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Welcome to Dupage Mamas! This blog is a place for Mamas to connect, share their experiences, and recommend great finds and ideas (or let us learn from your mistakes!) If you are raising kids in Dupage County, then we'd love to have you along for the adventure!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

How "Waste Not Want Not" is not like "White Elephant"

When I was about five years old my family was invited to a White Elephant party at church. We were new to the community and hardly knew anybody. To us (well, to my parents), White Elephant meant "give away something no one wants, for the laugh." So they elaborately wrapped up a not-currently-in-use toilet seat and we prepared for a great evening. We added it proudly to the massive stack of gifts and sat down to enjoy the fun.

Except our mirth turned to mortification as we watched gift after gift be chosen and unwrapped - lovely, desirable, useful things. Sure, they might be second hand, but they were nice. We were pretty much ready to disappear entirely by the time one young man walked excitedly to the stack and chose the largest gift of all - our toilet seat. I vividly remember the look on his face as he opened it, and I was five years old at the time. My family made a pact to never, ever tell who gave that toilet seat.

I have to admit as I dug through my cupboards in preparation for the Dupage Mamas Waste Not Want Not party, I was having flashbacks. Who would really want this stuff I was ready to get rid of? If I didn't want it, who would?

When I saw the table covered in a spread of (mostly) delicious looking groceries, it looked like my fears were confirmed. Apparently the other party attenders had actually brought good stuff, while I had brought...well, stuff I didn't want.

Then I heard it. "This is fantastic! Who would give away this?!" one person exclaimed. I turned and saw that the item she had in mind was something from my own cupboard. For about twenty minutes we all browsed and grabbed and scored a bag of staples that met our needs perfectly. Hardly anything was left for our food shelter distribution, and nothing at all that I had brought.

So, my White Elephant trauma has been laid to rest. Cafe Galicia, and their Tapas and Sangria, was fantastic. The company was exquisite. The giveaways for Pampered Chef (thanks Becky!!) and Usborne Books (thanks Sharenda!!) were so fun. And a phone call from my husband brought the miraculous news that my infant had woken and managed to fall asleep without me.

What could make for a better evening?

If you are sorry you missed it and would like another chance to have some fun girl time, don't fret. We will hopefully be having another Girls' Night Out very soon. In the meantime, we are having a small get-together this Sunday to learn more about Usborne Books and all they have to offer for our kiddos. We would love to have you join us! Click here for more info.


PartyWeDo July 9, 2009 at 7:08 AM  

We feel you pain when it comes to bringing the wrong gift to a gift exchange. We attended a white elephant party in Washington and opened a box with a live chicken! We lived in town, so we where glad that someone stole the bird from us.
Undaunted by this experience we have gone on to love the white elephant party.

We use an online version to stay connected to distant family and friends.

Don't give up on the exchange. It usually has a happy ending.

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