The Parkers wanted to limit gossip at their annual family Christmas party, fearing the conversation would turn politics or religion, or that Pete Davidson would be unconventionally attractive. So they organized an exchange of gifts of harmless white elephants. By the end of the night, they would be loaded with carbs and regrets, vowing to play charades next year.
Rachel (60, host, legendary swing voter) felt a lot of pressure as a host to bring something neutral, so she went with Big Bird, a beloved resident of Sesame Street, who dressed in a Santa Claus outfit for the occasion. Perhaps the family could have let the Vaxxed Bird division slip away given its enduring star power and disarming whimsy, but Big Bird, trying to be a caring guest, ALSO brought a gift: a copy of The 1619 project: a new origin story. He thought it was a book about counting, a beloved activity in his community.
Uncle joe (Republican, 64, wearing cargo shorts even though it’s snowing) brought a plush white elephant to the party. He took the game too literally, much like his approach to the Bible.
Aunt Claudie (Democrat, 58, Mennonite pastor) brought a Bible (NRSV, duh), which she personally annotated, highlighting over 2,000 verses about poverty as well as the passage from 2 kings on bears because Claudia, bless her, has several bald siblings and a twisted sense of humor.
Cousin Jackie (Democratic socialist, 22, barista and Lyft driver) was in fact unaware of the White Elephant Gift Exchange because when she saw the subject line “Gifts!” $ 20 minimum! No LIVE OR DEAD animals, âshe marked as phishing. So she put the buns she had baked in one of her New Yorker tote bags. Honestly, it was the best gift under the tree that night.
Gregory? (pizza delivery man, unrelated to anyone, Green Party vibe) brought a box of pizza, unwrapped, partially eaten. No one knew who he was or why he was there, but the family decided he could stay (some unwittingly entertained angels, after all) until the garlic knots he brought to him. sharing are running out.
Cousin steve (Libertaire, 34, “immune”) brought an Aaron Rodgers jersey. Cousin Jackie, who watches the WNBA exclusively, had the misfortune to choose this gift under the tree. While no one was watching, she crossed out “Rodgers” with a sharpie and wrote “Kaepernick”. Uncle Joe didn’t notice and took his turn to steal the jersey. The crackle of the fire barely concealed Cousin Jackie’s chuckle.
Grandma Point (Democrat, too old for that shit) brought a real Pfizer vaccine, a needle and all, then paid the pizza delivery guy to wrap it in a really big gift box with a mug of water, a headlamp, and two slices of pizza to maintain blood sugar levels. She waited with impatience, hope and mischief, wondering if she had discovered the true meaning of Christmas.