Unhappy Holidays: People Share Their Unforgettable Christmas Stories

December 17, 2020 | Carl Wyndham

Unhappy Holidays: People Share Their Unforgettable Christmas Stories

For some of us, the Christmas season is a time of joy, merriment, and good cheer. But for these poor people, the winter holidays are more like a trainwreck than an enchanted sleigh ride. Raise a toast to the messiest time of the year and enjoy these jaw-dropping stories of people's most unforgettable yuletide memories.

1. Table Talk

This last Christmas, I found out that not only had my mom already been previously married and divorced before I was born, but that my dad had also had another kid before he had gotten married to my mom. So, that means I have a secret half-brother or sister out there somewhere, who I have never met. That's already bad enough, but the real kicker was the way I found out about it all.

I found out from my brand new sister-in-law, who had just joined the family. Apparently, she had been doing some digging and research into our family history and she discovered all of these details. She had no idea that they had been a secret, though, and she assumed us kids already knew about them. So, she just casually brought it up out of the blue on Christmas Eve while we were baking cookies.

Secrets They Hid From Their Children factsShutterstock

2. This Has To Be An Elaborate Prank, Right?

I used to work as a mall Santa. One time, a little girl no more than five was screaming when it was her turn. Kids get scared of Santa, it’s not that uncommon. Her dolled up mom was having none of her child's tantrum and the elves were pleading with her to not put the girl on my lap. She did and her kid instantly stopped screaming. Just had this look of pure hatred at her mom for the remainder of the photo session.

I swear, I thought I was on Candid Camera, it looked so acted out. Attempting to talk to the little terror, I asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she looked at me and softly said just above a whisper, “for my Mommy to die.” Noped myself to a break after that one.

Mall Santa Experiences factsShutterstock

3. Plain Cruelty

My mom once got me a gag scratch-off lotto ticket for Christmas. On it, I had won something like $100,000 - one of the grand prizes for a $20 ticket, so it would've been a huge payout at my age of seventeen. She sat through me calling my father (divorced parents), other friends and family members telling them how much better things would be for the next few years, especially college, and that they would all get a fair share.

This went on for about twenty minutes until she told me it was a gag ticket, as she burst out laughing. I left her house Christmas morning on the spot, storming out blind with rage. On the way home, I had to call everybody back and explain what happened, near tears. It took me almost all year to forgive her. I can't recall anything worse that has happened to me. It was one of the most intense mixtures of feeling simultaneous hate/rage/sadness I've ever felt.

Disappointing Gift Facts

4. Being Santa Can Be Soul-Crushing

I was a mall Santa once and will never do it again. Some of the things still haunt me. One little girl was the sweetest most well-spoken girl and asked that her parents would love each other again so they could get back together and they could be a family again. The pain in her voice still hurts my heart almost a decade later. Another boy wanted his dad to come back from Iraq.

Another little boy wanted his dad back and told me he passed in Afghanistan. One asked for his parents to get jobs, because they both lost them. A few others just ran to me and gave me the biggest and most loving hugs and though those aren't really sad they really struck a nerve with me, just such genuine love from complete strangers. I am not an emotional person normally, but even typing this brought me to tears.

Kids should not be worrying about some of these things. I would never do it again, you expect toys and gadgets but things like these I never expected and they will be things that break my heart for the rest of my life.

Mall Santa Experiences factsShutterstock

5. That Relationship Doesn’t Seem To Be Working

Christmas last year. I saved up for months to buy my wife a new tablet. It cost almost $600. She gave me a $25 McDonalds gift certificate.

Disappointing Gift Factshellorf

6. This Is A Joke…Right?

I should start this by saying I don't give a care about getting expensive things for gifts whatsoever, but this was just depressing. One Christmas after watching my entire family open all their new iPads, laptops and other cool new devices, I opened my three gifts. The first thing I opened was a bottle of Colon Cleanse.

The second thing I opened was a package of female intimate moist wipes (I'm a guy). The third thing I opened was a DVD about terrorism. After opening my gifts and thinking they are all a joke from my dad everyone just gets kind of quiet and realizes that I don't have anything else to open. My brother-in-law walks over to me, leans down, and whispers in my ear "that was the most depressing thing I've ever seen."

The best part about all of this is that my Dad bought them new but 1st generation iPads (I didn't know this at the time). My birthday is right before Christmas and this particular year I decided to treat myself and get a new iPad. While my family was playing with their "new" iPads they just got for Christmas they then proceeded to give me heck and call me a showoff for having the newest iPad that I just bought for myself.

Worst Gifts Ever Received factsPiqsels

7. Getting A Raise

It was the night of her company Christmas party. I had to stay home and babysit our five-year-old son (Grandma was supposed to, but she fell and was in the hospital with a broken hip.) I figured my wife would go and then come home early. Turns out, she was planning to stay the night at a hotel so "she could drink and not worry about driving." I woke up about 3am just knowing something was wrong (never happened before) and checked "Find My Phone" to see where she was. She was with her boss at his apartment. Pretty much sucked.

Cheating Exes FactsShutterstock

8. Meet Your New Friend, Clarinet Case

My whole life I wanted a dog more than anything. Every year I asked for a puppy and sadly was disappointed every year as well. One year I woke up on Christmas and saw a large box under the tree with my name on it, it had holes in the side and I KNEW this was the year I'd finally have a dog.

I opened the box, it was a clarinet case.

Disappointing Gift Factssbmania

9. Christmas Bonus

The president of our company got completely plastered at our Christmas party. His speech started off funny because he was slurring hard and he was playing on it. Then he started talking about how he came from nothing and became something. Then he proceeded to tell us how if it wasn't for us working so hard and keeping our clients happy, he wouldn't have been able to accomplish building his mega-mansion for himself and his family, nor would he have been able to afford his new Mercedes Benz.

Then came awkward muttering, followed by him directing us to, "Drink up and enjoy, because due to budget cuts, the future Christmas party/bonus budget is canceled from here on out." I'm amazed no one got up and punched him in the face. Many of my coworkers relied on that bonus. No one was impressed. Except for one person, the rest of us quit within the first few months into the new year.

Sour Vibes FactsShutterstock

10. 98 Cents And A Pizza

My last semester of college I moved out of the dorms and subsequently all my friends (who still lived in the dorms) seemed to forget I even existed. It was pretty much the most depressing time of my life. I worked two jobs, went to school full time, and nobody talked to me. Christmas rolls around and I invite my family, who don't live too far away, to come to my apartment for Christmas dinner. They showed up late, scarfed down the food, and gave me their one collective gift: a party game, minimum players 4.

Then they left because they had other dinners to go to, carrying the multiple gifts I got each of them.

I threw their present in the dumpster outside, put on Doctor Who, and cried.

Disappointing Gift Factscammy

11. Ruining All The Good Things

Tim was the guy everybody hated; he was lucky we all felt bad for his quirks. Every working day Tim punched in exactly at 8:00 AM and out at 5:00 PM, in between those hours you were lucky if you saw him working. Because of him we no longer have Secret Santa during the holidays, catered monthly lunches, or Holiday Bonuses.

Secret Santa: Tim was quite frugal, and when I say quite, I mean he was as cheap as it gets. But still, the recommended spend for Secret Santa was $50. When people started opening presents, it was clear that everybody went over that amount. Tim received a pair of tickets to a Dodgers Baseball game plus some Dodgers T-shirts and a hat. When it came down for Tim to give his gift, I watched in horror. He gave his desk-mate Jesse, who was the sweetest, most polite, quiet girl in the office, the most inappropriate gift. When she opened it, I wanted to die. He got her lingerie. Not just any lingerie, crotchless panties and matching bra. HR had a hay-day with that one.

Catered Lunch: Tim got so upset that he couldn't have Mexican food every single week that he raised a huge stink and made our bosses cancel the entire program. Holiday Bonuses: This is what got the ball rolling for Tim's demise. Our company manufactured steel products and shipped them to different distribution warehouses. Nobody in our office worked in sales, so nobody had commission-based pay. Every year before our 2-week holiday vacation we received our last checks for the year and a bonus.

The bonus was a percentage of the profits divided up between all employees. It was great. Who doesn't like more money right before the holiday season? Tim, that's who. This particular year had been a bad one for us, profits were down 10% due to one of our distributors filing bankruptcy. So our bonuses were not as big as before, but they still equated to a paycheck's value.

Everyone, other than Tim, was ecstatic they were still receiving bonuses. When Tim opened his check, insanity broke loose. I've never seen someone so angry about a bonus check in my life. First he goes around asking everyone how much they received (we all received the same amount), but nobody wanted to show him their check.

