For most of us, few things can compare to the anticipation of wondering what new and exciting things we’ll get as gifts when birthdays and holidays roll around. The feeling of being loved by those who cared enough to buy something is incomparable. This is why it stings all the more when those big moments come, only to receive something grossly underwhelming—or in some cases, even worse. Here are 50 real-life stories about some of the worst gifts that folks out there have ever received.
1. Something To Strive Towards?
My step mom’s mother once gave me a mug as a birthday present. To make things even worse, the mug literally said “To a wonderful mother.” It also had a personalized note from one of her other daughters printed on it. For the record, I’m a male, and I have no children. Yes, you’ve figured it out. She re-gifted a Mother’s Day present from one of her kids that she had never even bothered to open.
2. You Dirty Rats!
I had wanted a pet rat for a really long time. Eventually, my parents got one for me. But on Christmas Eve, they noticed that it wasn’t looking too good. The note I got on Christmas morning on the thing’s cage said “I caught a cold on Santa’s sleigh!” That’s when disaster struck. The poor thing only lasted about 10 minutes and then died in my hands while I was opening other presents.
A tough Christmas morning for an eight-year-old to cope with, to say the least.
3. Aren’t You Forgetting Something?
By far, the worst birthday present that I’ve ever received was being forgotten. I was working in Japan at the time. My co-workers were going to take me out to my favorite sushi place for my birthday. I was younger and didn't drive at the time, but not a problem! A co-worker was going to pick me up! 4:00 p.m. arrives, and no one shows up.
I wait around until, finally, at 4:45 p.m., I call the friend and ask: “Is anyone going to pick me up?” They respond: "Oh sorry, I'll be there in a few minutes!" I thought she was just running late, as we were busy at work lately. It happened to be my day off, so I wasn’t aware of how things were going at the office. I didn't pay any mind to it and continued to wait.
Eventually, 6:30 p.m. arrived with no update. I call her back. When I think of what she said, I still get angry. She goes: "Oh, hey! We were wondering where you were!" Umm, excuse me??? YOU WERE MY RIDE! How could you forget?! They were all there, enjoying my favorite restaurant, celebrating my birthday, without me!! One of them even brought a cake.
I had to just mope around at home with images and thoughts running through my head of my friends and co-workers enjoying my birthday party at my favorite place without me being there.
4. And They Both Lived Happily Ever After
My dad once bought my mom a dirt bike as a present for her birthday. She was in her 40s at the time. She didn't want a dirt bike, and she never did anything to indicate that she possibly would have wanted one. So, he just rode it himself every day afterwards from that point on. He also bought her an outside security light once for her birthday.
You guessed it. She did not want an outside security light either. Nevertheless, they have somehow been very happily married for almost 40 years at this point.
5. Lending A Helping Hand
My grandma got my mom the greatest birthday gift ever one year. The gift was, drumroll please…a pair of rubber gloves. That’s it. Just a random, single pair of rubber gloves. She said she could use them to clean our house. Such a practical and thoughtful gift, right? Suffice it to say that my mom and my grandma didn't speak to one another for a few years after this incident…
6. Sounds Like A Belly Flop
The worst present that I have ever received for any kind of special occasion would have to be a mankini. For those who don’t know, a mankini is like a bikini, but for men. I had absolutely no interest or need for such a thing. On top of that, it was also way too big, so it made me feel extremely uncomfortable even just to try on.
7. That’s Just A Cold Thing To Do
Many years ago, my grandparents once gave me a bottle of antifreeze for Christmas as my present. I mean, I knew I wasn't exactly the favorite grandchild, but that seemed a bit on the nose…
8. From Bad To Worse
The worst gift I’ve ever received? A DVD of one of my favorite movies of all time. This gift was from my ex-wife. Now, I love this movie. So why would this be the WORST present I have ever gotten? Well, because I already owned it, and she knew I already owned it because she and I had watched it several times together. I was given this gift two weeks before she took off with her boyfriend and moved my kids more than 200 miles away.
Opening this movie at my birthday was really disappointing, but finding out the real reason that she put so little thought into the present a couple weeks later really made it sting all the more.
