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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Peggy McCracken

Squarely Pegged

By Peggy McCracken

< h2>Are white elephants
acceptable as gifts?

Here it is Christmas time again. I just gathered up the last of the wrappings from a year ago, tangled up the lights and put them away, and ate the crunbs of the cornbread stuffing.

Well, maybe the stuffing was from Thanksgiving. But you get the picture. I am never ready for another round of gift deciding and shopping and buying and wrapping and mailing.

Here is my question for you. Is it acceptable for family to give white elephant gifts? That is, something you own that you don’t want, but someone else might? I’ve heard of it but never quite found the courage to propose it to my family.

Another question is, do you buy and mail gifts to every out-of-town relative? Or would it be politically correct to gift only those you will be with during the holidays? That makes lots of sense to me, but it may sound like Scrouge to the Merry Christmas bunch.

So far, I have spent exactly $54.45 for five games of Quiddler. What, you never heard of it? I hadn’t either until Barb brought along a set of the word cards on our Alaskan cruise in July. She says it originated in England. When I ordered mine from, I learned that the game is not readily available in stores.

Anyway, I am considering giving the game to all my kids and grands so we can play it at everybody’s house. I love word games, and this is a simple one that even my tired brain can wrap around. You make short words, and the shorter the better. Pi comes to mind. And if I do decide I am obligated to mail gifts to everyone, a little card game is not hard to mail.

So you think I am missing the spirit of Christmas. Maybe so, but to me Christmas is more than buying and getting. It is a reminder that God got down off his lofty perch and came to earth as a helpless little baby that we could identify with.

Easter follows Christmas. And it’s not about bunnies and hard-boiled eggs, but about that baby-now-grown who took everything satan could throw at him, including a horrible death, then rose from that stony-cold grave to return to Heaven.

I am especially aware this year that “by his stripes we are healed.” Thank God for the little baby whose birth we celebrate, and the grown man whose death makes us whole.

“We praise you, Lord, for all Your glorious power. With music and singing we celebrate Your mighty acts.” Psalm 21:13, NLT

EDITOR’S NOTE: Peggy McCracken is Enterprise business manager. Contact her at

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