Monday, March 16, 2009

Games People Play Pt 2

(Continued from Games People Play)

'The White Elephant' in case you're not completely up to date on violations of the Geneva Convention is the cruel custom whereupon each member of George's idiosyncratic family is required to bring a small 'novelty' gift to the Christmas gathering. Unlike 'Secret Santa' where you might be required to buy a gift for a family member that they might actually value, 'The White Elephant' is a completely different animal. (No pun intended) In this horror show, family members are encouraged to bring 'gifts' that have little to no monetary value, are profoundly ugly, and serve no useful purpose. Guests are then required to draw
numbers lottery-style from a gaudy 'Christmas Cauldron' and according to that number select their 'gift' from the enormous pile of gaily wrapped 'White Elephant' packages. Now, receiving a cow shaped candle or penis paper weight is bad enough, to add insult to injury, my husband's family has put their own twisted imprinter on this awful custom. According to the mysterious rules set forth by the family elders, it is completely within one's right to forcibly take a White Elephant gift from another family member who has had the misfortune to draw an earlier number.

I am again reminded of the gentle Hobbits who drunk with the power of the 'The Ring' degenerate into an orgy of winner-take-all savagery. In the White Elephant, kindness and chivalry are reduced to quaint notions that take a major backseat to not only satisfying one's insatiable desire to score the 'best' of these shiteous gifts, but also the pleasure one receives in mercilessly annihilating every other family member in doing so. With my own eyes, I have witnessed the gruesome sport of once kindly old ladies ruthlessly stripping a bewildered three-year-old of a cherished gift. The 'sport' made even more gruesome by the 3 year old's inconsolable tears and the gleeful cheering of the assemblage. I'm convinced that the ancient, blood-thirsty Romans never witnessed such carnage. To my husband's famiy, no celebration of the birth of Christ is complete without a small, defenseless child in tears or at least one family member bitterly resentful at having received a beautifully wrapped Slim Jim or set of novelty golf balls.

Once 'The White Elephant' ended, Jesus surely wept for our immortal souls as the day's torturous 'festivities' were far from over.

(To be continued)

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