9. The Gift That Keeps On Giving
I have a fun story from my dad's childhood. His dad, my grandpa, was not great at shopping for presents. One year, he was very proud of himself for finding the perfect gift for my grandma. This “perfect gift” that he had found was just a truly hideous gold-colored blazer and skirt set. She wasn't thrilled with it when he presented it to her, but she thanked him anyway and quietly hung it in the closet, never to be worn.
The next year, my grandpa went shopping on his own again…and, lo and behold, he got her the exact same set, only this time with pants instead of a skirt. This time, my grandma called him out on it, shouting: "Oh for the love of God, dear, this is exactly the same gift as last year!" They soon realized that he had absolutely no memory of this—but the story doesn’t end there.
So of course, having witnessed this, my dad and his siblings, being the little troublemakers that they are, waited until next year, then grabbed the original outfit out of the closet, wrapped it up, and put it under the tree with a note “from Grandpa” for Grandma to find. They then patiently waited for their evil genius to bloom into fruition. There were some fireworks that Christmas, but not in the sky.
10. We Get The Picture
My mom had a pretty bad childhood. One particular “highlight” of those experiences is the time when she really, really, more than anything in the world, wanted this one specific pair of boots as a birthday present. So, when her birthday came around, her mom got her a picture of the boots, and promised the boots themselves would be arriving soon.
In the end, she never got those boots from her mom. She says that many years later, when she finally got her first job and received her first paycheck, the first thing she did was go out and buy herself a pair of those boots. Take that, awful grandma!
11. Now That’s What I Call Babying Someone!
The worst gift that I have ever seen someone be given in my entire life would have to be an infant-sized onesie, which someone gave as a gift to a friend of mine who has serious infertility issues that he struggles with. He also has no kids, so I have no idea who this person thought the gift was going to be used for exactly. Ugh! Why are people so dumb sometimes?
12. Gaming The System
Back in the year 2000, I wanted a Sega Dreamcast video game system as my Christmas present. My parents promised me that they would split the cost to buy me one. When Christmas morning finally came and I ran downstairs to see the presents under the tree, I immediately noticed that one of them was the exact right size to be a Sega Dreamcast.
I immediately opened it, full of excitement. But I was in for a sad surprise. There was no Sega Dreamcast in that box. Instead, there was a $10 dollar store tabletop pinball machine. My mom made an excuse, saying I "had to be an adult to have a Dreamcast, and the pinball machine would be just as fun." Sonic Adventure was rated E (or K-A, can't remember), so I’m not sure where she got the idea that it wasn’t appropriate for kids.
Anyway, the pinball machine broke within a week, and the batteries inside of it melted almost as fast. I learned later that the real reason why they couldn’t buy me the video game system was because they had already blown all of their money on drinks, smokes, and scratch-off lottery tickets before they had even begun their Christmas shopping for the year.
13. A Hank Williams Song Come To Life
You want to hear the worst thing that I ever received as a present? A broken metal bucket. Literally, just a broken metal bucket, with a big ol’ hole in the middle of it. I’ve never even heard of such a lame excuse for a present before in my life. And I had no use for it anyway; I already had two non-broken ones from before the holidays!
14. Singing In The Bathtub
Oh boy, do I have a story for this topic. Like most people, I look forward all year to receiving my Christmas gifts from the people closest to me. And, also like most people, it always warms my heart when people make the effort to select a gift that they know I would enjoy receiving. Which is why I was so utterly confused and disappointed when my dear old grandmother decided to give me an Elmo-themed bubble bath toy for Christmas one year.
I was 21 years old at the time. I have no idea what needs to be going on in someone’s head to possess them to do a silly thing like that and think it makes sense.
15. Hey, Cut That Out!
My new wife and I got a pair of scissors as a gift for our wedding from one of the other couples who we invited to the ceremony. I mean, we did go to all that trouble of paying for a super expensive and beautiful venue, meal, and entertainment for them, just so that they could be included in this special occasion with us, so I guess it makes sense that they wanted to give us something so thoughtful in return!
For those of you out there with broken sarcasm detectors: no, we did not actually consider this a good gift. On the bright side, though, I guess we can use the scissors now to cut them off the guest list for our next event!
16. He Had An Axe To Grind
A new neighbor, who I had literally never met before, knocked on my door to introduce himself, and gave me and my wife a bag of hatchets as a present on Christmas morning a few years ago. Yes, hatchets, as in literal, genuine axes. Nothing says “nice to meet you” and “welcome to the neighborhood” like a big old pile of extremely dangerous weapons, with no context whatsoever as to why they’re being given to you. Ah, the holiday spirit is alive and well in this town!
