Holiday Spirit(s)

Last weekend was our staff Christmas party.

I will preface this post by saying that we have a “Vegas” clause, on any work-related social gathering. We are definitely not a wild bunch, mostly the opposite of a wild bunch, but everyone breathes a bit easier knowing that “any details of what happened at X’s house, stay there.”

If, for purely hypothetical example, one were somewhat musically challenged, and had been plied into singing something on Rock Band, and failed miserably- finishing at 26% (due to refusal to hold the microphone close enough to one’s mouth to be heard), he or she might not want that getting out back at work on Monday.

Last year we began a few new traditions, the one I can talk about being a white elephant gift exchange. This, apparently, was an issue for one (super fun) staff member who argued that a white elephant gift was, by definition, supposed to be used, and people hadn’t followed the rules the year before.  Since I am often the “official fun email writer” I simply included a detailed description of the exchange in the holiday party invitation. (We are elementary teachers. We like order, rules/expectations, and clear directions.)  I used Wikipedia… it was only slightly tongue-in-cheek:

A white elephant gift exchange is a popular holiday party game found primarily in North America. It has many variations in both the name and the game play. White elephant parties have been known to result in intensely vicious and/or playful rivalries between players trying to get sought after gifts. The goal of a white elephant party is usually to entertain rather than to gain. Gifts are typically inexpensive, humorous items or used items from home. The term white elephant refers to a gift whose maintenance costs exceed its usefulness. (

I struggled for a few days, trying to think of something clever to bring. I decided to fall back on my crafting skills (they are minimal) and make a holiday wreath.  I twisted a pine garland with some gaudy red, sparkly tinsel-stuffs, golden jingle bells, and some extra festive additions…

I wrapped it up nicely,

And hoped it would make someone’s night.

The gift exchange was, once again, hilarious. Our Debbie Downer staff member was unfortunately unable to attend on the night we scheduled the party, and people had some pretty creative gift ideas.

I unwrapped a not-quite-hot Little Caesar’s pepperoni pizza and a child’s Sit and Spin.  They were ‘stolen’, by someone who actually had a kid, or I would most definitely have used the Sit ‘n Spin later. I was checking for a weight limit…  I ended up with a box of lotions that I believe someone had collected from their own ‘re-gifting’ stash. Teachers get a lot of bath products. I’ll hope this means our kids think we deserve to pamper ourselves, and not that we are all stinky.

Altogether, a night of: Good food. Good stories. Generousity. Lots of laughs. Fake tattoos. Rock band all-stars. Little sleep.

(And a morning of realizing that I am not 21 anymore.)

I work with a great group of people friends.


~ by Lindsey on December 20, 2010.

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