Then he tries to talk to his desk-mates about receiving less than last year and this is where it goes downhill. Everyone he asks tells him they received more than last year's amount. You can see where this is going now. After everyone's gone for the day and a few of us stay to clean up the Holiday Party mess, Tim rushes to the company owner and yells at him about how low the bonus was.

After the holidays, we're told that our branch's bonus program was canceled. Everybody knew why. A month later Tim finally got fired after his poor desk-mate Jesse revealed that he'd been harassing her pretty much non-stop. Last I heard he moved to Kansas to live closer to his family.

Worst Co-Workers facts PxHere

12. New To The Secret Santa

Our small neighborhood used to do a secret Santa among the kids...and I wasn't very well-liked. I had just come to America (read: didn't speak English), our family was broke, I was overweight, and had BAD acne. First secret Santa: I received a Backstreet Boys poster. It was supposedly a gag gift, but...I never got the "real" gift. Second secret Santa: I got a Barnes and Nobles gift card. Amount said $20. I went to spend it, it had $11.89.

Third secret Santa: I got a used book.

...screw those kids.

Disappointing Gift Factscreative market

13. A Pretty Gross Request

My best friend's father is a plump older man who puts on the red suit each year. My friend’s dad told me that one year a little girl that said she wanted “mommy's boogers.” Worse yet, no explanation was given. As far as weird presents kids asked for, he said surprisingly, nothing else has even come close.

Mall Santa Experiences factsPixabay

14. A Hard Scrub

For Christmas, my aunt (Aunt one) gave me and my sister liquid soap that had already solidified. She's known for being "thrifty" and re-giving old gifts. Aunt two gave Aunt one's son a shirt for his birthday. After a few years, Aunt one gifted the shirt to Aunt two’s son.

Worst Gifts Ever Received facts Shutterstock

15. The Kid Should Have Asked For Better Parental Supervision

Mall Santa here. One kid got on my lap and asked me if I could give him a bag of “wiggly rice.” I asked him what that was, and he said he ate some off a piece of chicken he found in the backyard. He said it was so yummy he wishes he had a whole bag of it. After hearing that, I nearly puked on the spot.

Mall Santa Experiences facts Shutterstock

16. Old Chocolate

One year for Christmas, I received expired chocolate from an aunt who was a chronic re-gifter, yet always expected expensive, top-notch gifts for her children on Christmas and their birthdays. Not only was the chocolate expired, but it was also evident that it had melted completely and re-solidified. When I noticed, I came up with a devious plan. I know I shouldn't have, but I couldn't help myself. I went up to her with "OMG this chocolate is so good, you have to try it!" In front of the whole family.

I watched her unwrap a piece of chocolate and when she noticed how it looked, she was extremely hesitant to eat it. When she looked at me, I just had a smile on my face: "It's the best chocolate ever!" And then I watched her slowly bring it to her mouth and try to eat it. She quickly walked to the kitchen immediately afterward. I think I've only seen her once since that moment almost nine years ago.

Worst Gifts Ever Received facts Shutterstock

17. Let’s Play Dress Up

My mom used to be an exotic dancer. Last Christmas, she gave me all her old "costumes"....

Disappointing Gift Factstwitter

18. It’s The Least Wonderful Time Of The Year

My mom decided that she didn't want to receive any Christmas presents one year and made sure to tell me and my two brothers. I suggested to her instead that we donate what we would have spent to charity in her name. She said she was fine with that if that's what we wanted to do. So that's what I did. I sent her a nice little card and the info for the charities that I had donated to.

That way, I figured she would enjoy being able to see that her decision had helped some good organizations out. Nope. Turns out Mom was not happy. "Why didn't you just send me a gift card if you weren't gonna buy me anything! You ruined Christmas for me!" I was totally distraught. I sent her a screenshot of the conversation we had and circled the place where she said she'd be fine with my decision to donate in her name. Her infuriating response made me want to scream: "I don't remember that. I deleted those texts."

I lost my cool, told her it was her own fault for raising me to do as I'm told, and told her that next time she should just not say anything if she's gonna change her mind and not tell us about it. And then we didn't speak for three entire months. This was two and a half years ago and I still have not gotten over it. It was one of the worst incidents of my life.

Enraged peoplePexels

19. A Hairy Memento

My husband received his recently deceased grandfather's used disposable razor as a Christmas gift from his grandmother. Complete with hair and all.

Worst Gifts Ever Received facts PxHere

20. Making The Grade And The Green Card

My family hosted a number of exchange students while we were growing up. We hosted about seven high school students over the course of my childhood; each stayed for a year in our house, attended high school in our town etc.

One girl, Irina, from Russia, came to us no differently than any of the other students had—through the AFS program. To be a student through AFS meant you had to fill out an application, be 17-18 years old, be attending high school in your home country, whatever. So Irina arrives as our exchange student. She goes to high school in our small hometown on Cape Cod Massachusetts. But at Christmas time she says she has to go home to Russia because her mother was extremely sick.

Going home during the exchange year is really unusual, really rare. So OK fine she’s going to Russia for the Christmas break, no big deal, she’ll be back in January. Except she never comes back. AFS can’t find her, we don’t know where she is, if she made it to Russia, if she’s hurt, nothing. And we’re terrified because we’re her host family during this year and we always took the students in like family.

Anyways she’s gone. Maybe three months later my mom is driving through our tiny town (again, middle of nowhere Cape Cod) and she sees Irina, with what looks like her mom, and some other kids. Turns out Irina has graduated high school in Russia already, was like 25 with children and had posed as an exchange student so she could "case" the place before bringing the rest of her family.

Biggest Double Life Factswikipedia

21. All In The Family

It was Christmas 2002. I was home from my freshman year of college. The vibe in the house had been really strange and tense since I got back. On Christmas morning, my mom gives my dad a really heartfelt, personalized present. My dad gives my mom an expensive but generic-looking bracelet with some diamonds in it. She starts openly weeping. Something was definitely not right. He told us he was leaving the next day and moved out immediately, into the house of the coworker he had been sleeping with. It was not a good time for my family.

Something Wasn’t Right factsShutterstock

22. Merry Christmas!

My girlfriend dumped me two days before Christmas. Little did she know, my gift was going to be an engagement ring…

After party Christmas tree.

23. Getting Turnt Off Pudding

My grandma died right before Christmas. We all got together for the holiday and my aunt was, understandably, still taking it really hard. She had made something she called, "vanilla angel food pudding cake." It was in a shallow casserole dish. The top layer was whipped cream and cookie crumble. Middle layer was vanilla pudding. Bottom layer was crumbled angel food cake, soaked to the top in a massive pool of bourbon. The cake was floating in the bourbon. We later found out she mixed even more bourbon into the pudding layer.

She didn't tell anyone it was alcoholic, so we all got scoops assuming it was a syrup or something. My cousin was the first to bite into it and had to run to the trash can to vomit as soon as it got in her mouth. Another person got a forkful near their nose and freaked out and yelled in shock. Cue my aunt beginning to completely melt down about how she's trying so hard and she got the recipe from a friend and it's not THAT much alcohol and grandma was such a good cook she would've helped her etc., etc. She was like full blown about to lose it. There was no escape now. 

Everyone else was sufficiently guilted into eating at least some of what they'd scooped onto their plates. That stuff was physically painful to eat. Everything burned. Looking around the table, you would've thought we were all downing spoonfuls of wasabi. I was 19, but I guess my parents were more worried about my aunt than me getting underage sloshed on pudding. However, about halfway through my portion they found a discreet way to dump my plate. The whole place reeked a couple minutes after we had dug into the "pudding" too, so it was this awful, inescapable sensory overload of bourbon.

Worst Thing Eaten FactsPixabay

24. Taking The Good With The Bad

I am not usually a delivery guy, but one year I was doing some work for one of the major shipping companies. It was the Christmas season, which is their busiest time of year by far. One night, one of their delivery guys picked up his truck full of packages to start his shift, and there was some kind of problem with his paperwork. He headed back into the shipping hub office to straighten it out. But there was just one problem.

He had left his keys in the ignition like an idiot. He then came back out to find that the truck had been stolen. The kicker, though, was that many of the packages in the truck actually ended up being delivered to their appropriate destinations. Our thief had some holiday spirit in him and had played Santa for the night!m Unfortunately, my friend still got fired for letting the truck get stolen...

