I have worked my whole life to be the nice girl, the inclusive girl, the kind girl… but the White Elephant game at office holiday parties brings out the evil, mean girl in me. I actually made a guy cry in 1999 when I stole a Back Street Boy platter from him. It never crossed my mind that he actually wanted it… but I didn’t give it back once I saw tears (mean girl!)

This past year, at my office holiday party, I almost didn’t bring a gift so I wouldn’t be able to participate…yet I did. I was at the first table to go, which meant I’d be the last table allowed to steal and I had my eyes on the prize. It was as if Indiana Jones, himself, was whispering in my ear… that journal was made for you. “No!” I told myself, “I cannot steal the vintage leather journal that my colleague’s guest was clearly trying to hide in hopes that everyone would forget about it, I mean, who would want that aged paper, the distressed leather-bound cover, the—” I was Gollum and the journal was my Precious… I wanted it, I stole it, and I justified it… hard!!! And yes, I recognize that I just used an Indiana Jones and Lord of the Rings reference in the same paragraph…

The guilt reared its ugly head with puffed up, entitled justifications. All evening I’d tell anyone who would listen, in my high and mighty voice, “Yes, I stole the journal, I know she wanted it really badly, but she’s a guest, not an employee!”

Of course, the nice girl in me couldn’t sleep that night, so I searched Amazon, and wouldn’t you know it, there was the journal. I had to wait until morning to text my colleague, who had left for Mexico with his girlfriend that day, “I have been feeling guilty since last night!!! I hate white elephant games and stealing. Please ask Karen to give me her address and choose the color leather she would like, and I insist on sending her a journal… have a great time in Mexico!” [actual text]

I attached the link, to which he replied, “Oh please no. Was not your fault it’s just a game. But thanks for the link, now I know one thing to get her for Christmas!“ [actual text, though I rewrote it to correct his auto-correct, which he then corrected… okay, you get the point]

So, Dave got to be the good guy, Karen got her journal, and I got a link to share with you, along with the adhesive photo sleeves I bought, as it’s now my travel journal.

I’m not sure what the moral of the story is… I guess it depends who’s on my shoulder at any given office party. If it’s the devil, you bet yer ass I’ll steal that gift again in the blink of an eye… if it’s an angel, I’ll keep my stupid cheapo earbuds that I’ll never use because I’m afraid that it will give me brain cancer, and go home, cross my fingers, and hope to find the gift I wanted to steal on Amazon.

Bonus Tip: Download the Free Prints app, you get 85 free prints a month, so I print out all the pictures from my trips and pick the 5 best ones to put in the journal.

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