Turtle Beach Picnic & White Elephant Gift Exchange

Jeryl Schriever proudly displays her “gift”: a potty training talking pink flamingo. Amazingly, it was subsequently claimed by Bernie Evans for his one-year-old granddaughter. Jeryl was much relieved (no pun intended).

One of the club’s longest running, and most popular, events is the January 1st picnic and white elephant gift exchange, also traditionally held in the pavilion at Turtle Beach, Sarasota. Due to the pandemic, this year’s edition was deferred until April 10. Although the numbers were down a bit this year, we still had 35 members and about 15 LBCs present. The club provided pizza. 

A White Elephant Gift Exchange is a popular holiday event where people vie to walk away with the best present. The rule for our club regarding competition for the most desirable gift is: Two swaps (steals), the gift is no longer available and the current holder gets to keep it. There is no rule for the type of gift. It can be funny, which might get a good laugh, but is not always the most desirable item. It can be weird or unusual, such as artwork or gadgets. These can be highly sought after, particularly if they are car-related. It can also be a genuinely nice gift, which has the potential to fuel competition. Examples from the past include quality bottles of wine. The one quality all gifts should have, however, is that they should be interesting.

Two very popular gifts that were retired (2 swaps) this year were a MINI model car with clock and an encyclopedia of automobile manufacturers. Although not held as usual during the holiday season, this year’s event was deemed just as much fun as in previous years.

Thanks to Jim Wilson and Bruce Skaggs for additional input. Photos by the author

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