Reflections on Aging Well

Author, Living with Purpose in a Worn-out Body: Spiritual Encouragement for Older Adults (Upper Room) and Columnist, Aging Well, United Methodist Reporter

White elephants: An Advent reflection December 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — missybu @ 7:19 am

White elephants

 It’s the season when white elephant gifts make their annual appearance.

 From the top shelves of closets and dim attic spaces, they begin their nonsensical journey

            to the Christmas tree. 

There’s the bullfighter gaudily painted on black velvet.

A battery-powered chicken wearing a Santa hat, squawking Jingle Bells as he dances.

And a personal favorite, the armadillo lamp.

They are novelties that make us laugh, at least for a moment.

Outlandish things we don’t need but keep for another year. 

Taking up space until we can re-gift them to another poor soul at another holiday party. 

Like a swap meet for gag gifts and unwanted things that goes on and on.    

So we sit in a circle and laugh at the absurdity of it all. 

I must admit, I don’t recall a white elephant standing at the manger, snuggled between  Mary and baby Jesus.

I smile to myself.     

How grateful I am that God doesn’t give white elephant gifts.


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