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Fear not the White Elephant

Guidelines for the perfect ungift.

Dear Hipster:

My company’s holiday party will feature a White Elephant, and I want to put something cool into the gift pool. I’d rather give people a laugh than a crock pot, if you know what I mean. Got any suggestions?

— Allie

Ah, yes, the white elephant (sometimes the “Yankee Swap”), I know it well. Some dread this office holiday party ritual for fear of contributing a lame gift. Nobody wants to be the girl who brought a cheaply made travel mug that dribbles coffee with every sip. Some exploit their dearest personal resources to give the one gift that everyone fights over. Others, like you and yours truly, cherish the white elephant, since the potential for amusement looms large. Champions of the white-elephant select gifts of little practical value, and of minimal expense. Good gag gifts reference recent pop culture, and the best gifts have some small, redeeming quality to them, such that the recipient is both amused and grateful. Take these guidelines, and let your imagination run wild. Here’re a couple ideas to get you on the right track:

Sharknado 2 DVD: This made-for-TV movie isn’t just a film about sharks devouring people from the confines of a superstorm. It’s a sequel to a movie about sharks devouring people from the confines of a superstorm! Plus, it stars Tara Reid (remember when she wasn’t a first-rate Hollywood travesty?), and Ian Ziering literally jumps the sharks at one point. I would watch this.

Alohaland.com Gunner Girls T-Shirt: British physicist Matt Taylor wore this custom T-shirt, colorfully decorated with buxom ’80s babes and machine guns, during the ESA landing of the Philae spacecraft on comet 67B. A few people went berserk, claiming the shirt offends women. A chastened Taylor gave a weepy apology, after which the remaining 98% of the world went even berserker, defending the guy based on the ironclad “if you land a spacecraft on a comet you can wear whatever comical shirt you damn well please” argument. The funniest part? It’s one hell of a hipster shirt. If you can get one (good luck), consider yourself to have won the office party.

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Dear Hipster:

My company’s holiday party will feature a White Elephant, and I want to put something cool into the gift pool. I’d rather give people a laugh than a crock pot, if you know what I mean. Got any suggestions?

— Allie

Ah, yes, the white elephant (sometimes the “Yankee Swap”), I know it well. Some dread this office holiday party ritual for fear of contributing a lame gift. Nobody wants to be the girl who brought a cheaply made travel mug that dribbles coffee with every sip. Some exploit their dearest personal resources to give the one gift that everyone fights over. Others, like you and yours truly, cherish the white elephant, since the potential for amusement looms large. Champions of the white-elephant select gifts of little practical value, and of minimal expense. Good gag gifts reference recent pop culture, and the best gifts have some small, redeeming quality to them, such that the recipient is both amused and grateful. Take these guidelines, and let your imagination run wild. Here’re a couple ideas to get you on the right track:

Sharknado 2 DVD: This made-for-TV movie isn’t just a film about sharks devouring people from the confines of a superstorm. It’s a sequel to a movie about sharks devouring people from the confines of a superstorm! Plus, it stars Tara Reid (remember when she wasn’t a first-rate Hollywood travesty?), and Ian Ziering literally jumps the sharks at one point. I would watch this.

Alohaland.com Gunner Girls T-Shirt: British physicist Matt Taylor wore this custom T-shirt, colorfully decorated with buxom ’80s babes and machine guns, during the ESA landing of the Philae spacecraft on comet 67B. A few people went berserk, claiming the shirt offends women. A chastened Taylor gave a weepy apology, after which the remaining 98% of the world went even berserker, defending the guy based on the ironclad “if you land a spacecraft on a comet you can wear whatever comical shirt you damn well please” argument. The funniest part? It’s one hell of a hipster shirt. If you can get one (good luck), consider yourself to have won the office party.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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