Delivery Experiences FactsPublic Domain Pictures

25. Dasher, Dancer, Donner, Destructive

I had a domestic in progress that I responded to on Christmas Day and the excuse for them fighting was, "We're not mad at each other, we're just upset because we wanted to surprise the kids for Christmas, we got some deer, dressed them up, now they're destroying our house." Turns out, there were literally three fully grown white-tailed deer in the house somehow dressed in full bell harnesses like Santa's reindeer.

I had to call the game wardens down who were then able to help me remove the deer from the property without injury to us or them. How they managed to get the deer and dress them up is still a mystery to this day.

Cops Ridiculous Excuses facts Pixabay

26. A Christmas Miracle

I'm 19 years old. This happened to me just a few days ago. I went to a diner and, while ordering some food, I couldn't help but notice that the waitress was starting to cry. I asked her what was wrong and she started explaining to me that about 20 minutes before I came in, a few customers flew the coop without paying the bill. She told me how it was likely going to come out of her paycheck and that she may even get fired if she tells the manager about it.

Not to mention the fact that she had children and Christmas was coming up. This deduction from her paycheck was the very last thing she needed. After I finished my meal, I paid the bill and left her a $50 tip (everything that I had in my wallet) and a note saying "Merry Christmas." I quickly walked out of the diner before she saw and never told anyone about it.

Acts Of Kindness FactsShutterstock

27. Kids Asking Things For Their Parents Always Gets Me

I was a Santa for three years in college. The most memorable moment—a sad one—was a young boy who asked if I could bring him a “new Daddy because his had died during overseas service and his Mommy was lonely.” I saw the look of sorrow and pain in his pretty mother's face, even as she was trying to make Christmas special for her son.

Mall Santa Experiences facts Shutterstock

28. Picture Perfect

My family and I spent Christmas in Hawaii and on our trip back (we had about a 5-hour drive to get back home from the airport), we stopped at a rest area. I had been looking at photos from our trip on our digital camera, and it must have been in my lap when I got out of the car and dropped into the parking lot. When we got home, I looked high and low for the camera and couldn't find it anywhere.

A few weeks later, we got a call from an officer who lived in our state’s capital (not where we lived) saying someone had found the camera. On it was a picture of my folks’ motorhome (from a previous trip), and you could make out the license plate number. This guy was from another state, just passing through, found our camera at the rest area and contacted the police with the plate number.

The police looked up the plate and contacted us! The guy then mailed us back our camera. It was the nicest thing a stranger had ever done for us. We mailed him back a thank you card and a gift certificate to a restaurant in their area. "Today you, tomorrow me."

Biggest Impact FactsPxHere

29. Great Answer To A Difficult Wish

As a Santa at parties, the toughest one was having a little girl who wanted her father home from prison. That was awkward and I had to promise her that although some presents take several years to get, they are the most worth it when it happens. I added the usual assurance that her daddy missed her and loved her. It's a lot easier when they want Barbies.

Mall Santa Experiences factsShutterstock

30. Some Wishes To Santa Come True

I have been a mall Santa for several seasons. I had a special needs young woman (approximate age of 40, emotional age of 12 perhaps) ask me to make her boyfriend quit hitting her. I told a lady who was helping me to get the deputy sheriff at the event to come see me. I whispered to him what she had said. He came back ten minutes later and asked if I would speak to her in a private area. There the deputy and Santa got a clearer but very disturbing picture of how she had been repeatedly harmed.

In May, the deputy let me know the offender had been sentenced to eight years and the girl had been relocated to a new care facility.

Mall Santa Experiences factsPxHere

31. This Is No Game

Heads up: This is a happy cry story. When I was 14 years old or so, I went with my dad to Target one time. He was doing some general Christmas shopping, but also had a list from an impoverished inner-city family. It was hand-written with notes from each of the four children in the family. They were instructed by the charity running the program to keep their requests reasonable, but my dad read every single one and went way overboard.

One kid asked for a video game for a previous gen system. My dad instead bought him a PS2 (which was new at the time) and a bunch of games. One of the daughters asked for a modest desk to do her schoolwork on. He bought her a really cool one and threw in every kind of school supplies she could ever possibly need. It was no different for the other two kids.

He ended up spending a lot of money on this family that he didn’t even know. When he saw how jealous I was of the PS2 (since I had really been wanting one badly for a while), he looked at me and said, "I want you to stop and really think about who this is going to and what their life is probably like and what it will feel like for them to open this on Christmas. If you do that and still want it, then I'll give it to you instead." And so that's the story of how I got my rad new PS2. Just kidding! It's how I learned about the joy of giving, and that my dad was secretly a pretty cool guy!

Acts Of Kindness FactsShutterstock

32. Whatever He Got, Let’s Hope It Was Good

Mall Santa here. The kid at the front of the line yells to his mom, so everyone in the mall can hear, “Mom, can I ask Santa to use his special magic to get dad out from behind bars?” But when he got on my lap, he asked for a car.

Mall Santa Experiences factsShutterstock

33. This Vixen Was No Cupid

Over the winter break, my ex-girlfriend and I were watching Django Unchained, and there’s a moment where the camera pans over a herd of reindeer. My ex said she thought it was weird that they would include reindeer in the movie because it breaks the immersion. Confused, I asked what she meant. What she said next blew my mind. She explained to me how reindeer weren't real. She seriously thought reindeer were make-believe animals—because of Rudolph and Santa’s reindeer.

Dating an idiotPxfuel

34. Taking Care Of Business

My mom was always very healthy and took care of herself, ate right, and exercised her entire life. But then she got cancer and was told she likely only had a couple weeks to live. This was over Christmas, so every place was at least slightly understaffed, and anyone working was not fully focused on work, but we suddenly had to find an experienced, reputable lawyer to update her will.

They also had to get a trust set up for her recently disabled daughter, make sure a scheming relative was definitively excluded from inheriting or even interfering, have an accountant review everything, etc. We're dealing with the shock of everything and having doctors and medical staff constantly coming in and wanting to discuss things and have decisions made, and we were just incredibly overwhelmed.

We had all this stuff that needed to be done, yet all we wanted was more time together. In desperation, I called my friend Ellen. I've always admired Ellen's ability to efficiently handle bureaucracy, and we really needed help. I asked if she could come over for a couple of days to help with some of the more stressful stuff we were dealing with. She dropped her entire life and was up the next day, stayed in a nearby hotel for a couple of weeks, just doing whatever we needed. I never saw anything like it. 

We'd meet up, tell her briefly what we needed done, and she just handled it. We'd spend 15 minutes explaining what we'd like to accomplish, then she'd spend hours wrangling with the lawyers or accountants to make it happen the way we wanted it to. Then the lawyers would come in and talk with my mom alone for half an hour to verify her wishes and go over provisions. Instead of exhausting ourselves wrestling for hours with lots of different bureaucracies and intricacies, we were able to hand that off, secure in the knowledge that it was being handled correctly and efficiently by Ellen.

It allowed us to focus more on my mom's medical treatment, and to just have time together in each other's company, doing other, smaller things that were really nice to be able to do. I still desperately miss my mom, but that time would've been so much harsher without all the support that Ellen and our other friends gave us. My mom was able to leave peacefully, on her own terms, without stress or distress, and was able to spend time with all of her friends, talking over the good times they had.

And by focusing on the good things, good times, good people, it helped keep my mom's spirits up, and it made the entire atmosphere much less maudlin than it could've been otherwise. Because we had the time and space that Ellen gave us, the separation was a lot less painful than it would have been otherwise, for everyone involved. Thank you, Ellen.

Acts of Kindness FactsShutterstock

35. The Façade Reveals Itself

One day, when I was working as a Santa at the local mall, I had a long line of kids all upset and crying. It was a disaster. You see, a company was having their Christmas party in another part of the mall and had their own Santa who was handing out presents to the children of the employees. Problem was that this was in full view of the public, so it was clear that there were TWO SANTAS at the mall. And that's how dozens of children learned that Santa wasn't real thanks to a scheduling error.

Mall Santa Experiences factsPixabay

36. Favoritism Runs Deep

My mother was not subtle (although never verbally admitted) of her favoritism towards my little sister. We were both in taekwondo. But I was also in baseball. I wanted to quit taekwondo because I had no life between the two and I was much better at baseball (and frankly was a better prospect). She told me I can quit baseball but not taekwondo. Well I didn’t care and quit anyways. So, she refused to pay for baseball. So, I never played again. My dad was unemployed at the time so he couldn't pay either. The only reason was because my sister was in it and my mom had a thing for the instructors (even before they separated, she was like that).