17. The Building Blocks Of A Bad Relationship
I had two stepbrothers growing up. Back when I was six years old, my biological grandparents gave my Step Brother #1 a pirate Lego ship. The same day, they gave my Step Brother #2 some pretty cool Nerf toys. And they gave me a gift that day too! What was mine, you ask? Well, it was the worst gift I’ve ever got. It was a set of ABC wooden blocks for toddlers. For clarification, Step Brother #2 and I were only six months apart in age.
I was visibly disappointed, but this didn’t make them realize how hurtful their actions were. On the contrary, they were mad at me for not being grateful. They made a point of pointing out my disappointed expression, and told me they would never get me anything again for Christmas because of my bad attitude. And they really did hold to their promise from that point on, year after year.
It got to the point where my dad was getting stuff for me and putting their names on it to try and mend my relationship with them. He would tell me to thank them for the gifts that were clearly from him. When I would give in and call to thank them, they’d rudely reply: “Your dad got you that, thank him.” Years later, I realized that they hated my mom and took it out on me.
They told everyone I wasn’t really my dad's kid. What a weird way to grow up.
18. The Cable Guy
One year, for the holiday of Hanukkah, my sister got a Blu-Ray DVD player, and I got nothing but an HDMI cable. I didn't have any devices that required an HDMI cable, and she didn't have a cable for her new machine. I would figure that my parents had planned this because were thinking we could work together and combine the gifts so we could both enjoy the Blu-Ray player together…except for the fact that my sister went to college 200 miles away from where I lived, and the cable was only six feet long.
I also got a copy of the movie Beetlejuice on Blu-Ray. Apparently, it came free with the player. Why am I not surprised?
19. Baby, It’s Cold Inside
I work as a social worker. Many years ago, I worked with a kid who was being emotionally mistreated by their family in a pretty serious and ongoing way—and it showed during the holidays. One year the kid’s older sibling got a new video game station as their present, while the kid himself just got his sibling's hand-me-down sweater. Talk about playing favorites and causing insecurities…
20. Nothing Of Substance Here
One of my friends has a long and difficult history of dangerous substance misuse. One year, while he was in the process of trying to go cold turkey and overcome his struggles after a terrifying life-threatening incident, some idiot gave him the very stuff he was trying to get over as his Christmas present. Luckily, he had the strength to get rid of it before it caused any harm. But for a lot of people, that gift could have been fatal. Think before you act, people!
21. No Need To Toot His Own Horn
One year, around the time of my birthday, my absent father heard I was into music. He then left a broken trumpet at my doorstep. Just what every 14-year-old girl needs! For the record, I do not, nor have I ever, played the trumpet. Nor have I ever expressed an interest in trumpet music. Let’s just say my dad and I didn’t exactly make beautiful music together after that one…
22. The Ups And Downs Of Growing Up
The worst gift that I’ve ever received was a yo-yo. Back when I was in first grade, Beyblades were the biggest thing in my school. People kept flexing their collections, and showing off how strong theirs were. So for my seventh birthday, I asked my dad for one. But instead of the slick and hip Beyblades that all of my fellow students had, he got me a plain, old-fashioned yo-yo.
When I protested, his reaction was brutal. He didn’t understand what the big deal was, and said they were basically the same thing. There was no way I was ever going to be able to show my face in front of the other kids with that thing…
23. A Gift You Can Toss
I’m 35 years old. My mom gave me a half-used bottle of salad dressing for my birthday last year. I suppose her excuse will be that this is her way of trying to get me to eat healthier? I was so upset. I literally do not understand how anyone can think that handing that to someone as a “gift” is going to end well. What the heck is wrong with this woman??
24. One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other
When I was a kid, I got a pair of socks as a gift for Christmas one year. I tried to have a good attitude, so I wasn’t upset. I told myself I didn’t mind it and that I should appreciate all the thought that probably went into it. But then I saw my sister open her present, which was a brand new Apple computer. Let’s just say my “good attitude” suddenly changed quite fast…
25. We Hear You Loud And Clear
I once received a pair of used earrings as a birthday present. It was so gross, it’s unforgettable. I could immediately tell they were used. They literally had their previous owner’s ear gunk still visible on them. It was nasty. No way in heck was I going to be putting those things anywhere near my body any time soon. That was easily the most disgusting gift I’ve ever received.
