This week I went to the Whitechapel ward Relief Society book club activity. It was a fun filled night full of good food, fun company and a little Christmas cheer. Sister Catron made a wonderful dinner with pasta, bread, and salad. Then for dessert we had good European chocolate, mince pies, and lemon bars. We discussed our books that we read for book club, The Christmas Carol, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Then we did a white elephant gift exchange.....
I didn't realize that this was only an American tradition! None of the British ladies even knew what it was. There were only 4 Americans there out of the group of about 13 women that attended. I actually got the email about doing the white elephant gift exchange about 5 minutes before I had to leave to get to the activity. So I didn't have a planned gift to buy.....so I grabbed whatever I saw first, just weird random stuff. I grabbed this Indian tea that we got as a free gift from India night that we didn't have a clue what to do with since we don't drink tea, and then one of our small cartons of apple juice that we bought from Costco. I put it in a white grocery bag, wrapped the top around the bottom of the bag, and called it done. I was thinking.....white elephant.....that means some gag gift, or something that is funny. So I left for the activity.
Since the British ladies didn't know what the white elephant gift exchange was, they all brought really nice gifts. Things like fancy chocolate bars, thank you cards and a cute pen, a holiday crossword puzzle book, a novel, a flash drive that was in the shape of a doctor, a card game, a candle holder, an ornament.....then there was my gift. On top of all this, theirs were all wrapped perfectly with cute colorful Christmas wrapping paper and big bows on top.......then their was my gift.
I felt pretty stupid. Luckily there were more presents brought then people there so I was thinking mine would be passed by because of its outside appearance. But it wasn't. This lady opened it and I whispered under my breath, "Uh oh...." She opened it and disappointment came up all over her face. She said, "Oh....it is, tea." I explained why I brought it and how I thought it would be funny since it is white elephant and supposed to be a funny gag gift, since I know no one drinks tea......but the more I explained the less funny it got. No one really laughed. I felt like an idiot.
There happened to be two people there that do drink tea that aren't members of our church, so one of them ended up stealing the tea from the lady who opened up my lame present. So it all worked out in the end. Glad someone appreciated my gift, even if it wasn't for the humor of it.
I ended up with the thank you cards and pen. I guess I need to reconsider what I bring to my next White Elephant gift exchange party in London. :)