Got my license, wouldn’t help with car. Paid $150 for a beater. My sister? My mom gave her her car that was four years old. Remember taekwondo? Took my sister to Korea for a tournament (she had no business going, she was not good at all). Told me and my bro to eat at our friends’ houses if we wanted food. She didn't go shopping before she left. She was gone for three weeks.

But the worst moment happened on Christmas. I wanted an N64. That's it. Didn’t care to get anything else. After years of her telling us she spends the same on each of us. Got clothes and some toys. Clothes came from goodwill. My sister? New name brand clothes, jewelry, toys, CD player (I'm 36 so this was back in the 90s and early 2000s). The works. She probably spent $100 each on me and my brother. I looked up just some of the things she got my sister and it came out to over $1,000. That was just some. My sister's pile was always halfway up the Christmas tree. Massive. Mine and my brother's fit neatly under the tree. She would tell us "her stuff was just big and cheap" lol.

That's just a few things off the top of my head.

Unfair Things FactsShutterstock

37. The Chocolate Wasn’t For You

One year for Christmas, I got three little boxes that assembled together to look like a snowman. I was excited, saw on the back a chocolate list. When I opened the boxes, though, my stomach dropped. They were empty. I was like, what? Then my aunt looked at me and said "Oh, there was chocolate but my son and I ate them. I thought you'd like the box." It smelled like chocolate too. I hate my aunt.

Disappointing Gift Factsyoutube

38. Bad Gifts, Worse Dude

A few years back when I was in college, a group of my friends and I decided to throw a Christmas party. We decided that instead of everyone buying gifts for everyone we'd just draw names and buy a $15-20 gift for that person. I got the name of a friend's boyfriend. He was a jerk, but we put up with him because we liked her. I bought him a smallish sized bottle of Dan Aykroyd's Crystal Skull Vodka because it was new that year and the rest of my friends were also buying exotic booze as their gifts to liven the Holiday Spirit.

As it turns out he got my name too and bought me a $5 Walmart bargain bin movie with a bunch of low budget sci-fi original type movies on it. It was embarrassing to see everyone else opening up sizeable bottles of liquor and I was the person there with the worst gift. What baffled me was that when I returned it to Walmart, I exchanged it for The Addams Family and Hellraiser, so for the exact same price he could have bought me good movies, he just didn't care.

But I jump ahead of myself, everyone at the party shared their liquor with everyone else that night. He guarded his vodka like the one ring and let no one try a sip but drank copious amounts of everyone else's booze. A few months later he cheats on the friend dating him and attacks another girl in our group of friends. I swear up and down that his bad Christmas gift was the tip of his douche iceberg.

Worst Gifts Ever Received factsShutterstock

39. An Unexpected Tearjerker

Growing up I used to absolutely hate that my uncle would get all of us kids the same $1 pair of cheap one size fits all gloves. I clearly remember thinking how I'd really rather just have the dollar, and yet he never failed to get them for us. It was always the last gift my cousins and I would open...Thanks, Uncle Craig. Craig was developmentally disabled, and although he was well into his 30s when we were kids, he would come out into the street and play baseball with us.

He'd ride bikes across town with us, buy us beer and adult mags when we were older...and yet every year, he'd get these darn gloves, even when we were grown adults, his health was fading, and we all moved away. This will be Christmas number three without Uncle Craig, and as I look back at it now it makes more sense. He was living in a shack that he was renting for $350 a month there were 15 nieces and nephews...

We knew he couldn't afford to get us any toys or anything, but he wanted us to have something more meaningful than a dollar bill, and Christmas was his favorite holiday. RIP Uncle Craig. I wish there was a poorly wrapped pair of gloves under my tree this year.

Worst Gifts Ever Received facts Pixabay

40. The Party Stops Here

A large group of our friends had come together for an amazing Christmas party on the 23rd. After we woke up the next morning, my friend Mason and I were the first to find out one friend had not woken up at all, and never would again. We activated a haphazard phone tree and had to tell everyone who was at the party that Elisabet had died in her sleep on Christmas Eve.

It was shocking, tragic, and WAY too soon. We were 18/19 at the time. I still have a hard time on the 23rd of December. Before anyone asks, she likely died of a seizure. It was not related to the party. The only consolation is that she had a really good time with good friends on her last night with us.

Hardest News They’ve Had To Break factsPixabay

41. Hopefully The Parents Picked Up the Dry Cleaning Bill

Mall Santa here. The most memorable thing a kid asked me for Christmas? Oh, definitely the kid who wanted to pee. Same old introduction as always, asking what she wants for Christmas. She says, “I wanna pee!” Trying to change the topic to help the kid choose, get the picture taken, and move on. She says once again, “I wanna pee!” The parents insist that the kid choose something and I sit there awkwardly with this little girl wriggling all over me.

She's crying and they're insisting and then my lap gets warm. Just why?

Mall Santa Experiences factsShutterstock

42. For All The Mining You Do

I was spending Christmas with my wife's family for the first time and wife's uncle/aunt/cousin’s gift for me was a baseball cap for use in the mining industry. It had a built-in plastic shell in the cloth lining which made it really uncomfortable and non-adjustable. It was also about four or five years old and very clearly used. The edges were fraying, and the plastic was cracked in one spot.

Same family got my wife a marble clock that weighed a ton and didn't work. We were flying back the next day with carry-on only luggage.

Worst Gifts Ever Received facts Shutterstock

43. Bad Gifts, Good Memories

My husband got two rolls of pennies from my Grandma for Christmas. That same year she gave my mom, a nonsmoker, a tin of tobacco. When my mom complained, she gave her a calendar that was three years old. My son got a hairbrush wrapped in a Pringles can. He was two and cried because he really wanted the chips...Haha. I hit the jackpot though; I got a bottle of vodka.

She always gave us weird gifts. It was her thing. Now that she's gone, I miss seeing what Christmas gifts she would be bringing. It was a good laugh.

Worst Gifts Ever Received facts Shutterstock

44. The Traditional Family

A bit late, but this is the story I got over Christmas. This all happened recently. My stepdad’s cousin divorced his wife 10+ years ago. He has one daughter with his ex. He dated around a bit and finally found someone he liked enough to buy a house with. During the house hunting period, his daughter announces she’s pregnant and she’s realized she wants a traditional family, so she asks her parents to get back together. Meaning her dad would need to bail on his girlfriend, who he was about to purchase a home with.

They freaking agreed to it! Her parents said okay, dad dumped his girlfriend (who is apparently very nice) right before the holidays, and grandma and grandpa-to-be are now readily available for babysitting duties. It’s crazy.

Happiness factsShutterstock

45. The Return Of The Sweater

Not me, but I had an OG for a teacher in high school. We called him Mr. T (had a long T name) and he was a legend because he sounded like the boring teacher in Ferris Bueller and kept a bat in his filing cabinet (just in case). Anyway, Mr. T always wore these weird, colorful, (kinda) ugly sweaters and shirts. So, this goofball in our class decided to give him a gift during class for Christmas.

Mr. T, being a champ, opens it mid-class and just bursts out laughing. It's an ugly shirt. When Mr. T stopped laughing, he asked if he got the shirt at Goodwill (a second-hand donation store). Clown confirms that he did. Mr. T tells us that it was actually his shirt that he had disliked and donated. He got a good laugh out of it.

Worst Gifts Ever Received facts Shutterstock

46. Bounceless Ball

The only present I got for Christmas that year was a little light-up ball. You put your finger on the two metal tabs (or you and someone else, while holding other hands) and the ball lights up. It wasn't awful, but it was underwhelming. After I had figured out what it was and how it worked and trying it with a few people, dad asks me if he can have a try and so I say sure. I pass him the ball and he immediately throws it on the ground, hard enough to break it.

"I thought it was a bouncy ball!" Some people...

Worst Christmas Gifts factsShutterstock

47. A Little Underwhelming

When I was really little, my family was super poor. Most gift-giving occasions, my mom would make me and my older sister toys or clothes, and birthdays we always got our cake as a gift. I remember one year my family was particularly down and out, and we didn't get Christmas presents from our parents, but this one gleaning service we volunteered at in exchange for food, they gave me and my older sister each a toy and a new coat. I got a plastic bubblegum machine and thought it was super cool.

Just a little back story to show my "high" expectations. A few years later, my dad finished school and through a series of amazingly lucky promotions through his new job, we actually had some money. My mom’s extended family had a gift exchange as they always did, but until then we hadn't the money to participate, so I was really excited to do some odd jobs around the house to earn the money to buy my exchange a gift.

