Saturday, December 6, 2008

Just Call Me Tacky

Today I pondered a bit about tacky Christmas stuff, and I had an epiphany, a flash of insight and understanding. It occured to me that quite a lot of Christmas-related stuff is essentially tacky. So is a lot of stuff that's homemade, and as quilters, we're always making things that are probably considered tacky by somebody. So, yep, I think tacky is alive and well and living in my head, because I really enjoy Christmas and making things. It's who I am. Ms. Tacky!

Have you ever participated in a white elephant gift exchange? The "game" has other names, but basically white elephant gifts, according to Wikipedia, are "typically inexpensive, humorous items or used items from home; the term 'white elephant' refers to a gift whose cost exceeds its usefulness." Today we had our staff Christmas lunch, and this year we had a white elephant gift exchange.

To start, we all drew numbers and then we took turns, either picking a wrapped gift or stealing someone's opened gift. I brought my camera along and took photos of some of the tackier, more goofy "gifts" so I could share the fun with you.

We had opened a few gifts and our copy guy, Chris, was bemoaning the fact that so many of them were girly gifts. When his turn came, he selected what appeared to be a manly-looking package wrapped in newspaper comics with a black ribbon. Here's what he got:

"Vintage" Cabbage Patch dolls! I'm reminded of the year we attended a Christmas party at the home of Hubby's boss, the owner of an automotive repair shop. That party also involved a white elephant gift exchange, and Hubby used the head of a Cabbage Patch doll to make a hood ornament! Anyway, doesn't Chris look happy with those Cabbage Patch dolls?!

More "vintage" stuff. Do you remember these old salt and pepper shakers made by Tupperware? Then there are the jello shot trays--at least that's what someone said they are. Most of us never really bothered with the jello. Oh, and something else she's holding--looks like candy but I thought someone said something about shoe polish. Treasures, indeed!

Cheryl got some lovely red floral lights. She was kind of wearing them for a little bit, but she soon settled on setting them up at her desk as sort of a mini red light district.

Our copy guy Chris contributed these handmade wonders. And someone actually stole them from the person who originally opened them. You just never can tell what's going to be a popular item!

Then there was this--I'm not sure what you'd call it. Kind of a sign but much more three-dimensional with the snail and mushrooms and things. The proud recipient of this gift set it up so it was flanked on either end by these delightful Christmas dolls. No, they weren't white elephant gifts--the woman is an Avon distributor and apparently you can purchase these for Christmas this year. Hey, it could be an investment for a future white elephant gift exchange!

Remember the "slippers" I showed on my blog a few weeks ago? The ones made from women's sanitary pads? Yeah, that's what those are. No, I didn't make them!

Sadly, I missed getting a photo of the squirrel that sang "I ain't gettin' nuttin for Christmas." Darn! That was a real gem! Well, you kinda had to HEAR it, really--much more impressive than simply seeing a photo.

And what did I bring? Nothing very original. Just a set of snowman tabletop accessories and a large matching snowman bowl. I used them once some years back and I figured Hubby would be delighted if he didn't have to pack them away again! Each year he gets them out, asks me if I'm going to use them, and then puts them back in the box.

And what did I bring home? A game--Taboo. For a little while, I "owned" a nice--seriously!--Christmas apron made by my friend (and fellow quilter) Teri that came with a matching drawstring bag, but our computer gal, Susan, stole it from me. Susan won't think it was such a good idea, though, when the computers at work start crashing, that's for sure!

The weekend is here and I have big quilting plans. In the next couple weeks, I need to get the quilts finished for the classes I'll be teaching in January, and I think I'm going to have to give up on trying to get some of my planned handmade Christmas gifts done on time. Maybe it's just as well since "Christmas" and "handmade" have such a high tacky probability factor. I hope you have some fun planned for your weekend!


i am very mary said...

That sounds like SO much fun! I wish we did something like this at work!

And if you wanna win more stuff, swing by the blog;)

Eileen said...

What fun, This is what we did at our retreats.
bought a brown bag. and then we each picked a bag or what someone else picked. Certain things would go around and around, Loads of fun.
That was a pretty nice set of dishes you took. Hope the person that got them was pleased.

Penni said...

We have our Guild exchange like that on Monday but this year it isn't white elephant. The woman running it wants nice FQ quartets. Some people take all the fun out of Christmas don't they. I do plan on making the maxipad slippers for my girlfriends just because. Thanks for the laugh. I gave up on handmade gifts last week. I had to finish the Guild newsletter yesterday and made up two twisted Christmas tunes talking about that very subject. They are not good but they'll make somebody laugh.

W. Latane Barton said...

That sounded like such fun. I have participated in gift exchanging games like that before and someone always stole what I had. Not that it mattered I guess. Did I miss what you ended up with?

tami said...

That sounds like so much fun. I wish I had read it earlier when I was on the planning committee for our office Christmas party and we were trying very hard to come up with some fun games to keep everyone entertained. We settled on bringing in pictures of ourselves between the ages of 2 - 18 and trying to guess who was who.

Christy said...

That is exactly what we do at our work. I'm regifting the Pig! Have fun quilting. I'm going to try and make some ornaments this weekend. I can't quilt too much because what I need to work on is my dauther's present and she is with me today instead of being at Nana's. But I might work on it a little before church tomorrow!
Have a great day!

Amanda said...

Your party sounds like fun.

I was looking at your "what's tacky" posts, and as I was decorating, I kept thinking "Kim will think this is tacky!" So, I'm tacky, too, but I love it.

Have fun quilting this weekend. That's what I'm doing, too, but I am trying to make some last minute gifts.

Judy said...

OMG too funny...cabbage patch dolls! That is quite a flash back...remember the fights over getting those dolls! Yuck!

Gran said...

Slow start today. Great week but tired from all the fun. Family and "tacky" world of quilting. I do not know who you have been listening to BUT homemade is not tacky. There maybe poorly made homemade but homemade is the best. Then again, as you have so cleverly displayed - beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

Purple Pam said...

I think Chris received quite a neat gift. Do you know how much those things sell for on Ebay? He can make some money on those dolls. I am into Christmas tacky. What is one person's tacky is another person's treasure! My Christmas sweaters and sweatshirts are coming down tomorrow. I am a week late in getting tackily dressed for the season. Love your Thimbleberries quilt.

Anonymous said...

The TABOO game is really quite fun when you get the right group of people together to play it. You'll have to give it a try.
Chris in Sacramento

Beth said...

I love white elephant gift exchanges!

Sherry said...

Loved this post. Now that's a fun gift exchange! Hope you're enjoying your week-end.

Anonymous said...

If you think Christmas sweaters are tacky, you'd REALLY love my sweatshirt. It has little lights that light up on it. Grandkids and I love it! Cathy Trumble

quiltmom said...

We do have an exchange that goes round and round - this years theme is deck the halls and its a ten dollar Christmas gift.. I think your bowl and dishes were pretty cool - and I am with Pam- those cabbage patch kids could be valuable to someone. It sounds like everyone had fun and that is the most important thing.
Have a great weekend in the Sweat shop..

Joyce said...

I've nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger award. You can find the details on my blog! :0) I am a bit of lurker, but I do enjoy your blog!

Chocolate Cat said...

Sounds like fun! Had a party with one of these last week and my beautiful box of chocolates I had plans for were snaffled and I was left with a kids journal and a few candy canes!!