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Family’s Totally Random White Elephant Gift Tradition Gives New Life To Old Mysterious Portrait


Have you ever had a white elephant gift exchange before? It’s common at holiday parties. In short, people wrap gifts — some great and some ridiculous — and they’re swapped throughout the night. Bunny Goodell was shopping at a thrift store when she found an item that she thought would be perfect. It was a family portrait of people she didn’t know.

Each year after the gift exchange, the portrait has a new owner. Based on family rules, that owner has to prominently display the portrait in their home for a year. The tradition went on for decades, even though nobody could figure out who the unknown family was.

When social media picked up the family’s tradition, it was the perfect time to try to identify the young adults in the image and ask them why the portrait was at the thrift store to begin with. It’s a risky request, since some people might get a little weirded out knowing that they’ve been hanging in multiple households for years, as the joke of the season. It’s a beautiful picture, but these things are often quite personal.

Luckily, Bunny and her relatives got good news. In finding out who the family was, the sisters got a chance to unexpectedly reunite and meet their new “family” members. They, luckily, had a great sense of humor and appreciated the fact that the portrait had found so many good homes.

Watch this video from CBS13 to hear what they had to say about the rare find. Plus, find out why the photo was donated in the first place.

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