Note From Jon


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

White Elephant leads to Airing of Grievances

I feel like the Red Paperclip guy... in reverse. Over the course of the weekend, I managed to trade a never used (but 10 year old) Wok for a handmade knit thong (not particularly useful to me, but at least unique) which in turn I traded for a slightly flat soccer ball (that I’d hoped was going to be a volleyball). Ah White Elephant season. I really can’t complain though because our fourth annual holiday party was a success. I know it was a success because of my two critical criteria: 1) Does Dave manage to string another set of lights 40+ feet up in our tree without breaking a limb (his or the tree’s)? Check (bonus points this year for enduring 50 MPH wind gusts that were too much for our (formerly) rooftop santa). 2) Does our slightly sagging floor manage to hold the 50+ people crammed upstairs to watch or participate in the two hour White Elephant gift exchange? Check. And while not an official criteria for success, a surprising number of people seemed to have a pretty good time…

And if the 100 photos in the slideshow just aren't enough for you... you can always check out Carmel's

Special Thanks goes out to:
  • Diana who came over at noon to bake dozens of cookies to be decorated
  • Dave for risking his life and keeping the tree climbing tradition alive
  • Dharma for lending us her climbing rope so Jeff and I could keep Dave alive
  • Jan Louis for answering our special request for his black bean dish
  • Everyone who brought food, decorated, or helped with all of the endless tasks that come up during a party.
Thank You!

White Elephant stats and awards:
  • 48 Participants
  • Running time: 2 hours 8 minutes
  • Remember to underline the 6 and the 9
  • Rules: Three steal max, when stolen from you must take a present from under the tree
  • Gifts stolen the maximum number of times: Yaneev’s Dancing, Singing James Brown. The Christmas Story Leg Lamp. My hand-knit thong (that sounds wrong). Minh’s Atari in a joystick. Missing any?
  • Regifts from White Elephants past: Kevin’s Smiley Clock (3rd year), Darren’s Oklahoma guidebook and Candy Panties (2nd year – yeah this sounds bad), Joel’s Amtrak board game (2nd year), CharAnn’s Penis Pasta (2nd year), Yaneev’s Jesus doll (2nd year). Screaming flying monkey (2nd year). Virginia Beach Bikini Salt Shaker (2nd year). Melissa’s framed photo of Joel (2nd year for the tradition even though this was the 2007 photo). Sadly, Christine failed to show up with what would have been the record setting 4th year for the Soviet Era Geography quiz book…
  • Best wrapped gift: Joel’s Festivus themed present
  • Best gift combination: A bottle of milk with … the Boobie Squirt Gun
  • Best gift for photo blackmail: The purple penis drink bottle that Joel couldn’t put down (and it wasn’t even his gift)
  • Winner of this year’s Lost and Found gift: Allison. She got sunglasses, bike shorts, a lens cap to a camera, and water balloons
  • And the 2007 Gift of the Year: Yaneev’s Dancing, Singing James Brown
Notes for the 5th annual Jon and Darren Holiday Party:
  • Come up with a better name. 4 years running and the best we can come up with is Jon and Darren’s Holiday (previously Xmas) Party? The suggestion box is now open
  • So far the following people have been found to have committed the cardinal sin of leaving behind the White Elephant gift they are responsible for removing from the premises. Why do you think I actually take photos of the gift everyone opens? We take this seriously and follow international doping policies: a first offense results in a two year ban, the second offense is a lifetime ban:
    • CharAnn for the Boy Bands CD – 1st offense
  • We had 90 yeses and 17 maybes and while we haven’t conducted the official postmortem to hone next year’s list (based on accuracy of evite response), I’d roughly say that 70 people were on hand for dinner. The 15 Peruvian chickens (cut into 8 pieces each) were enough for everyone but the 10 sides of fried plantains and yucca were gone about halfway through. Jan Louis brought black beans, we supplemented with 12 cups of rice, and several people brought casseroles but nearly all sides were gone by the end of the night. Next year we should bump up the ratio of sides to chicken
  • Devise a new mounting system for the rooftop santa which can sustain 50 MPH winds
  • Purchase a tree skirt
  • Buy three indoor outlet timers so ALL lights are timed instead of just the outside ones (every day we came home to a half lit house)
  • Conduct research into the best extension pole for Dave to use while stringing lights. The paintbrush-duct-taped-to-the-broom-handle looked classy but it wasn’t effective enough


Darren said...

Great write up and I think me crashing at the end was a good way to end the slide show!

joel said...

While my line of the night made for a boisterous laughter, the joke was on me when Mary announced she was going to give the gift back to me(which she did). Perhaps for the weeks of taking care of her little natural redhead. GREAT party Jon/Darren. Dare I say best indoor party of the year(I met Ron Jeremy last year)

Emily said...

Sounds (and looks) like I missed a great party!

JH said...

That was not the same Screaming Flying Monkey from last year - the one from last year is in my office. I love the Screaming Flying Monkey - and so do my co-workers. --Joy

Ming said...

You did it again, Jon and Darren! Thank you for a wonderful, heart-warming party. I can always count on you two to see friends whom I haven't seen in a while. :)