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Democrat Speier embraces (white) elephant tradition

Congresswoman Jackie Speier
Congresswoman Jackie Speier
Kitty Felde/KPCC

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The holidays are a time of laughter and tears – and in the case of one Bay Area Democrat, both show up at the same party.

If you get invited to Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s holiday party, you have to bring a white elephant gift. She says it's "a lot of fun and it becomes true mortal combat because adults are taking gifts away from small children, small children are crying."

The San Mateo Democrat remembers one prize that wouldn’t go away. "There was this horrific portrait of Richard Nixon that someone found somewhere at some Salvation Army that became quite the gift from year to year. I think it’s finally been put to rest."

No telling whether Jimmy Carter sweaters score a similar hit at Republican white elephant parties.