26. Note To Self
For my wedding gift, I got a heartfelt thank you email from my dad. It wasn’t a congratulations or anything like that. The email was about how he was so happy that I invited him to my wedding because it had given him an excuse to take time off of work for a vacation and have a wonderful time. The email was filled with pictures of all the places he went, along with details of all the awesome things he did, etc.
His vacation occurred during the week before the wedding, and he went on this trip all by himself. For those wondering, he did in fact come to the wedding after his vacation. But this email was the only “gift” that we received from him. In his mind, it was a wedding card and he did not understand why we were surprised not to have received anything else.
27. A Sign Of Things To Come, Or Not
When I was eight years old, I loved Pokémon. One Christmas, my family was opening presents and we started getting towards the end, when the “big present” would be presented and opened. My mom got very excited and handed me a present. I open it, and it's the official strategy guide for the Pokémon Yellow game. I liked where this was going.
I get ridiculously excited. I don't own a Gameboy, but as you know I love Pokémon, and the only logical conclusion to draw from being given a Pokémon strategy guide book is that a Gameboy and accompanying game to use it for must be coming next! I immediately think to myself: “I'm getting a Gameboy, and the game where freaking PIKACHU FOLLOWS YOU AROUND! Woohoo!!”
I’m jumping around with intense excitement. And then I see my dad's face. He's very concerned. He knows what's going on. I'm not getting a Gameboy. I was never getting a Gameboy. The strategy guide was not an accessory to my Christmas gift. It was my Christmas gift. Turns out my mom had just bought me the first book she saw with a picture of Pokémon on the front of it.
My mom doesn't understand video games and literally thought it was just a book about the game that I would enjoy reading. But this wasn't the only devastating present that I’ve received from her over the years. One year, she bought dog treats and put them in our stockings for us, legitimately thinking that they were regular cookie biscuit things that we could eat. I was 12 years old at the time, and my brother was 9.
When we saw the biscuits, we both immediately thought we were getting a puppy. Note to my future self: Don’t make assumptions about what you’re going to be getting just based on what the first thing you open happens to be! Also, my mom shouldn't be allowed to buy presents anymore, because she clearly has no clue what the heck she’s doing.
Oh, and, for the record, you better believe I read the heck out of that Pokémon strategy guide!
28. How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?
My parents once got me a DVD version of the movie Marley & Me as a present to help me with getting over the experience of having to put down my beloved pet dog. They clearly hadn't seen the movie yet, and had no idea what it was about. They just saw the dog on the cover, and thought it would be a nice gesture to buy for me.
A tip to the wise that everyone needs to know: The golden rule of movie and book covers is that every cute dog on the cover of a movie or book that isn't a comedy will not make it out of the story alive. Also, the dog isn't invincible just because the movie or book is a comedy. Please remember this golden rule next time you’re shopping for dog-related gifts…
29. Someone Needs To Teach Her A Lesson
My Japanese grandma bought my mom a scale after she gave birth to me. She also gave my older brother a big screen TV for his 10th birthday. On my 10th birthday, I got a box of underwear that were about five sizes too big for me, along with a lollipop that had expired a decade before it reached my hands. She also started a college fund for each of my male cousins, but not for me.
I'm one of the only female grandchildren in the family, so instead of a college fund, I got a plastic surgery fund to fix the scar on my face that she thinks will ruin my chances of ever marrying a nice Asian boy some day. When I said I didn't want the plastic surgery, her reaction was devastating. She took all the money out of my fund and divided it up into everyone else's college fund.
I then had to take out loans to pay for my own college education…
30. Button Up Your Overcoat
The worst gift that I’ve ever received was a leather jacket. Sounds cool, right? Well, not in this case. My grandfather bought it for me on my 16th birthday. Except the jacket was his size and not mine. He was a very large man and wore a distinctly uncommon size. So he ended up wearing it all the time since I couldn't anyway.
Forgive me for speculating, but the thought has crossed my mind that he did this on purpose. I think that's a tad selfish, if you ask me.