$20-$30 was the price range. I picked up pop tabs around the yard for a penny each, washed my dad’s car inside and out to $5. I cleaned the garage, washed windows, all in addition to my normal chores. Also, I was seven. I finally saved up $35. I wanted to go above and beyond because I was a kid and I really wanted to surprise my cousin (25 at the time) with my thoughtfulness.

So, I bought her a fancy box of candies, a nice scented candle in a smell that her boyfriend said she liked, and I got her a nice makeup set. My aunt worked for Shiseido, so she let me use her discount and helped me pick things out. It was good fancy makeup. Lol. Anyways, I wrapped it all up. I was so proud. Christmas came, and I was the last to get to open my gift.

My cousin freaked out about hers, ran up to her room to try on the makeup. I got my gift. It was in a bill-envelope. I opened it. It was one of those $1 packs of Goody plastic barrettes. Still had the price tag on it. My heart was broken. I tried to hold back tears, but I was seven. Everyone made fun of me for having too high of expectations and they made a rule that you had to be 16 or older to participate from then on.

I stopped attending family Christmas. I'd rather have no gifts than be treated like trash. 34 years old now, that cousin the worst. But everyone in the family still hates me.

Worst Gifts Ever Received factsShutterstock

48. Talk About A Sucky Gift

When I was a wee seven years old, my grandmother placed a long skinny box with my name on it under the Christmas tree about a week before the holiday. For the next seven days, my small self drooled over the idea of a play baby stroller folded up in that box, just waiting to be filled with various stuffed animals. On that magical morning, I ripped the box open...and my heart sank. It was a VACUUM CLEANER.

Not a toy one, either. A real-life, serious, small vacuum cleaner. She claimed that she thought it was a great idea because "I loved cleaning when I visited her house." That's because you're basically a hoarder and your house is disgusting, Granny.

Worst Gifts Ever Received facts Wikimedia Commons

49. Cat Got My Tongue

I had been dating this girl for a few months and we were serious enough that I was buying her Christmas presents. I found something that had a connection to a funny event involving her cat and my cat. I made the present to be from my cat. I thought I was being cute but instead, she got angry that my cat got her a present and I didn't. I thought she was joking. She wasn’t.

To make matters worse, her parents backed her up later at a family dinner. It was incredibly awkward.

Dating an idiotPexels

50. Family Is What It’s All About

Back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, my dad was dying of cancer. My mom was having to spend time at the hospitals or waiting for his treatments, so she got some projects to keep her occupied while waiting and worrying. She began working on a flannel patchwork quilt. Whenever I could, I would bring her a small bit of fabric to work into the quilt. Sometimes, I would get off the bus early so I could walk by a fabric store and bring her a new color.

Years passed after my dad died. Mom had put the quilt away. I thought it might remind her of all the scary, sad, and heartbreaking times she had hand sewed it through, waiting for the next awful thing to happen on my dad's way out. I did not ever bring it up.

But, a decade later when I was having my first Christmas away from my birth family, she sent me a package to open. It was my first Christmas together with my husband. My family lived several hundred miles away and I felt sort of sad, but also very much in love. Inside the package was the quilt, completed. She had written me a note saying that she had continued to work on it after Dad died, knowing one day that it would be mine. I will keep that quilt all my life and hopefully pass it on to my grandkids someday.

Best Christmas Gift factsPixabay

51. No Good Can Come From Santa

This was Christmas 2014. It was a long-distance relationship, so she drove out to see me. It was December 23rd, and I was flying back to Virginia to visit family. I left VA the year before. So, she was with me for the week, then she took me to the airport and drove home. When we got out of the car, I told her I loved her and she said it back, we kissed, hugged, made love, then I left.

I land in Virginia, and I get a text from her saying it's over because my dad makes a lot of money and we just grew up in two different worlds. Fast forward to Christmas 2015: I’m with a girl who lives like five miles away from where I live. I just had a gut feeling things were going to end while I was in VA for the holidays. The day after Christmas, she breaks up with me.

I've learned one lesson from this, don't go to Virginia for Christmas.

Worst Ways They’ve Been Dumped FactsShutterstock

52. When The Kid Hands Santa A Gift

A few years back I filled in for Santa at a locally owned toy store. As I don't quite look old enough to be Santa (and I have a full lush gingery lumberjack beard), I was billed as “Nick Jr.” and the story was that my dad was Santa and I was in training to be the next Santa—he was having me go and fill in for him at some of the usual stops as part of my training.

Oh man, the kids loved that. There was a rocking chair that I was "supposed" to sit in, but I sat on the floor with the kids and chatted and it was awesome. The kids really connected with this idea of a "trainee Santa."

The most heart-wrenching story came from a little girl, about seven or so, who was staying with her dad and stepmom because her mommy was deathly ill in the hospital. She came and saw me every day that I was there and she just wanted to talk to someone she KNEW could really understand where she was coming from in her fear. She hoped that she could come visit the North Pole, but understood if it wasn't possible.

My last day of the gig she brought me a handwritten-in-crayon note thanking me for everything, saying she was glad to have met me and hoping that I grew up to be the best Santa ever. Let me tell you, all the feels. I am going to keep that note forever.

Mall Santa Experiences factsShutterstock

53. Creating A Tradition

I had only been dating this lady for about a couple of months when Christmas happened. We didn't talk about gifts, so I, being dumb, assumed we weren't doing anything. We had planned to hang out Christmas Eve though, so I thought I would be all clever and sneak in a little present, just to be smooth. Little did I know she thought this was a full-blown Christmas gift exchange, like a stocking full of stuff and everything.

I opened several nice presents from her, nothing too expensive, but she already knew me well apparently and got the right things. I knew she liked chocolate, I think, and felt horrible when all she opened was a single, barely wrapped, large bag of Dark Chocolate M&Ms. That was 12 years ago. She's my wife now and expects Dark Chocolate M&Ms each Christmas, along with whatever else I actually get her.

Worst Gifts Ever Received facts Flickr, m01229

54. Can’t Keep Up

During an insanely busy weekend before Christmas, a Karen was complaining to every associate about how messy our store was. The manager had relieved the girl at the fitting room and was helping to hang up the clothes. Karen pulled her stunt and was trying to make a point that we were messy and a horrible place to shop. The manager’s response was legendary.

She told her, "Ma'am, we're messy at the moment because we're a popular store. And the biggest reason is because of women like you who can't be bothered to pick up after themselves. It's not the associates making the mess. Your type has us outnumbered." That’s when I witnessed someone deflate.

No power hereUnsplash

55. Just Plain Spoiled

This is my craziest Christmas story, bar none. I hung out with a bunch of poor misfits in high school. We all wore hand-me-down clothes and qualified for free lunch at school and stuff. Lots of single-parent families and government assistance. This one girl in my group complained more than anyone else about how her family was poor. She often didn't have a lunch, and so the other kids would all chip in and either give her money or share our own lunches.

Two of the kids we hung out with were twin brothers. Their mom was raising them, plus their older brother, all on her own because their dad was incarcerated. He finally got out when we were teens, and pretty much immediately ran off and refused to pay support too. Because of the circumstances, the boys started working to support their family really young—first doing odd jobs for folks and then getting real jobs as soon as they could.

The two of them felt so sorry for this girl, they decided to surprise her for Christmas one year. They saved up for months and bought her a brand-new game system she'd wanted. Meanwhile, she gave a few of us used games and books—obviously previously played/read by her—wrapped in tinfoil instead of gift wrap, and we all shrugged that off because of course, she was poor.

A couple weeks after that Christmas, the awful truth came out. The girl's parents decided to let her throw her first small party for her friends at their house. Her dad picked us all up in their brand-new minivan, and then drove us to their brand-new house. After we arrived, we got introduced to her new puppy, and then given the home tour which included five bedrooms and a pool. Also notable was the girl's bedroom, where her new game system sat alongside two other recent systems.

I found out later that her dad was an attorney, and her mom was a medical assistant. Her parents' combined income was 3-4x what my family made in a year, much less our friends who had worked their tails off to buy her that game system.

Her idea of being "poor" was based on her parents not buying her everything she wanted immediately. The reason she never had lunch money? She saved what her folks gave her to buy herself things instead, while mooching off kids who were on free lunch. The reason she always gave us used stuff as gifts? Because she would have her parents buy a bunch of stuff "for her friends" at holidays, then keep it for herself while giving us stuff she no longer wanted instead.

I'll never forget the look on my friends' faces as they slowly realized that the person, they'd worked to support out of sympathy was actually just a spoiled brat.

Unfair Things FactsShutterstock

56. Passive Aggressive Gifts

My mom stole my mail for the month of December and gave that to me as a passive-aggressive "You never get the mail anymore" kind of thing. Shortly after that she gave me deodorant because "You stink a lot." I don't talk to her much anymore.

