A white elephant is unique. So is the wisdom we get from making things.
The White Elephant Project started as an experiment. This time I’m calling for your wisdom. The Project is now featuring your favorite quotes and scraps of wisdom shared in my Quote Crafters group on Facebook.
In the original White Elephant Exchange, participants remain anonymous, but I believe great wisdom deserves recognition.
Submit your story. Submit your quotes. Submit your tips. Submit something that making taught you.
The Giving Season is here. Give something back that making gave you.
The Origin of the Name
The white elephant is a sacred creature in Southeast Asia. They’re recipients of the highest luxuries. Monarchs gave a white elephant to courtiers who displeased them.
Rather than the honor it appeared to be, the maintenance of the deity, both physically and financially, ruined them.
“White elephant”, therefore, came to be synonymous with a burdensome gift which can’t be disposed of and which no one else wants. I disagree.
The Object of a White Elephant Gift Exchange
I got a Christmas Tree made of coat hangers and tinsel at my first White Elephant Gift Exchange. I find a spot for it the day after Thanksgiving every year.
Bring a “gift”, get a “gift”. The object is to stick someone with a less-than-desirable piece of junk you found laying around the house. It’s usually presented in a gift bag also found laying around the house. But you know how the saying goes about trash and treasures.
It’s not an exchange of extravagance or any other usual standard. The purpose is to give something useful you already have and hope to get something useful you don’t already have in return. Then you re-gift it later…if you want. I always end up keeping mine.
The Object of the Project
White elephant gifts are traditionally scraps. But, scraps are what the good stuff’s made of.
Some of the best things I ever received were scraps of “junk” I keep lying around. Few take up space in my home, most take up space in my heart and memory. Those last ones I keep even if I end up passing them on, and that’s often.
I’d like to get to know some of yours. I am the proud creator of the group Quote Crafters on Facebook. I’d be honored if you came and visited and left us with a scrap of wisdom crafting taught you. I hope I collect enough to craft them into a post to feature here. If you’d like to be recognized, leave your first name and last initial and a link to your website, blog or page.
A white elephants symbolizes wisdom and strength. Keep that in mind when you’re thinking of the wisdom you picked up through crafting over the course of your time.
The story you give the piece in the making of it is where some of the magic hides. I want to pass a little of that on to those in need of some magic…and hope. I’ll share what we get in return right here. I’d be honored to have your help.
Giving away the things I spent a lot of time making is hard; these posts included. It’s telling a lover I had an affair with goodbye. It stole my time many nights. I labored and fought with and admired it. It made me happy, curious, frustrated, anxious and at times, it was as burdensome as those elephants probably were.
We play the role of courtier for awhile when it comes to crafting. Then it’s done. We give away the item, but we have the story it gave us.
Keeping the really good things is always an option. We can squirrel them away in the closet, but that saying goodbye to them is so hard means they’re worth too much to keep only for ourselves. I found the reason why that’s so. I hope you ride the river with me long enough to watch me craft it out.
I hope to learn form you. I hope you learn from each other.
Happy Scrapping, Happy Storytelling.
Quotes Crafted, Scraps, Story, The White Elephant Project, The White Elephant Project