Gift getting & giving

As the Year end holidays approach, I feel this frenzy around me, of  people in the throes of gift buying vertigo.

Do you love it or hate it

Spinning out of control, crowding around tables in stores, picking through oddments in search of that little bit of glitter to gift a brass ring.

I don’t have that problem. Perhaps because when I was growing up, besides being Jewish, I was living in the southern hemisphere where it was summer and we spent our holidays mostly on the beach, or at the pool.

My mother had a small white plastic tree for us kids. She loved to celebrate for the magic of it all.

She always gave us clothes and books. Not very exciting. and nobody cared but us. There were no stockings or great hullabaloo.

I grew up believing holidays were about friends, family and food.   The only gifts we gave were food related. A box of chocolates, dried fruit & nuts or bottle of wine or champagne. Meals shared, laughter and talk.

Some chocolates or a few rand for the kids.

Christmas crackers, & crowns. A roast and Christmas Pud with brandy sauce.

And Christmas Boxes. Cardboard boxes filled with turkeys, hams, fruit, sugar, tinned goods clothing and toys to be carried on heads, as the house staff made their journey home, for a rare break to spend with

their families.

Boxing day when workers would come around for their “Crismas Pansella”  a gift of money so that they could be “heppy heppy”.  The dustbin men & the gardeners, the painters & the street sweepers.

Poverty and plenty, parallel paths.

But I digress. This fever I feel all around me,

makes me think about all the gifts bought not with love or usefulness, but out of need to buy a gift.

Any gift will do.

A white Elephant.  Something that flies in the face of your taste. Has no relation to who you are. Something you abhor.

Have you ever received such a gift?  Or given one?  A slap in the face.   A useless bit of drivel that you had to discard.  Take to goodwill,  re-gift or shame of shames, keep hidden and drag out when

the relatives who showered you with their ugly little bit, come to visit?

I have received a few bits of nastiness. And lamented the fool who chose a gift I could not love, nor eat.

Holiday fingertip towels, that dripped with festive embroidery, that matched neither my rooms nor my style. nick-knacks that lacked the least bit of elegance, knockdowns and bargain basement catastrophes.

So dear reader, what is the ugliest gift you have ever received?

I want pictures, I want stories, I want to know how it made you feel.  And what did you do with the gift of supreme Ugliness?

Did you share at a White Elephant Gift Exchange?

Get your cameras ready, or pull out your albums.  We are having a contest.  Launching on January 1, 2011

To find the ugliest most horrible nastiest holiday gift.

Prizes and laughter galore!

Gather round and share your tale!  The White Elephants are gathering at the waterhole.

Comment below and let me know what you think about shopping gift giving and all that bah humbug 🙂

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