Disappointing Gift Factsistock photo

57. We Can All Lend A Helping Hand To Santa

A friend and I went to ZooLights a few years ago, where the zoo opens at night lit up with Christmas lights, and you can buy hot chocolate and Baileys or apple cider and whiskey and walk around listening to music with the animals. Of course, we stood in line to get our picture with Santa. When our turn came he pulled us in and whispered, “I have had three kids tonight ask me if I can get their dads a job for Christmas. The world is messed up, and you young guys have to do something about it.”

Whenever I make a big decision, I still think about whether I'm being true to my mission from Santa.

Mall Santa Experiences factsPixabay

58. Revealing The Sad Truth

When I was a freshman in college, I got a gig as a mall Santa at a smaller local mall. A little girl came up to me and sat on my lap. I asked her in the most jovial way what she wanted for Christmas. She pulls out a picture of her dog, who had passed, and says, “Can you bring my dog back?” The look on her face when I said no was heart-wrenching.

Mall Santa Experiences factsPixabay

59. This Santa Just Might Be The Real St. Nick

I have been doing the Santa thing for a few years now at a tree farm with a cabin in it. The most heart-wrenching story I have is not mine, but from the other Santa that I work with. There was an older woman (mid-twenties) that was mentally handicapped and when she sat on this Santa's lap she got really quiet and it took him asking her what she wanted for Christmas several times before she spoke up.

She said, “Santa, my mommy is dying and I need one more year with mommy, Santa, please give mommy one more year.” Before he could say anything she threw her arms around him and gave him a hug while she started crying. Her caretaker (possibly father) then led her away. The next Christmas she came back to the farm and was very excited to see Santa.

You see her mother had lived for another year and she sat on Santa's knee and asked Santa for another year, that she knew and believed in him and that she had been very good the whole year through. She had been careful to be good and came to Santa again because she wanted her mommy to live for another year, just like last year. “Santa, just one more year, please Santa, just one more year.” Again, before he could say anything, she was giving him a near strangling hug and then was led away by her caretaker.

The next year she was back, but she was obviously very upset. She sat again on Santa's knee and looked at him and started to sob. She said she knew Santa had tried his hardest, that he did the best he could, that she should have asked for ten years the first time instead of just the one. She apologized for being so angry at Santa for letting her mommy die.

This Santa looked at her and gave her a long hug and he said to her, “My child, your mommy has passed, but she will live forever in your heart as long you remember her.” She got really quiet and stopped crying and looked at him. She whispered to him, "I love you mommy. I love you Santa." She hugged him very tightly and then was led away by her caretaker.

She has not been back since, but my co-Santa said to me that it was moments and people like her that make being Santa so important to him and why he will never quit.

Mall Santa Experiences factsShutterstock

60. Santa Comes Through With A Great Comeback

I was a mall Santa once in college. The funniest experience was the one little kid who, after I had been chatting with him for a while, looked at me wide-eyed and said, “Santa, you sound like a Yankee!” After a few seconds of frantic desperation, I simply told him, “Well, that's because I live at the NORTH Pole.” He found the logic inescapable, plus me promising him a football helped.

Mall Santa Experiences factsPixabay

61. The Dirty Dirt Bike Debacle

It wasn't bad because the gift was that bad, but more because of the context of it. My little brother is the definition of a spoiled jerk. He has been his entire life. One year, when I was maybe 13 or 14 and he was eight or nine, we both asked for dirt bikes for Christmas. I had several friends who went out with their dads on the weekend to the track or out to the desert and I wanted my own bike to go with them.

I wasn't necessarily expecting a dirt bike, but I asked for one anyway. Christmas day comes, little brother, who didn't want a dirt bike half as bad as I did, got a brand new Kawasaki KX65 dirt bike. I got a $40 remote control dirt bike...he also got the same remote control dirt bike. I remember coming out to the living room that morning and seeing his dirt bike and almost crying.

I thought they were playing a joke on me so much to the point that I went and checked the garage and side yard to see if there was another dirt bike. I rode his bike more than he did as he really never had much interest, but it was way too small for me so it wasn't very useful for me either other than cruising it around the neighborhood once in a while, the thing sat with hardly any hours on it for years and years before my parents basically gave it away.

Worst Gifts Ever Received factsPublic Domain Pictures

62. Don’t Skirt Around The Real Issue Here...

My mum once pulled up my skirt, causing me to involuntarily flash a room full of people, at a family Christmas dinner. I was absolutely mortified. She wanted to check for any potential self-harm scars on my thighs, apparently. I've never physically harmed myself before in my entire life. I was 18 years old at the time, and thankfully I was wearing underwear so it was not as bad as it could have been. Nevertheless, she should not be allowed to consume alcohol ever again…

Louise Brooks FactsShutterstock

63. Not-So Secret Santa

My mum has done plenty of embarrassing things over the years, however the thing that immediately jumps out at me the most would have to be what happened to my sister. She had been dating this guy for a year or two on and off. Now, normally his ethnic background would not be important, but for this particular story it is. He’s Black and my family is English, so we’re all pretty much paper white. This was all back when my sister and I were in high school many years ago.

It was Christmas, so he and some family friends were invited over and everything was going great until it the time came for opening gifts. My mum, who thinks she’s hilarious, decided to give my sister (who was still a virgin at the time) a deck of cards filled with “positions to try.” Remember, this was also in front of our close family friends, not just the boyfriend himself.

She was already mortified by that alone, but the worst was still yet to come. Her boyfriend opens up his gift and it has a little card in it, along with a box of glow in the dark condoms. Mum: “Do you like the present? It’s so that she can find you in the dark!” Everyone: ...Laughs nervously, while secretly wondering what on earth just happened...

shutterstock_1195118587 presentsShutterstock

64. Birthday Suits

A girl I was dating was a good student, well-liked, and really nice, but just lacked some of the most basic common sense and was just off somehow. She thought that pudding and yogurt were the same thing. She found it slightly unnerving that animals walked around with no clothes on and tried to get her cat to wear clothes—and that’s not all. She baked a birthday cake for Jesus at Christmas. She put candles on it and went outside to wait for the wind to blow them out, believing it was Jesus blowing out his candles. She was outside with the cake for almost an hour before giving up.

Dating an idiotUnsplash

65. All Shared Everything

For one Christmas, (one of the few spent with my dad, sister, and her mom for reasons you'll see) I had asked for a Walkman, a fancy coloring book, jewelry box, and a Barbie because I collected them. So, we decided to let my sister open her presents first (she was six and I was 12). She got fancy new markers with the coloring book I wanted, an expensive collectible Barbie, a cherry oak jewelry box, and the fanciest Walkman.

So, it's my turn because seeing hers I figured it was a glimpse of things to come and was super excited. I got a pad of lined paper, wax crayons like the kinds they give you at Denny's, a cardboard jewelry box which was basically just a box, no compartments, a "barbie" (the cheap gas station), and no Walkman. I was forced to share all of my stuff with my sister, but I was not allowed to use her Walkman even though she didn't even own a tape for it...

It was always like this though. I even had to share punishments. If I got into trouble that was it, I got punished, but if she got into trouble, so did I, because "it wouldn't be fair for her to have to be stuck at home and you weren't." Ummm, that's the whole FREAKIN point dummies!

Worst Gifts Ever Received factsShutterstock

66. A History Of Bad Gifts

I've got a few stories of terrible gifts, but this one takes the cake every time. Last year my grandfather got me a blanket for Christmas...except that he realized he'd forgotten to get my older sister a present so he gave the blanket to her instead. How do I know this? Because he told us while he was giving out his presents. When I was a little kid (going back about 25 years) I cut the legs off a pair of sweatpants and gave them to my dad for Christmas as "leg warmers."

No clue where I came up with the idea. Found out a few years ago he still has them and it still cracks him up whenever he sees them. About 10 years ago, my uncle was giving out Christmas gifts to everyone in the family. He's mentally handicapped but he makes sure to go to the dollar store to buy everyone something, typically mugs. Now, my uncle doesn't really put much thought into who gets what mug.

He just wraps the mug and puts someone's name on it. Sometimes people get multiple mugs and other times you get none because he doesn't keep track of who has already been assigned a mug. Well, my cousin was married to a Muslim (it's relevant, I promise) and her gift was a mug that said, "Jesus loves you." It was the only religious-themed mug out of probably 50 and she got it. The entire family was laughing, including her. She thought it was great.

