Ever feel the panic of trying to find the right gift and searching and searching....
And then receiving a gift from the other that showed how little they've thought of you? I mean, something so horrendous that it stays with you forever?
I've never received a bad Christmas gift. Most of my gifts were books, music, clothing and booze. I received a number of robes and sweaters in my life for Christmas. I guess people that knew me thought I needed covered. Booze was usually wine or scotch. Get me drunk and keep me covered.
My wife came across an entertaining Yahoo article last night about the worst gifts that people received from "loved ones" out there. I'm not thinking about strange items out there that people see and buy - like singing bass hanging on the wall or chia pets. These gifts were sometimes strange, sometimes misguided, but sometimes cruel. Some recipients saw what others received and knew exactly where they stood in the other's heart, feelings be damned.
Like this one. This seemed cruel. A relative gave the family children gift cards. She didn't like some of the children, so no value was loaded on the cards.
See - cruel. Malicious. Definitely a statement gift.
I'd categorize this next gift as greedy. A relative bought gifts and visited each holiday, bringing the gifts with her. There was always something wrong with the gifts and they would need to be exchanged. But the gifts were bought at faraway stores. So she, very kindly, took it upon herself to execute the exchanges.
Funny thing but no new gifts ever arrived later from the exchange.
The man relating the story once visited her home. He and his wife recognized a few of the gifts that were supposed to be returned decorating her house. That pretty much clarified what was going on.
The next year, the woman gave him a telephoto lens for a Nikon camera. He owned an Olympus. He knew that the giver had a Nikon so he told her not to worry about it, that he would just buy an adapter. Oh, the woman begged and begged, please let her exchange it for him, but he was adamant that there was no problem.
That was the last time he heard from her, twenty-five years ago. He still has the lens, in the box, unused.
How about a breadmaker from a husband to his wife, she who earned her livelihood by going to a bakery and baking bread everyday?
Several people cited receiving boxes for gifts over at somethingawful.com. That includes musical jewelry boxes. There are a lot of angry and bewildered people on the Intertubes.
"Quik Stop: My sister once got, for Hannukah.... a FOLDABLE BOX. It was plastic and could be unfolded into a box ~ 2" by 4" x 8" or folded up into a strip of useless plastic. I think that might be the worst present ever."
"Freakoutmusic: As the person who got the foldable box, let me just say it was definitely the WORST.GIFT.EVER. At least some of the other gifts have purposes. This was too small to hold anything."
"Geiiga: My brother's got me beat. One year he had a box about three feet cubed waiting out for him. It was enormously heavy, and didn't do anything when he shook it. Christmas day came along, and it was filled with tightly packed newspaper. At the center of the newspaper? A brick. It said 'Don't spit on the sidewalk.' I think I'm going to see if I can find a similar brick for his Christmas this year."
"NickLess: Two years ago I got this musical jewelry box from my mom. I'm a 22 year old male, btw. Also, I never wear any sort of jewelry. The worst part is pretending that i liked it. I felt really guilty about not liking it because I'm sure it had some sort of sentimental value. I just sort of put it in the corner of my closet and then forgot about it. She would ask me where it was or if I had put anything in there and I'd be like "Uhm yeah.. see. i really like it. thanks for the great present mom."
Now, every time I see it, it makes me feel guilty about every single horrible thing I've ever done to my mother. Maybe that's why she gave it to me."
Wow, boxes. I never thought about giving someone a box as a gift.
If you need gift ideas for those Red Room writers out there, here's a suggestion:
"RusteJuxx: I get the same gift every year from my grandparents. Recycled writing paper! Its not even GOOD recycled paper. Its grainy as hell, it has a really bad green hue, and its some terrible adaption of wide rule(its bigger than normal wide rule hooray)."
Food is always good to give. Everyone likes receiving food. "Purpling: My mom gave me a 10 pound sack of Himalayan rice. Not only that, my birthday lies on th 18th of December, so it was a Christmas AND birthday present."
How about something more uplifiting with that Christmas snack? "We received a can of haggis (yes, I guess haggis comes in a can) and a copy of the book “The Road.” It was quite the depressing Christmas. — Stephanie Young"
Then there is...the strange....
He-Man: When I was 13 my Grandma just went to a San Fransico (novelty store) and bought all these novelty gifts. I ended up with "The Worlds Biggest Condom" in my stocking.
OzzyOsmond: Not just one, but two, deodorant sticks. I was 13, I think.
So thanks, friends and family, for not giving me anything to had to the list.
I owe you.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com