Daily Archives: December 1, 2011

It’s Christmas! Time for more White Elephants!

I’ve written several Christmas posts. It’s amazing since I don’t have that much to say about it. Things don’t change that much year after  year.

I’m going to my first of three Christmas parties tonight. It’s with the same group of women who hold a potluck dinner at church every month. It’s strange how I can meet with them month after month and still not be what I consider real friends with them. That month after month has been changing lately to maybe three or four times a year.

These are all nice ladies but with the exception of one, there is no communication between any of them and me. We don’t call each other or do any other socializing together. There is an overlap with another lunch bunch of some of the members so I see three or four of them twice a month if I go to both groups.

Tonight we will be having our gift exchange. Everyone brings a gift  she wishes to recycle and puts it under the tree. We then draw numbers which match numbers placed on the present. There are several names for this “game” we play. We may choose a present from under the tree or take a present from someone who has already opened one. The one who goes first gets last turn to take anyone else’s present. I think we call it White Elephant or Chinese gift exchange. Now that my daughter in law is Chinese, I don’t think I will be calling it that anymore.

Anyway, I have finally figured out a system. Even though the gifts are recycled, they are still fairly nice for the most part. It’s just that I don’t seem to see much of a need for them. Thus, I will probably take the gift I get tonight to the next party and then take that gift to the third party. The gift I bring home will probably go into the closet to wait for next year unless it is something I can really use. This type of gift exchange occurs at all three of the parties. For some reason my acquaintances all get (or pretend to get) a big kick out of “stealing” desired gifts from others. I guess if I were more materialistic, I might get more enjoyment out of such frivolity.

Almost all of my holidays are times to be alone. That in itself is a mixed blessing. I tire of small talk quickly and really have to work on not portraying disinterest. It takes me ten minutes or less  to write five hundred words. It takes me a half hour to say them. One of my acquaintances  with whom I am getting somewhat closer admitted the same thing. She is in a worse position than I since she has to market her own “company” of one, her services. She admitted how much she dislikes small talk as well. She won’t be there tonight. I could talk to her. I also have a free pass from having to deal with impossible relatives that everyone seems to have. Family gatherings are often reported with a sense of dread. I had a few of those dreadful experiences myself.

That will be mainly it. Chit chat until everyone arrives and the table is filled with an assortment of foods, praying in, eating, gift exchange, and praying out again. We are nothing if not predictable.

My gift is a very heavy coffee table book of pictures of Japan. A friend of mine gifted it to me during that time when my son’s romance was with a young woman from Tokyo. It really does have some lovely pictures in it, but seeing as how my son is now married to a Chinese woman, I am trying to divest myself of all things Japanese. Yoko’s parents were quite generous in the gifts Nathan brought home with me so I certainly have a large supply of possible gift exchanges. I am counting on on my friend to not be there tonight either, but if she is, I hope she’ll understand the reason for recycling the book.

While I was wrapping the gift, I kind of had a brief second of actually liking what I was doing. I have very few people to give presents to that need to be wrapped. It even made me feel nostalgic and sentimental enough to think about getting out my small Christmas tree which I place in my dining room window. Notice I said “think about”. It may take a few more days to make up my mind. Christmas for one is not really a great big deal. Namaste Attic Annie

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