31. A One-Person Inside Joke
My dad once gave me a potato masher for my birthday. He claimed that it was a reference to some sort of inside joke that we had. For the record, I have absolutely no idea what inside joke he was referring to, and he has chosen not to give me a clear answer when I’ve tried to clarify that question with him. And in the envelope with the card he attached to the potato masher was a Starbucks gift card.
Too bad I noticed that it was the exact same gift card I had given him for Father's Day earlier that year. Suffice it to say we're currently working on our relationship. To this day, all he can come up with when I bring up this incident is: “The inside joke! You remember the inside joke, right? It's a potato masher! You can smash potatoes with it.”
My theory as to what it really means? “You can smash potatoes with it, just like you smashed all my hopes and dreams by being born and forcing me to marry your mother and ruining my life. Hahahahahhahahaha, man, good times!”
32. A Colorful Example
In the mid-1980s, my brother told my grandmother that I was really into neon. So, as a gift, she bought me a multi-colored neon baseball cap, a Dayglo neon yellow shirt, and neon socks to top it all off. I had to wear all of them to the restaurant and Dairy Queen afterward, to show her that I appreciated the thoughtful gifts. There was just one problem.
I was heavy into Maiden and Slayer at the time. Usually, I had a denim jacket with a Powerslave back patch. The neon clashed with that look way worse than you could possibly imagine…
33. Playing Without A Full Deck
I was very into baseball cards when I was a kid. Apparently, my grandma heard about this and decided to buy me a whole box of them for my birthday. Too bad she completely misunderstood what a baseball card was, and instead bought me a box of Valentine’s Day cards with a picture of Michael Jordan on them. It was also June at the time, so I couldn’t even use them to get a date.
34. So Close, Yet So Far Away
Well, my grandmother died when I was five years old, and my grandfather remarried to this trailer trash witch. He was a millionaire. So, one Christmas, after I got to hear about how his new kids went on a cruise for their graduation and what they got for their birthdays (which included ATVs, trucks, trailers, etc.), I was like, "Hmm, maybe I'll get something cool, like a PS2."
Mind you, I was very young at the time and we were about to open up presents, so I was extremely excited. The first present we opened was my cousin's. He got a PS2. I was like sweeeeet! HERE IT COMES! And BAM! I open up mine. In case you haven’t guessed, my gift was not a PS2. It was a handheld poker game from the local Dollar Tree store.
It also broke within minutes of being opened. I know I probably shouldn't have cared that much, but I did.
35. Every Little Thing She Does Is Tragic
Oh boy, do I have some good stories for you all about receiving awful gifts. Let’s start with the time when my family and I went out to eat on my birthday, and I had to pay for everyone’s meal. And the meal was my birthday present. Yeah, my parents really did this to me. They were divorced, but decided to take me out together to dinner at Red Lobster, since it was a special occasion.
They ordered steak and other expensive stuff, and I got left with a $130 bill for my own birthday dinner. And if you think that’s bad enough already, there’s a lot more where that came from. Here is another story about my mother. My father was always a pushover, so most of the garbage that happened to me growing up came from my mother’s end of things.
Fast forward 10 years from that previous story, and my wife and family are going out to lunch at Chili's with my mother. This time it was for one of my own kid’s birthdays. Anyway, when ordering, my mom decided to ask the waiter what the veggie of the day was. The waiter told her it was a vegetable medley. My mother asks if there were carrots in it, since she hates cooked carrots.
She's not allergic to them or anything like that, she just simply doesn't like them. The waiter replied that yes, there are carrots in the medley. My mother instructed him to pick the carrots out before bringing the dish to the table. She then rudely added that if there were any carrots on her plate at all, then she would have the manager involved.
She did this with the most demeaning tone you can possibly imagine, and was also pointing her finger in his face. Then, she refused to tip him, despite his having been a good server. She is definitely a misandrist, and literally hates most men for no reason and will find any way she can to demean them and make them feel like garbage.
And just to top it all off, here is one more story about her antics. My oldest son loved to sing, and when he was about four years old or so, we moved back to the area where my wife is from, and my mom moved in with us. My mother can sing fairly well, and she does sing in choirs and what not during her spare time, but whenever my son would try to sing, she would immediately stop him and aggressively correct random details of his singing.