Worst Gifts Ever Received factsShutterstock

67. An Important Reminder That Not Everyone’s Holiday Is A Happy One

I used to volunteer as an elf for Santa where we would visit underprivileged children. I was probably about 13 at the time. There were lots of heartbreaking things—kids asking for school supplies, cheap toys I had plenty of, etc. Once Santa said he would see what he could do about their gift, I would hand them a little toy, and say “Merry Christmas!”

And then a little boy came up, probably no older than six. Santa asked him what he wanted. He paused, and quietly responded, “A family.” Santa didn't know what to say. My heart dropped. It was the first time I realized how much I took the love from my family for granted. Santa somehow managed to ask the kid again, getting him to spit out a skateboard as his answer. I hope that kid got more than just his skateboard.

Mall Santa Experiences factsShutterstock

68. Let’s See Other Patients

My wife cheated on me with five different women in 10 days. Whilst I was in the hospital. Having brain surgery. She dumped me two days after I came out of hospital, while at her parents' house, on Christmas Day.

Tallulah Bankhead FactsShutterstock

69. Employee Appreciation

4 of us employees stayed late for a week to finish a major project by the deadline (two male developers, two female testers). Afterwards, management wanted to show their appreciation, so they had an awards ceremony where they gave us each a gift. The other developer and I got lamps (mine had shattered inside of the box, so it was just a box of broken glass. No replacement was offered). The girls got last year's out-of-date cat calendars.

Disappointing Gift Factsxmas movie

70. The Christmas Wishes That Sadly Don’t Become A Reality

I was an elementary school Santa for three years. This experience still haunts me. I'd had a long morning of little tykes with retail advertising dreams of all kinds of shiny new “must have” toys, older boys with dreams of motorized vehicles, and older girls with dreams of “cute boys” and makeup and clothes. After a break to “feed the reindeer” (those costumes are HOT), I returned to a busy classroom filled with kids working at all the activities and having fun. And then, after another hour of the usual, I met two little children dressed in their Sunday best.

And each of them perched on my knee, looked deep into my eyes, and asked, quietly and from the depths of their hearts, “Please Santa. I don't want any toys. I don't want anything. I just want my baby sister to get better.” And suddenly I knew who they were, their little sister, aged seven, was dying of cancer in the local children's hospital. We had already done a school fundraiser for her and her family. Our scout troop had raked leaves at their house and helped them with their Thanksgiving dinner.

It took everything I had to not weep. I hugged each child close in turn, gave them their candy cane, and told them that it wasn't up to Santa, but I would do my best to put in a good word with the guy upstairs. And told them to remember that everybody loved them too, and that it was OK to have fun for themselves. And that I would do what I could to make sure they had some presents.

They each smiled a little bit in turn, and went to hug each other and their grandmother. I could see the smile through the pain in her eyes and she led them to other activities. I called a break to “check on Rudolph on the roof,” and walked as rapidly as I could to the teacher's lounge. I wept quietly for the little girl, and her family, and the unselfish love of little children. And then I put on the suit and went back to work with a broken heart.

She passed two days after Christmas. We planted a butterfly garden at the school in her name, just outside the office window. It's a pretty place, with a shaded bench and brilliant flowers. And the butterflies come there in the summer and dance.

Mall Santa Experiences factsPixabay

71. Regifted & Reusable

My mother gave me a book for Christmas...that I gave to her for her birthday a year before. She acted as though she purchased it for me. I wrote a note in it to her, so I know it was the copy I gave to her. Also, my mother-in-law gave me a box of plastic forks for Christmas last year. I'm chalking that one up to dementia.

Worst Gifts Ever Received facts Pixabay

72. Make It A Holiday Tradition

I took it upon myself to inform our circle of friends fairly early in the morning that our good friend had decided to take his life the night before—just a few days before Christmas. I was his best friend, and his parents obviously didn’t have any ways of contacting most of the group. His mom actually ended up calling my wife to break the news. So, it was basically a few hours of calling, breaking the news, having a good cry, composing myself, making the next call, etc.

As terrible as that was, I still can’t even imagine what his parents had to go through. Take my sorrow and pain and multiply that by infinity, I suppose. Four years later, the crew still organizes a dinner with his parents every three months or so. They may have lost a son, but they inherited ten children and a few grandchildren.

They’re stuck with us now.

Something Wasn’t Right factsShutterstock

73. A Harsh Lesson

The Christmas after my mum passed I got an alarm clock as my present. Her husband said it was so I "might wake up in the morning now and actually contribute something." Still salty eight years later. He's passed now though, so who is the real winner?

Worst Gifts Ever Received factsMax Pixel

74. Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Secret

I was dating a girl who was a model and used to fly to different parts of the country for photo shoots (typically LA and NYC). One trip, she said that the director of the shoot wouldn't allow phones on his set, and then she ignored me for 4 days. When I asked her about it and confronted her, she somehow convinced me I was the crazy one. Fast forward a month: her and I are back to normal.

Christmas rolls around, and I get her a really expensive diamond necklace. Fast forward about three months after that, and she gives me my birthday gift...A picture album of her (professional pictures) and says, "Remember that photo shoot I couldn't answer the phone? These are the pictures from that photo shoot! Don't you feel like a jerk?" For a split second, I kind of did feel like a jerk...

Until I looked at a couple of the photos closer. That's when I realized that the necklace that I had bought her was dangling around her neck. I pointed it out to her, and she couldn't come up with anything, so I left her place. She called me the next day and admitted she was sleeping around in New York that one week, and that was all I needed to never speak to her again.

Cheating Exes FactsShutterstock

75. Weird Wish, But Okay

My uncle was a mall Santa who said a creepy little girl wanted “everyone to bow down to her.”

Mall Santa Experiences factsShutterstock

76. The Ups And Downs Of Being Santa

I work as a Santa for an amusement park. Most wishes are pretty harmless but some stand out. For instance, last weekend I had a child write one specific thing on his wishlist: “Lasagna.” It was pretty odd and funny. Then there are the heartbreaks like children wishing for their pets to be revived. Last year I had a child who wished for his father to return, meanwhile the child’s mother stood next to us and said: “I wish for that too.”

Mall Santa Experiences factsShutterstock

77. Some Kids Want The Things We Take For Granted

I was an elf at the mall, and one time the Santa asked us to give him a little break. When the mall closed I asked him what that was all about. He said he asked a little boy (about seven or eight) what he wanted for Christmas, and the boy said shoes, socks and maybe some new sheets. He asked the boy “Don't you want some DVDs or a cool new toy?” And the boy said, “No, that's okay, those things are really expensive. I just want to see a present with my name on it, and I think I'd like to have two pairs of shoes.”

Broke my heart because I was that kid. I know how it feels to see nice things and think those things aren't meant for me.

Mall Santa Experiences factsShutterstock

78. Garbage Bags For A Garbage Holiday

Christmas when I was ten. I woke up the day before sick as a dog with flu symptoms which persisted until four days later. When I woke up on Christmas it was the worst of it, and I felt like I was dying. I skipped present opening and slept as best I could until my extended family got to our house. My mother made me come down to open presents with my grandparents.

My grandparents had always been known as the best gift-givers. They always got us insane gifts so I was excited to do it and even forgot about my sickness for a few seconds as I sat in front of my presents from them. The first few were the usual, candy and some socks, a must from older folks. But then I pick up the main present. I was so excited, and I just wanted one thing to make this whole sickness seem worth it. I rip off the packaging...and my stomach drops. I'm staring down at a box of garbage bags. My whole family starts laughing hysterically.

Apparently, my mom told my grandmother I had been slacking in the past few weeks on my main chore which was taking out the trash. So my grandmother, not knowing what else to get, just chalked it up to a joke gift. I instantly started crying and my mother told me I was ungrateful and sent me to bed. I cried the rest of the afternoon from the incident and my illness.

Ever since then I have hated Christmas and any other occasion where giving gifts is involved.

Worst Gifts Ever Received factsShutterstock

79. A Shiny New Bathroom

My parents renovated my bathroom at their house just before my fiancé and I visited for Christmas. It was a “surprise.” Thing is, the bathroom is connected to my room and every day for the five days we were visiting we were woken up at 8 AM and had to leave so the construction guys could work. When I sort of complained about being woken up my mom called me ungrateful and screamed at me. We didn’t speak for four months.

Wildest Things Found Inside Houses factsPixabay

80. Keep Santa G-Rated!

I was in my 20s and the perverted things the mothers whispered into my ear while sitting on Santa's lap were definitely something for the naughty list. It became so frequent for the younger Santas to get groped that the elves were told to stay close when adults got their pictures taken with old Saint Nick.

