Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A.M. Stir

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A.M. Stir

Article excerpt

Byline: TOM SZAROLETA

BACK TALK

Want to stir it up with A.M. Stir? Find something new everyone should know about? E-mail your comments, beefs and ideas to backtalk@jacksonville.com.

GIFTS

WHITE ELEPHANT IDEAS

Legend has it the rare albino elephant was sacred in Thailand, and each new white elephant became the property of the king. It was forbidden to kill such an elephant or to use it for work, so whenever the king wished to punish an obnoxious underling, he would present him with one of these useless pale pachyderms.

Even if the story isn't true, it certainly encompasses the spirit of modern White Elephant Gift Exchanges. More like a swap meet for unwanted, weird and re-gifted atrocities, a White Elephant is tons of fun and makes a great party ice-breaker.

If you're stuck without a present, here are some gift ideas that will be stolen and re-stolen and re-stolen at your next party.

1. Set of batteries with a tag reading "toy not included."

2. Swingline red stapler: A perfect gift for an office White Elephant. Fans of "Office Space" will proudly display this red beauty on their desks.

3. Hillbilly briefcase: Sew the legs closed on a large pair of men's underwear. Cut two "handles" out of cardboard and glue them inside the band of the underwear.

4. Do-it-Yourself H1N1 Flu Kit: Wrap together a rubber chicken and bottle of hand sanitizer.

5. Homemade electric dishwasher and dryer: Duct tape an extension cord to a dish cloth and hand towel.

6. An 8-by-10 framed and autographed photo of yourself: Alternately, have the same photo silk-screened onto a T-shirt.

7. Ceramic white elephant: It's too cliche, but you know this gift will pop up at future White Elephant exchanges.

8. Bridesmaid's dress: The formal-wear section of thrift stores abound with these pastel monstrosities.

9. …

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