if you can’t have a white christmas…

by Janetha on December 18, 2011

in fun with friends

…at least you can have a white elephant party! last night was such a blast.

i woke up bright and early (at 9:20 AM…) and got to work on the party prep. in a matter of four hours i:

  • made teri’s crockpot vegan chili
  • made noodleless turkey miniestrone soup in the crockpot (totally spaced adding the noodles)
  • made mint chip brownies (using this recipe and swapping the vanilla extract for mint, then added andes baking chips)
  • made vegan snickerdoodles using jess’s recipe and swapping the butter with earth balance and the egg with enerG egg replacer
  • cleaned all the dishes from all that cooking and scrubbed every inch of my kitchen
  • did all the laundry (with marshall’s helped)
  • cleaned both bathrooms
  • ate cereal with a vanilla protein shake as milk
  • cleaned my bedroom
  • vacuumed the whole house (marshall did most of this—when i had a hard time turning on the vacuum to vacuum our room, he told me that it’s clear who does the vacuuming in our house)

after all that, i headed to the gym and completed day 69 of the livefit trainer. TEN weeks down.. two to go!

that whole carb cycling thing really went down the toilet this weekend.. but i expected that and am not heartbroken over it. i am just glad i have stuck to each and every workout. oh, and i am welcoming today’s rest day with a big, fat hug.. FINALLY, a day off.

after cleaning myself up, i headed out to snag my white elephant gift. for weeks i have known what i wanted to buy… pajama jeans. if any of you have seen the hilarious infomercial for these “jeans that look like designer jeans but feel like pajamas,” then you KNOW why i wanted these as my gag gift. however.. it turns out the jeans are FORTY bucks. uh, no thanks.

plan B was to get a forever onesie (possibly more ridiculous than the snuggie!).. but that turned out to be THIRTY bucks. hmm, still way out of budget for a gag gift. i ended up finding a paula deen baking basket with random paula deen odds and ends. not as funny as i had hoped, but hey.. ya win some, ya lose some.

i snapped some photos of all the food before our friends arrived.


kristen was first to arrive and put together the most incredible (and incredibly easy) app—it was melted bread cheese, peach berry jam, and a pecan.


they were so unique and so tasty!


everyone showed up and we got the party started.


the dudes were playing c-lo (a dice game) and marshall walked away with almost $200 in winnings! yessss.


he tried to give dave some of his cash money but dave refused.


after awhile, it was time for the white elephant game! all the presents were waiting under our ornamentless tree.


we drew numbers and then took turns picking a gift off the table or stealing a gift that had already been chosen. each gift could be stolen up to two times before it was “frozen”.


once all the gifts had been claimed, we opened them one at a time.. there were some awesome items!


i ended up with some regifted “stroke on a rope” from last year.. and kristen got it all sudsy and used before regifting it!


sabrina ended up with my paula deen prize pack.


SO SO SO stoked on marshall’s.. he got a sandwich press! um, that’s not even a gag gift.. that is AMAZING.


jessica stole the gift i originally picked.. and i am so bummed—it was a set of nested owl measuring cups! what a score.


i have to say that the very best gift given was from marshall. rory received it.. what a lucky guy…


NICKELBACK CD! hahaha.. oh, gross.

the party was a big hit! thanks to everyone for coming. can’t wait for next year.

today’s agenda includes the packers game followed by gingerbread house making at kristen’s mom’s. excited!

until next time.


what would you give as your white elephant gag gift? (let’s say money is not an object.)

xo. janetha g.

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lynn @ the actor's diet December 18, 2011 at 1:15 pm

i wanna have a white elephant party after new years – once we all have our rejects we wanna regift…

Laura December 18, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I would probably head to goodwill to get a White Elephant gift. We went last weekend to look for something for my husband to take to his rugby team’s white elephant gift party. There was a thighmaster there, but unfortunately it was broken. I can’t imagine a rugby player anywhere that wouldn’t love to recieve that.

Lauren @ What Lauren Likes December 18, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Bahah! Best gag gifts ever! Sounds like a blast :)

Katie December 18, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Yeah, sandwich press = amazing. I can’t believe someone thought that was a gag gift! I also can’t believe pajama jeans are $40. What the heck?

Erica December 18, 2011 at 1:37 pm

What a fuN party!! Boy did you rock the to dos. Yummy food. Someone gave a shake weight at our white elephant-i thought that was awesome

Katy (The Singing Runner) December 18, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I literally laughed out loud at the Nickelback CD!!!! That is gold. Definitely going to bring one to my next white elephant exchange!

Carrie@shrinkingcarrie December 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Once I got a toilet seat. It was pretty awesome. I love white elephant, it is so much easier to buy a hilarious gift than a serious one! Looks like you guys had a lot of fun!

AJ December 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I never realized how much taller Marshall is over you!

For a morning shake or “milk” for cereal do you prefer whey protein or pea protein? I couldn’t find any pea protein, so I’m giving whey a try and hoping it doesn’t disagree with my stomach.

Kelli Preston December 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm

you might be one of the most productive people on the planet. Your party’s eats look delish!!

