  • Sarah January 20, 2013, 5:43 am

    I love those spy glasses, though, and the popcorn. It’s hard to find popcorn in Japan, I have found.

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