Mall Santa Experiences factsShutterstock

81. Very…Efficient

I have an uncle I don't really know who lives down south and thinks he's a cowboy. He would give me gifts of things he likes but I definitely did not. One Christmas when I was a kid, he gave me a detailed book about guns and a check for $8.56. The next Christmas it was a horse calendar and a check for $17.02. Eventually, we figured out that apparently he set out a $30 budget for my gift and would give the exact remainder as a check. He's weird.

Childhood Lies factsPixabay

82. Being A Mall Santa Can Be Rough

I covered for the local mall Santa many years ago. A little girl came up with a group of kids. She didn't even look up at me and didn't want to talk or get a candy cane. I asked her what was wrong. She said I didn't give her what she asked for last year and started crying. I told her I was sorry and would try again this year. She said I couldn't because she asked Santa to stop daddy from hurting mommy and he didn't.

Her father had attacked her mother and she didn't survive. All I could do was apologize. The chaperone took the girl away, not saying anything. I went home sick, removed my suit and never wore it again. I don't know if the other person helping Santa that day thought they could do something for that little angel, but she was betrayed. I still think about her every holiday season.

Mall Santa Experiences factsShutterstock

83. John McCry

My mom and dad split when I was 4 years old. When they finalized the divorce, it was a week before Christmas when I was 8. My dad got custody and after Christmas dinner and stuff, he put me and my sister to bed. An hour or so later I could hear my dad crying. I went out to hug him. He was watching Die Hard on TV. I sat and watched with him. So now every year, we watch Die Hard together.

Strange Family Traditions Factsshutterstock

84. Who Doesn’t Want Human Organs For Christmas?

I worked as an elf when I was 15. One incredibly creepy kid asked for a new liver. Apparently, he was healthy. He just wanted one “to play with and stuff.”

Mall Santa Experiences factsShutterstock

85. Inept Gift Giving

My brother-in-law likes to snoop for gifts around Christmas, so my family labels his gifts as though they are for me. Sometimes they forget to re-name a couple. In 2002, it was an Xbox with a copy of Halo. In 2003, it was a black video iPod. I got so excited when I opened the wrapping paper, and then my heart broke when they were taken away and given to him.

Disappointing Gift Factsfolio

86. Giving A Gift for Yourself

My worst gift ever? Easy. A pair of binoculars last Christmas from my uncle. After I unwrapped them, he said, "If you don't like them, I'll take them." Of course he ended up with them...I'm glad he picked himself out a good Christmas present.

Disappointing Gift FactsNarcissist Support

87. Payback For The Long Haul

Ugh, I'm a bit embarrassed to share this, because it still bugs me a lot more than it should 20 years later: I don't come from a close family, which is a nice way of saying we sincerely hate each other. One year, when I was about 11 or 12, I decided I didn't want to participate in my mom's weird compulsion to gather everyone she hates into a room every Christmas. I stayed in my room, didn't appear at the strained dinner, didn't sit around for the strained conversation, etc.

I haven't received a gift, Christmas, birthday, graduation, or otherwise from anyone in my family since. Worse yet, I didn't catch on right away, so for about 2 years after I'd go to Christmas and have to watch my brother and cousins open up their gifts.

Disappointing Gift Factsmetroparent

88. Brotherly Love

When I was about five, and my brother ten, he wrapped a large box at Christmas for me and put it under the tree. He was always such a jerk, and when I was suspicious, he said that he was sorry for how cruel he'd been to me that year. When I opened the present, there were two small pieces of candy and a marble taped to the inside of the box. He laughed until my parents sent him to his room.

Disappointing Gift Factsuncle sam scandy

89. Asking A Lot But Giving Little

I know this one woman who is a single mom and plays the victim constantly. She complains about not having enough money, time, or resources to help her girls all the time, but refuses to acknowledge that she causes a lot of her own problems. At Christmas, she always takes her nonsense to another level. One year around Christmas time, she put on Facebook that her family is coming into town but, “I don’t have a car big enough so does anyone have a van I can borrow?”

“Oh, and also, can someone maybe come put some lights on my house? But you have to bring the lights because I can't afford them. Also, does anyone have any gift cards to anywhere fun? Because I would hate for them to have to sit at home the whole time without anything to do.” She makes me feel like the Grinch, but I hate her!

Facebook Statuses factsShutterstock

90. Don’t Drink And Santa

I was a Santa in a pub once. One kid pulled my beard off, a spoiled brat wanted a Ferrari… it was a long three hours!

Mall Santa Experiences factsShutterstock

91. I’m Seeing Double!

I thought Santa hated me because he didn't give me presents on Christmas. I'm Jewish and my parents didn't want me to be that kid who told his classmates that Santa doesn't exist, so I ended up believing in Santa until I was about 8, when I saw two mall Santas get into a fight in the parking lot of the mall.

Memorable Stranger FactsShutterstock

92. Tablet That Idea

I worked customer service for a big tech company. A pair of nightmares called Christmas week, demanding we fly a pair of tablets to their home by private helicopter for Christmas morning. Their tone was abrasive, dismissive, and entitled. After much work on my end to calm them down, they demanded to speak to management. I patched them over to the company's senior advisors.

The head advisor idiot-slapped them with logic and policy, “We see you placed your order after our Christmas cut-off date. No special deliveries can be made as all our couriers are working overtime to deliver to customers who had the foresight to order early.” Thus, they were banished.

No power hereUnsplash

93. Dearest Ex Wife

I used to work at a call center for a popular gift company. This one couple calls up and says "we need to cancel our order!" I look it up, and tell them UPS already has the order to deliver it. They tell me, "You don't understand. We are sending this to our son and his wife. We accidentally put his ex wife's name on the card. It will ruin Christmas if they receive this gift!!!"

I was finally able to call UPS and get them to not deliver the package.

Disappointing Gift Factstrade bay

94. Special Delivery

A girl who was enamored with my neighbor showed up at his house on Christmas Eve. So he, not wanting to see her, sent his mother to the door to make her go away. My neighbor's mom didn't have the heart to be rude, so she politely accepted the gift. When he later unwrapped it, in front of his mother, it turned out to be a pair of her panties. We were 16 years old at the time, and the girl in question was 13.

Craziest Things Admirers Have Done To Impress factsPexels

95. Sometimes It’s Best To Keep Your Mouth Shut

Company consisted of something like 1,200 employees at the time, and rented out a big conference center for a Christmas party. At the opening of the party, the CFO was giving opening remarks, and asked—expecting cheers—if everyone liked their Christmas bonuses. He got booed. See, of that 1,200 people, a bit over a thousand were in customer service.

No one in customer service got bonuses, only people in the "corporate" departments got bonuses. And our awesome CFO decided to rub everyone's noses in it, because clearly the Chief Financial Officer of a company would have no idea that 80%+ of his company didn't get bonuses. At the same party, the CEO made an announcement that the company would be closed on Friday (Christmas that year was on a Thursday), and everyone got a day off.

Now, he had literally just finished making a speech about how everyone was important, and everyone was part of the company, no matter the department. The next day, we all got a memo that Customer Service still had to work on that Friday. We apparently didn't count as "everyone" and the CEO just hadn't realized that the announcement wouldn't apply to anyone. January saw a 60% attrition rate.

Employees Share Horrible Things factsNguonSongMoi

96. Caught Red-Handed

Just before Christmas, my then boyfriend had let me use his iPad to watch a holiday movie on Netflix. He had his messenger account linked to both his tablet and his phone, and messages kept popping up on it while I was watching without him realizing I could see. I got to watch in real time as he got his best friend's wife to agree to sleep with him over the coming Christmas weekend; with the promise that since I would be visiting my parents, they could get intimate in our bed.

Notifications facts

97. Taking The Fall

So, I work in a workshop, and we often engrave stuff for customers. This particular guy wanted a nice wooden jewelry box for Christmas engraved with a custom message he emailed me. For some reason, he chose to give the box to his wife at the workshop. Not the most romantic place I can think of, but whatever. The guy's wife starts to look confused and tear up: "You don't remember that day?"

Guy turns pale, looks at me with a deep stare, says: "No, I'm sure it's a mistake." Me: "No, I've copied it straight, can't be wrooon...waaait a minute, oh my god, it's my fault, I'm so sorry, I will redo it right away, no need to pay, please accept it as a gift..." Wife gets angry a bit at me, but they leave with a different box and the correct engraving. But that wasn't even the best part. Guy comes back next day and pays triple the original price without a word.

Worst Mistakes Factsdavidkingraj

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

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