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The Broke Socialite’s Primer to White Elephant Exchanges

If I had a dollar for every White Elephant holiday soiree that I’ve been invited to this season, I could knock ten dollars off a pair of fab D&G pumps. Once you get to the party, it’s always, always great but the drama which leads up to the actual swap can be ulcer-inducing. TBS to the rescue!

Price
On average, I see that the price limit is twenty dollars or so; this isn’t so bad. I’ve gotten a couple of invitations with fifty dollar gift limits … ummm, yeah, no. I had to decline (gracefully, no doubt). After all (and let’s say it together again), I AM The BROKE Socialite.

What To Bring
So, assuming the target limit is twenty dollars, I thought I’d offer some gift ideas (ohhh, you’re very welcome!):
  • If there are lots of cube dwellers involved in the swap, try the Cubicaller, a cubicle doorbell. What a cool idea, huh?
  • Nesters in the fold? Who doesn’t love natural kitchen cleaners? For $11.25, Caldrea offers a sweet set with dish soap, countertop cleanser, and two sponges. Doesn’t the ginger pomelo sound lovely?
  • If the audience is comprised of women, who doesn’t love a nice wrap? Target offers a nicely weighted wrap. Opt for a neutral color.
  • Handbags plus desk calendar equals a year’s worth of inspiration. 365 days of purses? Definitely up my alley.
  • Amongst friends who like takeout? Isn’t this the coolest? This takes organization to a whole new plane.
Tips
  • Don’t bring anything that you wouldn’t want to receive. Simple.
  • Understand the notion of gift limit. If you find a great contribution that’s fifteen dollars, you’ve saved five dollars. Don’t be pressured to spend exactly twenty dollars.
  • Be creative. Candles and wine are always nice but can be overdone in this environment. And certainly (though at a point, it may seem tempting) do not come bearing a twenty dollars gift certificate. That’s just, well … lazy.
  • Don’t forget to wrap the gift.
  • Discreetly place your contribution on the “gift table”.
  • Eliminate the pressure by picking up items throughout the year and it will be breeze.
Have fun!

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