Online Party Network – Supporting Families

Where is the party in the social web?


Continue Reading May 17, 2009 at 12:02 pm Leave a comment

The history of the white elephant gift exchange

It would be nice to receive a special gift

Continue Reading May 1, 2009 at 10:25 am Leave a comment

The real story of white elephant gift giving

White Elephant Exchange

White Elephant Exchange

Have you ever wondered why we call our popular gift exchange parties “White Elephant parties”?

Most people are familiar with the symbolic meaning of the term “White Elephant” – in our culture, it refers to an object that probably isn’t worth very much, and that the owner doesn’t particularly want to keep. A White Elephant party, therefore, is generally viewed as an opportunity to get rid of your own unwanted item in the hope that whatever you receive in return will be more useful to you. If not, well, at least you get to go to a party and have some fun and laughter with friends and family!

However, coming from this perspective, it’s rather strange to look into the history of White Elephant giving. How on earth did White Elephants gain this reputation as typically useless and unwanted gifts, when the real story of White Elephant giving portrays them as sacred, celebrated, even holy creatures?!

In Thailand and Burma, for example, and various other countries in Asia, people traditionally believe that White Elephants bring power, fertility and prosperity. Historically, anyone who owned one of these creatures had to treat it like a servant treats a master! The elephant would live in luxurious housing, and would be adorned with fine robes and jewels. It would dine on the finest specially prepared cuisine, and receive visitors who would admire and even worship it!

But here’s the catch. Think about how much it would cost to feed an elephant – even one that was living in “normal” captivity (minus jewels, robes etc.). They’re pretty big, after all. Now imagine just how enormous those costs would be if you had to treat your White Elephant in the manner described above.

As a result, the only people who could really afford to keep White Elephants tended to be kings, who ensured that their magnificent pets had the best possible care and pampering – for the death of a White Elephant foretold disaster and tragedy for its owner.

With all this in mind, put yourself in the position of a lowly and humble citizen who has somehow found favor with the king. The king is impressed; he wants to congratulate you and honor you! So he presents you with the most sacred and important gift there is: that’s right, a White Elephant.

What an honor… something on the level of an American being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, wouldn’t you say? Unfortunately, being an ordinary civilian, you can’t easily give the elephant the luxurious lifestyle to which it is accustomed.

And so we have our modern day concept of White Elephants. A White Elephant naturally came to symbolize a prized possession whose maintenance cost exceeded its worth.

It seems that White Elephant parties aren’t meant to contain junk after all – just try telling a Burmese king that his White Elephant is worthless!

April 25, 2009 at 4:45 pm 1 comment

Take a Deduction- Add an Elephant Joke

Tax Day is the day we ignore the elephant in the room

Continue Reading April 14, 2009 at 8:58 pm Leave a comment

The Elephant Joke must be SAVED

On April Fools Day this year we suggested that we SAVE an ELEPHANT joke.  We started a page on Facebook and invited friends. Here are some the Elephant jokes that where saved..  Please add to the list of jokes in the comment

Why did the Elephant stand on the marshmallow?

So she wouldn’t fall in the hot chocolate

What did the grape say when the elephant stepped on it?
nothing he just let out a little wine.

Do you know the difference between an elephant and your mother-in-law?

Over time, the elephant will forget what you did.

How do you know an elephant has been in your refrigerator?
By his footprints are in the butter

How do you make an elephant float?
With 2 scoops of ice cream, root beer and an elephant.

Why did the elephant paint his toenails red?
So he could hide in the cherry tree.

How do you keep an elephant from charging?
Take away his credit cards.

What do you get if you cross and elephant with a rhinoceros?
Eliphino (hell, if I know)

How can you tell if an elephant’s been sleeping in your bed?
Peanut shells on the sheets

What do elephants have that no other animal has?
Baby elephants

What is beautiful and gray and wears glass slippers?

Q. Why do elephants come in gray skins?
A. To hold their skins together

Q. What do you do with a YELLOW elephant?
A. Teach it to be brave.

Q. What do you do with a BLUE elephant?
A. Cheer it up.

Q. What do you do with a RED elephant?
A. Quit telling it dirty jokes.

Q. What do you do with a GREEN elephant?
A. Wait until it gets ripe.

Q. What do you do with a WHITE elephant?
A. Take it to an AlbinoPhant Party, of course!!!!!

What do you give an elephant for diarrhea?
An acre

How would you know there was an Elephant in the refrigerator?
You would see it’s tracks in the butter.

April 2, 2009 at 2:50 pm 8 comments

Gifting Swapping Can Be Fun!

Teaching children to be generous and giving is easy if there is a game involved.

Continue Reading April 1, 2009 at 9:20 pm Leave a comment

White Elephant Party Environment

I have never decorated for a white elephant party.

Continue Reading March 30, 2009 at 11:19 am Leave a comment

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