Gab December 18, 2011 at 2:13 pm

We had our white elephant party this weekend too. Although the budget with ours increases by $1 each year – it was a whopping $6 this year, haha.
My gift was a blow-up kiddies pool. Some others included a Dora the Explorer lenticular puzzle, a bumbag/fanny pack with “I love Australia” with a toy koala attached, a mini nerf gun, a mini etch-a-sketch, and a half-finished book of Sudoku.

The Nickelback cd is a hilarious gift – turn it into a coaster, I guess?

The Delicate Place December 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm

first off…your gift…FILTHY haha. secondly, how in the world did that 90minute workout go? ::hail:: white elephant gifts: shake weight, the wearable blanket—forever lazy and/or any tubed meats.

Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn December 18, 2011 at 2:31 pm

69. Hehe.

Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio December 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Y’all brought some fantastic gifts! We have a white elephant on Wednesday and I can’t wait!

Lauren December 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm

LOVE White Elephant gift parties. I was just thinking what a bummer that you didn’t end up with the owl. They must have bought that with you in mind. :)

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm

you have the best party pics, best parties and best group of friends…period. Love these posts!

white elephant gift? Oh so many things…I probably shouldn’t write it out here though. Lol

The Bears Still Suck December 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Wow, you guys really do love all things Wisconsin! I knew you loved the Packers, and now I see from these pictures that you also love our beer….Pabst Blue Ribbon and Miller….that is so awesome!

On a sad note, it sucked to see the Packers lose today, but maybe it was a wake-up call for them heading into the playoffs. I sure hope so!

Nicole C December 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Hahaha, the nickelback CD made me laugh out loud. What a score for winning that prize. Looks like a blasty blast, wish we lived a bit closer, or in the same state ;)

melissanibbles December 18, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Whoa…hello Rory.

Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl December 18, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Haha! Stroke on a rope. Nice. But I don’t think it will come in very handy for you. LOL. Great gifts. Gotta love the justin bieber tooth brush. too funny. glad the party turned out great.

white elephant gift…hmmmm…. maybe a chia pet?

lindsay December 18, 2011 at 4:44 pm

now thats quite a gift. I’ve gotten something similar before and my poor nana was so curious as to what it was. Trust me, it was the highlight of the evening. Poor nana.
I just got our white elephant present for christmas. And its pretty lame, but hey, if no one wants it, i’m so keeping it!

Lindsay @ Lindsay's List December 18, 2011 at 4:56 pm

I love that Darth Vader thing!
The weirdest thing I got? Def. the pound of shrimp at the last one I went to. Just weird.

Anne December 18, 2011 at 6:42 pm

White elephant parties are a blast. My family does one every year and my mom always tapes a lottery ticket to a few gifts. People go nuts :)

Diana December 18, 2011 at 7:30 pm

you know those – what do you even call them? mock turtleneck bib sort of things, go great under a holiday sweater? Uncle Eddie wears a GREAT one in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. THAT would be my white elephant gift.

Also…what is in the water in Utah that gives you and all of your friends such beautiful hair?!?

Kristabel@RaceReady December 18, 2011 at 9:25 pm

This looks like an all around good time!

Ellie@Fit for the Soul December 18, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Oh mann I love the white elephant game! The best part is seeing people’s reactions :P

Kristin @ STUFT Mama December 18, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Okay, first of all I kind of want one of those forever thingies. Ha ha. Not for that price though. The party looks like so much fun! Sorry about your gift, but you are stoked on Marshall’s gift. That is my FAVORITE kitchen appliance ever!!!!! Hope you got to rest!

Hope @ With A Side Of Hope December 19, 2011 at 5:40 am

This looks like such a fun party! I love the idea of gag gifts. I’m totally going to have to do this next year! :)

Heather (Heather's Dish) December 19, 2011 at 5:52 am

i SO wish pajama jeans had been cheaper…i want to know if they REALLY look like designer jeans and REALLY feel like pajamas :)

we had a white elephant exchange at work the other day and i got a “briefcase” made out of XXXL men’s underwear. classic.

G December 19, 2011 at 6:26 am

A Nickleback CD….. Literal LOL!

Nicole December 19, 2011 at 7:09 am

use your sandwich press to make protein pancakes. They come out as perfect little triangles for dipping.

janetha December 19, 2011 at 8:25 am

Thank you for this tip! I am for sure going to try that.

Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning December 19, 2011 at 7:11 am

This made me laugh so much- I read it last night and had to come back and read again this morning (plus, it gave me so many ideas for White Elephant gifts!). You really got the short end of the stick and man, I can’t believe someone took the owl measuring cups from you!
Bad Santa is awesome and the Justin Beiber toothbrush and NICKELBACK cd… you have some creative friends!
I got a big case of “rice punch” from and Asian market one year and a magic 8 ball another time (which I thought was pretty cool!)

Allison December 19, 2011 at 7:34 am

Haha white elephant parties always make for the best stories :P My momma and her friends have them every year and one year she came home with a teddy [lingerie?!] *gasp* :P

Debbie (Accidently Delish) December 19, 2011 at 8:16 am

my fiance’s work does a white elephant party and he found some of those like closet pop lights that use batteries, but they are shaped as the mushrooms from super mario! they are super cute!

i am OBSESSED with owls, i think i would have cried if those were stolen from me!

