Loot-wise I did pretty well this year. I got a Star Wars sound effects book, metal plates of the Star Wars movie posters, two shirts, a cheeseboard with the initial of my last name on it, a fancy paperweight, a snowman salt/pepper/sugar shaker (the artsy kind), and a scarf we all suspect came from the dollar store but my aunt refuses to tell us if we’re right or not.

Oh, also a bottle of Poo-purri. Why did Jason think of me when he saw this, I don’t know.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad present before. Even the ones that seemed weird always ended up being fun or …educational.  Or great for regifting. But apparently some people do get bad presents. There’s a NY Times blog about it.  I’m reading through the comments seeing if any of the gifts I’ve given in the past are mentioned.

Nancy’s been the one to bear the brunt of my quirky-gift phase. She got a padded toilet seat one year, with a picture of me and Jorge giving a thumbs up and the words “You Can Do It!” on the cover. It’s one of my better photos, now left to some confused apartment tenant.  Then there was the set of compressed towels. I’d just read “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”, and knowing Nancy liked to travel, figured that would be useful. From her, I got an English-Uzbekistani dictionary that I still skim through from time to time.

My favorites from the comment section:

One year my elderly great aunt game me a box of straws and my sister received a tube of mustard.

This remains a long standing family joke nearly 60 years later.

— John Freitag


OK, so I was not a cool girl. Big family, little money, and wore a uniform to Catholic school, so not much was hanging in the closet. Somewhere in my pre-teen days, I received “Mork and MIndy” pants (pleated khaki’s like robin williams wore in the hit comedy series). They had rainbow suspenders with a pin attached that said “na-noo, na-noo.” I cried when I opened it, and got in trouble from my father for not appreciating the trouble my mom went through to buy me this special gift. Need I say more?


A Harrah’s Casino coffee mug full of quarters given to me by my grandparents.

The mug read, “Life begins at 21!”

I was 9.

— Sharon

For my son’s first Christmas (he was 8 months old), my father-in-law gave him a vaguely human-shaped stuffed toy. It was for dogs, as the packaging clearly indicated.

— Andy

In sixth grade, I participated in a secret santa at school (I think the limit was $10 – this was 1982). When it was my turn to receive, a classmate brought me a mountain of wrapped presents – had to be 6 or 7 items. I thought I hit the jackpot. I then unwrapped them – a hardcover coffee table book about wild animals (with handwriting all over the pages), an ashtray, an ornate paper weight and some tools. My secret santa had taken (i.e. stolen) a bunch of things sitting around his house, wrapped them up and given them to me.

The teacher had to call his mother, who promptly came to the school to pick up my secret santa and his “gifts”.

— Len


My wife has received the same worst gifts several times: picture frames and picture cubes.

She is totally blind.

What is she expected to say when she unwraps it?

— Wolf

Published in: on December 25, 2010 at 6:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

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