The net result of this behavior was him not singing anymore for the better part of a year, and he still barely sings even to this day. He’s now seven, but apparently still scarred by the experience. It’s taken him a long time to undo the negative association that she created for him, and I'm afraid it won't ever be completely undone. Which is very sad to me, because he loved singing as a hobby before all this went down.
36. Taking “Last Minute Shopping” A Little Too Literally…
On my most recent birthday, my brother pulled out a gift card that he had been given for his birthday the year before and handed it to me as my gift. The thing still had his name on it, for crying out loud. The year before that, he suddenly "had to use the bathroom" during my birthday dinner. We literally then looked out the window and watched him run across the street and come back ten minutes later with a Tim Horton’s gift card, saying "I know how much you love coffee, bro!"
For the record, I have had a total of maybe about two cups of coffee in my entire life...
37. Tanks, But No Tanks
My aunt has given out some really strange gifts to me and a bunch of my other family members over the years. I've been the recipient of blankets, stamps, and a totally age-inappropriate coloring book on various occasions. But my sister got it worse. She received a helium tank for her seventh birthday. And for her eighth birthday? Yet another helium tank.
I don’t even know what one does with one helium tank…
38. Without Even Breaking A Sweat
My grandmother once decided to knit wool sweaters for all of her grandchildren. The only problem is that I am allergic to wool. Despite this, she made me wear the sweater for the entire day, which subsequently caused me to break out in very unpleasant hives. She did not seem to care about this, and got really upset with me when I took the sweater off.
For a long time after that, whenever she saw me, she asked me to wear the sweater. It was an unbearable experience that immeasurably messed up our relationship with one another for years to come.
39. Buying In Bulk
In this case, it wasn't the present itself that was terrible, but rather it was the context of the present. Allow me to explain. My birthday is the 24th of December and my brother’s is on the 28th. We're both very used to getting a combined birthday and Christmas present, and that's fine as far as we’re both concerned. One particular year, my sister bought me a DVD of Hot Fuzz for Christmas.
Heck yeah, I love that movie. The conversation went something like this: "Thanks sister, this is awesome!" She replied: "No worries, bro! Now, that's a shared birthday and Christmas present for both you and your brother." Umm, excuse me? That's right, she spent $20 on what she hoped would be a four in one present for both me and my brother, so she wouldn’t have to get either of us anything else for Christmas or our birthdays for an entire year.
I didn't really care all that much, I'm sure money was tight or something. I just thought it was a funny piece of ingenuity, and a sneaky way of trying to make something ridiculous seem acceptable.
40. As A Mat-ter of Fact
The most impractical gift that I have ever received was a welcome mat with a picture of a farm and a cow on it. I live in the middle of a large city, and I have never indicated any kind of preference or interest in farming whatsoever. I was also only eight years old at the time. What eight-year-old envisions a welcome mat when they look forward to their next gift?
But, after all, the gift was from Uncle Peter and I loved Uncle Peter, so I guess I somehow loved the mat anyway?
41. A Different Story Than What You’re Expecting
For my sixth birthday, many, many years ago, my mom decided to throw me a special birthday party. Now, since we were in Costa Rica (which is our home country) , she invited every single child from the local town to come and take part in the festivities. It was actually pretty interesting to see all the kids of all kinds of different economic backgrounds just having fun together, while the parents watched us all play.
Now, I remember one family in particular was known across the area as "that" family. And by "that," I mean the absolute poorest people in the entire town. Not only that, but their 11-year-old son had a serious mental issue, which made him the subject of many cruel jokes among the immature youth of the community. I opened my presents upon receiving them, so I was very excited when I saw the intricate box that this particular family had placed my gift inside.
What did I find that they had given me inside that intricate box? A pair of used socks. At first, I was a bit shocked at receiving such a bad present. Then I made a heartbreaking realization. I looked at the mother of the family, as she glanced down at the ground in shame at realizing how I must have felt. But something clicked with my young mind that day, and I just gave her a big hug and thanked her immensely for my gift.
And from then on, I remind myself to stay humble and to realize that someone else out there almost always has it worse than you. Despite being such a bad gift, the experience turned out to be quite positive and formative for me, looking back. The woman accepted my hug, but I can't really say I remember much else about her reaction beyond that point.
