Grinch Gifting

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Dear Edda,

A coworker is wanting to continue our holiday tradition to exchange holiday gifts with everyone in our department. We've done this for a long time, however, we're in sales and this year most of us haven't received a lot of income due to the pandemic. I'd rather spend my money on gifts for my kids and family. One co-worker is really adamant about it, how do I gently suggest this isn't a good idea?


The Grinch 

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Dear Grinch,

A couple of years ago, my workmates and I decided that rather than spending money on useless “morning martini” coffee mugs and Subway gift cards, we would have a White Elephant gift exchange.

The catch is, the price limit set for the gift has to be low, and it must be purchased from a thrift shop, or otherwise recycled (read: garage shopping!!!).  It’s pretty amazing what you can find for five bucks, and the exchange is so much more interesting.

Happy Holidays!


Edda is not a medical professional but a local lady who loves to give out advice, even when it's not asked of her. Submit your question to for Edda to answer.

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tinker1 Nov 28, 2020 05:20 PM
Grinch Gifting

I think I remember that white elephant was something no one wants as a regift but if it is something useful great. My young employees think white elephant is a new gift.,,,

SBSBSBSBSBsb Nov 28, 2020 06:44 PM
Grinch Gifting

life is very hard in Santa Barbara. Thank you for helping us navigate the new normal

a-1606633328 Nov 28, 2020 11:02 PM
Grinch Gifting

Everyone has something at home they have never used. You can even make it $10 or $20, to make it more interesting. Also, draw numbers. So if there are ten in the office, there are ten numbers. The gifts are wrapped, so you don’t know what you are picking. The person with # 1 picks a gift and unwraps it. The person with #2 either unwraps a gift, or steals gift #1. If they steal gift #1, that person chooses again. Continue through #10. Sometimes, a limit is put on how many times a gift can be “stolen”. This game is sometimes very entertaining.

Getoffmylawn Nov 29, 2020 06:29 AM
Grinch Gifting

It is a new gift tinker.

a-1606667182 Nov 29, 2020 08:26 AM
Grinch Gifting

Thrift shop = used gift.
Great idea!

Babycakes Nov 29, 2020 10:26 AM
Grinch Gifting

The same thing happened to me. A co-worker wanted to celebrate all of the holidays every year, and expected us to do the same and join in. Christmas was different in that it involved gift giving, and not candy/food/peeps/green clothing/flags and such. Most of us went along, but put thankfully there was a $50 limit on the Christmas gift. My go-to place was a store that was located across from the Granada called "Random Goods", and they had quite an interesting selection of, artwork, tools, comic books, bolts of fabric, Persian rugs, boots, shoes, purses, wood figurines, cloisonne vases (had to look up how to spell 'cloisonne'), drill bits, restaurant spoons/forks/trays/pitchers/containers.....I mean this place was WILD! I bought three large (12-,15-, and 16-inch high) and colorful cloisonne vases as gifts for about $100, one of which was for our gift exchange at work. My goodness you should have seen the happy look on the face of the recipient of their cloisonne vase, while others held a jar of scented soaps, a George Foreman mini-grill, a nylon string dream catcher, a 1/2 case of two-buck Chuck, and another received a $35 Sears gift card. I ended up with a home-made walking stick that had a leather wrapped handle, and a few dangling feathers. Everyone was happy, and I still have that walking stick .....somewhere. And remember: this season it's all about giving (not receiving).

Seabird Nov 29, 2020 02:27 PM
Grinch Gifting

I loved Random! I would walk over on my work breaks and dig around for treasures. Is it completely closed now?

Luvaduck Nov 29, 2020 10:37 AM
Grinch Gifting

And there are all those things that are great but not of use to <you> anymore. Maybe you have games (complete) but kids too old for them, skis but no longer knees, minature cupcake tins you never did get around to using, a jig for replacing the old-size door knob set with the new larger one ones and you either did it or hired someone <G>). Lots of ways to be really creative about White Elephant Exchanges and lots of ways to have fun with it, too. How about the belly-dancing outfit you bought BC (before children) and the filmy black negligee your brother-in-law gave you he said it was a really a gift for his brother (haw, haw).

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