Ashley December 19, 2011 at 8:34 am

I’m dyiiing at some of those gifts!!!! Ohhh man. Looks like the party was a hit! Great job on getting all of that done AND getting your workout in! I just started week 3 and my legs are a hurtin. :)

Bonnie December 19, 2011 at 9:27 am

A sandwich press?! Awesome. And a Nickleback CD? Marshall knows how to give ’em (seriously – Canadians don’t even like them!) – what a perfect gift. :D

I don’t know what I would give…but it wouldn’t be the best gift in the group like when Michael gave an iPod on “The Office” (have you seen that one?!)…it would be something like a whoopie cushion with some candy since I’m not that creative. ;)

What a great party – the food, the people, the gifts…I’d like to hang out with your friends! They seem fun. And you and Marshall of course – maybe one day we’ll meet up on the ski hill! Thanks for sharing your weekend, and way to rock the workouts – seriously!

Jessica @ Healthy Dairyland December 19, 2011 at 9:40 am

I love White Elephant gifts! Such a good idea to have a White Elephant party. Maybe I will do that next year. Looks like fun!

Ananda December 19, 2011 at 10:12 am

You have a very attractive group of friends!

I love White Elephant. We do one every year on my mom’s side with extended family and it’s always hilarious. This year the highlight was my 89 year old Nana getting 50 mini bottles of Scope mouthwash, my fiance getting a new mother gift pack complete with cracked nipple cream and my cousin getting a skein of yarn with knitting needles and 1/4 done project on the end. haha!

Paige @ RAN December 19, 2011 at 10:16 am

Ha! I love it. I would definitely get a fit flexor for my gag gift at a White Elephant party. In fact, I was bummed we didn’t have one to go to this year because I realllly wanted to give that gift (from the makers of the shake weight-google it.)

One of my clients told me about how one time she brought a door as a gift! haha

Christin@purplebirdblog December 19, 2011 at 10:33 am

Bahahahahhah Nickelback, oh dear! I used to color those fuzzy posters in another lifetime, and I still have a bunch of the ones I did. I hate to even say this, but some of them are kinda cool… I did a Celtic knot one that was pretty freakin’ fabulous… though now it hides in a plastic bag in the back of a closet, lol ;)

natasha December 19, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Love this idea! Confession: I usually hate gift-giving occasions unless I know precisely what the person wants because I always fear that they won’t like it or that it isn’t appropriate/good enough but gag gifts are so much fun.

i have a ton of ideas of what to give but I think I would just wander through a store or two and make an on-the-spot decision.

Oh and I think Marshall’s gift made up for yours!

Annette@EnjoyYourHealthyLife December 19, 2011 at 12:55 pm

What a fun idea! I once gave away a quesadilla maker and my bro was SO excited. Hah. We just didn’t use it enough to need it around–but it was pretty awesome!

Betty December 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Ugh .. Nickleback..

Ummm I’ve thought about this and can’t think of anything really clever, which is nothing new.. I thought pajama jeans too, but I think they’re cheaper where I’ve seen them? Or maybe I’m making it up.. Or now they have those onsies that are suppose to be better than a snuggle.. Idk why the blanket turned out to be such a bad source of heat..

LauraJayne December 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm

We totally had a Justin Bieber toothbrush at out White Elephant party too! Too funny!

I got a non-gag gift as my “winnings,” Starbucks coffee cups and House Blend! Score! I almost walked away with an electronic mini-griddle which I also didn’t think was a gag gift! I wanted it!

Nikki @ Heels to Sneakers December 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm

haha I love the pajama jeans infomercial! I actually had someone come into my work wearing those….

If I had to pick a gag gift I would probably go with something Twilight related! Sorry Twilight fans ;)

jan December 20, 2011 at 6:12 am

You must try an oatmeal smoothie. I wondered if you’d like it since you like smoothies and you like oats:

1/2 cup oats (soaked overnight in almond milk)
1 scoop protein powder
3/4 cup almond milk (including that in the soaked oats…but you might want to add or subtract depending)
1 TBSP Sunflower seed butter
1 tsp chia seeds
1/2 banana (optional)

Yum. Doughy . Just all in the blender and eaten by spoon.

meg December 20, 2011 at 5:11 pm

oh my gosh! The Nickelback CD is priceless! Such a good idea! :) For our friends’ White Elephant party this year, I was going to paint a really pretty brown pile of poo on a small canvas and write “You’re the Shit!” but they canceled it last minute. LAME! :)

Toronto Girl West December 20, 2011 at 6:59 pm

What a fun Christmas party!!! And I love how you prepped everything ahead of time – it’s definitely the way to go! :)

jessiker December 21, 2011 at 8:03 am

Hahaha haters! I won the owl fair and square. Haha.

I had so much fun, those things K-dawg made were the jimmy-jam. I am making those on Xmas eve I think. Also, I love chili. We should have a chili cookout night. Because I love the stuff. And I love you.

LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! @Randy’s face. Oh my gosh. Laughing.

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