Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Exhanging Gifts

Before Christmas, our small group decided to hold a white-elephant gift exchange. For greater love has no man than this: that he scavenge through his house and lay his discarded finds before his friends.

One couple was beaming about a selection of theirs, which was enough to make most of us wary of choosing it. With some cajoling, though, Eric acquiesced and chose the proffered "green bag."

Inside was a note, revealing the theme: "The complete dating-to-death relationship book packet!"

Each book offered a written phrase to acknowledge why it belonged in the pack, which I will provide for you, along with the titles.
Read before 1st date - The Paranoid's Pocket Guide

When you decide to be "just friends" - God's Little Instruction Book on Friendship

When the romance is lacking - The Act of Marriage: The Beauty of Sexual Love

When the romance hasn't been lacking - What to Expect When You're Expecting
[one aside: the couple mentioned they discovered they had somehow acquired a second copy of this book, unbeknownst to them. In an obscure reference no one but Eric is likely to get, we believe that in Pratchett fashion, only one copy is needed to asexually reproduce on the shelves; to check our theory, analyze any garage sale or bookstore and you'll realize there's never just one of these on hand. Sure, there are over 12 million copies sold, but I'll bet there are at least triple that in private book collections if you wait long enough for them to morph a nearby book into a pregnancy guide. Truly an epidemic. As you try to sleep tonight with that in mind, I'll continue with the gift set.]
When you want to convert your kids - The Two Kings: Jesus and Elvis

For the "golden years" - Easy Crosswords

For funerals - Selections from the Book of Psalms
So decide for yourselves whether this gift was worthy of the knowing giggles this couple exchanged in anticipation of the unveiling. In a spirit of unity, we will grudgingly concede that it was clever.


Mrs. Knapp said...

That is quite possibly the most clever array of book gifts I have ever heard of! Gotta keep that one in mind for the future giving... Hope you enjoy your new library! ;-)

Faith said...

Glad you appreciated the collection ... perhaps we have found them a new home?! Beware of packages being delivered with no return address beyond 'South Bend, IN.'

You may also like to know that my third white elephant gift (the one no one was willing to steal after its unveiling) included the book Intended For Pleasure. Apparently Tim LaHaye (later of Left-Behind fame) has cornered the market as far as this particular subject is concerned; he authored the Act of Marriage and wrote the forward to this one.

Our group was appropriately amused to see that one couple ended up with the two separately given yet eerily related books.