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Strangest gifts swapped between coworkers

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A used ashtray and a World War II gas mask may not be on your Christmas wish list, but, according to a recent survey, which was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm, those very gifts were swapped between coworkers during year-end white elephant parties.

Here's an excerpt from the survey, based on 750 telephone interviews:

"Someone gave a framed picture of himself."

It'll look great sitting on the fireplace mantel.
    
"I was given a used ashtray."

You might be the butt of that joke.
    
"I literally received a white elephant."

Finally, someone who follows directions!
    
"The strangest item I've ever seen exchanged was a World War II gas mask."

Better safe than sorry.

Food was a recurring theme, though not the most inviting one:

"A wilted carrot"

What's up, Doc? No fresh ones?
    
"A potato"

Hope it's a hot one!
    
"A jar of pickles"

Because you never know when a craving will strike...
    
"A can of beans"

They are the "magical fruit," after all.

Regifting isn't a new concept around the holidays, but these employees take it to the next level:

"A broken umbrella"

Hail, no!

"A used candle"

A thrifty approach.
   
"Dirty oven mitts"

No need to break them in.

And then, there's always that certain object that makes an appearance every year:

 "The same fruitcake went around the office two years in a row."

  We're betting it makes a third appearance.

"Office gift exchanges can be a fun and affordable way for coworkers to celebrate the holiday season," said Lara Dodo, a regional vice-president of The Creative Group in Canada, in a press release.

"When selecting presents, employees should keep their particular work environment and the recipients in mind, even for light-hearted events, like white elephant parties. Personalized gifts that show thought are often appreciated by colleagues."

This survey is based on more than 750 telephone interviews randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 175 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies in the United States and Canada.



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