Last night I went with my husband to the yearly holiday gathering for his residency program (possibly relevant note: since the program is 5 years, the attendees vary as people progress through the program. Also, as residents tend to work 80 hours a week, they tend not to be home much. As a part of the gathering, there generally is a white elephant exchange. The gifts for this range from funny to useful. For example, the gifts this year ranged from a niceish blanket to a snuggie and some silly movies. Then there was what my husband found in the box he wound up with.
He opened the box, and immediately this look came on his face:
Inside the box was a live hamster.
Eventually, a starter kit for the little guy was produced, while my husband and I, vaguely shellshocked, tried to figure out how to make this work with Christmas travel plans, work, a cat, and a 16 month old daughter.
Bless the hostess for the party (the wife of the attending in charge of the program) for insisting on switching gifts, but the morning after has left me wondering.
While I know where the term White Elephant comes from, I feel as if there's a fair expectation that the modern tradition doesn't include live animals. Am I off base in this?