And now for the final installment of Sandbar Christmas party stories- the annual white elephant/present stealing game we like to play.

The rules are that everyone who wants to play has to bring a wrapped gift valued around $10. I say "wrapped" loosely- while most of the gifts are in recycled holiday gift bags, a few are actually wrapped with real wrapping paper or sometimes newspaper, and a few gifts have been known to show up in plastic Walmart bags or worse.

The value is another loose term that is interpreted all kinds of ways. We've had random helmets that were found lying by the side of the road; broken VCR's that someone ought to be able to fix; and other remnants left over from someone's grandma's closet.

Some of the gifts exchanged this year:

Sandbar Christmas Party 2008_0039
Sandbar Christmas Party 2008_0041

Pat unwrapped a gaudy woman statue that unsurprisingly was stolen the maximum number of times- three; while John looked thrilled about his frog face "tree art" that is hard to see because of glare.

Sandbar Christmas Party 2008_0049
Sandbar Christmas Party 2008_0060

Andrew brought a pair of gym shorts apparently intended for a certain football coach who will remain nameless. Jen received what might possibly be the most literal gift yet- an actual white elephant.

Other gifts of the evening included "Howdy Doody," the book "How to Talk to Girls," a pair of Joe boxers (which unfortunately Joe didn't get), a palm tree light that Dave quickly confiscated for the bar, a random bag of gifts recycled from past gift exchanges, and a very popular ring toss game.

The scariest gift, however, has found a permanent home at The Sandbar. You might have seen it staring back at you when you're in a rather vulnerable position:

Sandbar Christmas Party 2008_0043
Sandbar Christmas Party 2008_0073

Happy New Year to all of our faithful fans! Have fun tonight whatever you decide to do, and remember to be safe. The Sandbar is, once again, helping to sponsor Tipsy Taxi in Lawrence.  If you need a ride home between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., call 842-TAXI and specifically request Tipsy Taxi. They'll take you home.