I still see her from time to time when I go back home to visit Costa Rica. She is always very kind to me whenever I am around. And by the way, yes, the socks had been washed before being given to me. But they just had some obvious signs of previous use on them ,such as some small marks here and there. And yes, I did actually use them in the end. After all, socks are socks.
I wouldn’t say that family and I became friends exactly following that experience, but we have definitely become good acquaintances. They are still very poor, but they are doing significantly better now that some of their kids have graduated from school and gotten jobs. My mother always told me to accept every gift I get with a thank you.
And I guess, deep down, that advice is what caused me to react the way I did. On top of that, my family was not (and, unfortunately, still is not) that financially stable. We are well off by Costa Rican standards, but at the bottom of the standards down here where I currently live. So, I just kind of understood how they felt.
42. Note To Self: This Gift Sucks
My mom gave me an already opened cube of post-it notes for Christmas one year. She later explained to me that she had found them at the local Goodwill. We are not poor, and she has not been diagnosed as insane. It took me 49 years to understand that my mother is legitimately a narcissist.
43. Tan You Believe It?
The worst gift that I have ever received was some kind of oil for tanning. I’m African-American, i.e. my skin is naturally quite dark. Tanning is not exactly high on my list of priorities…
44. That’s Just A Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love
I was the new guy at work and had recently shared the fact that my mother was serving time behind bars for setting several houses on fire. Obviously, it’s not something that I’m proud to be associated with, but most mature adults understand that I had nothing whatsoever to do with it. Anyway, as you can probably guess by now, it turned out that not everyone at my new workplace was a mature adult…
For our Secret Santa exchange around holiday time, one of my lovely coworkers decided to give me a signed card with a picture of a dress on it, that he had set on fire. Everyone thought it was horrible for him to do that. To be honest, as rude as it was, deep down I kind of thought it was hilarious. I guess it's better than a burnt house, but still hilariously awful.
45. Maybe That Was Just The Appetizer
I was literally given a raw potato today as a birthday present. Do I even need to bother saying anything more?
46. Taking What He Can Get
My college boyfriend was a serial thief and shoplifter. Every gift I ever got from him had actually just been swiped from somewhere or other. I didn't find out about this until after we broke up. It definitely explained the many odd gifts. They were always small things that I had never expressed much interest in, but would have been easy to nab. Like keychains, for example. Nothing that would typically be considered a “good” gift by any normal standard.
47. His Bark Was Bigger Than His Bite
Back when I was a kid, around the time I was about five years old, I asked everyone I knew for a dog. Finally, when my next birthday was starting to approach, my uncle said that he was going to be getting me a dog as a present. I was the happiest five-year-old the world had ever seen. I could not wait until the big day when I would finally meet my new pet.
Well, I was in for a serious disappointment. What I got was nothing but a darned stuffed animal of a dog. It’s been 15 years and I'm still not fully over it.
48. Saying The Magic Words
When the holidays were coming up last year, I asked my in-laws a few years back for a Magic Bullet. You know, the popular small blender that everyone was crazy for? For smoothies and all that jazz. It was a pretty convenient kitchen tool that I thought could be practical to have handy. Well, there was good news…and bad news.
The good news is that my in-laws did pay attention to what I asked for. The bad news is they grossly misunderstood what it meant. I opened their present on Christmas morning, and um… there was something completely different and unexpected in the package. It was a very different product, also called a “magic bullet,” but this one was “for intimate use,” to put it politely.
I totally didn't think about how it was also a popular name for an adult toy, and I have no idea what they think of me asking for that as a Christmas present...
49. Solving Another Piece Of This Bad Gifts Puzzle
One year, my brother gave me the worst present of all time. It was a used puzzle. It was missing pieces, had wads of hair all over it, and also had a screw and a penny randomly floating around inside the box—but I came up with a plan for revenge. I put what was left of the whole thing together, then mounted it and re-gifted it to him the following year. It felt like a pretty epic thing to do.
50. Second Time’s The Charm
For my birthday, my sister once gave me a bracelet as a present. I know what you’re probably thinking. What’s wrong with that? It sounds nice, doesn’t it? Well, it might have been a nice gift if not for one teeny little detail. The bracelet was already mine. Not only that, but it had been missing for a few years and I was pretty upset wondering what had happened to it.
I guess I finally got my answer…