Look, the holiday season is all about giving — but sometimes, it's what we receive that leaves a bad taste in our mouth.
1."My mom gave me her high school diploma one year for Christmas when I was 24."
2."An expensive and lovely gift basket full of gourmet foods, none of which I could eat because of life-threatening food allergies. The person who gave it knew about the allergies."
3."A dear friend had a boyfriend of six-ish months. She’d recently celebrated his birthday with a nice home-cooked meal, flowers, a creative date night, and a jersey for his favorite team. A month later was her 30th birthday. No dinner, no flowers, all she received was a box of k-cups from Walmart $9.97 on rollback."
4."A girl I'd been on one date with runs into me a few days later and gives me a CD with no context. She tells me to listen to the end. Back home, I plug it in on my old laptop. There's one long audio file on there, a recording of her singing 'I Kissed a Girl' in the most tone-deaf, lyric-blind way possible. Which would've been fine...if she wasn't doing a METAL version. Horribly. Right at the end, she reads some weird essay about all these fucked-up things that were going through her head while we went out, and all the things she wanted to do with me. She ended up doing the same thing to, like, three other girls I know."
5."My mom forgot my birthday one year and bought me a pond light (we don't have a pond) from the thrift shop. It immediately started to smoke and almost caused a house fire."
6."A T-shirt that said 'fast food removal service.' It was a secret Santa present from a coworker who didn't like me much."
7."My step-dad's dad and much younger wife always gave us used presents at Christmas. One year I got a tube of body wash, only to find some crusted product on the squeezy hole. Another year I got a pair of Aldi women’s lacy underwear with the size scribbled out. The wife came over to me after present time and said, ‘I got them for myself but they were too big, I just blacked that out so you didn’t feel embarrassed.’ I’d rather not get anything than have to say thank you for that."
8."I'm a dude, and I received a magazine with Paris Hilton half-naked in it along with a tube of Vagisil. I think it was supposed to be a masturbation joke. but it was a really weird gift to get as a teen during Christmas in front of my family."
9."My ex-mother-in-law hated me. She told me all the things the family wanted for Christmas, and I spent about $100 on everyone individually. I woke up Christmas morning to see all the presents already opened and breakfast eaten. One present was under the tree for me: a dog mug. I'm a cat person."
10."I vaguely remember being a little kid over at my grandmother's house, and we had a random conversation one day about how I liked the squishy toilet seats better than the hard toilet seats because they aren't as cold at night. Well, that year, for my birthday, I excitedly unwrapped the present my grandmother gave to me, only to discover...a squishy toilet seat. She gave me a toilet seat for my birthday. I get the logic, but...really, Nana?"
11."My grandmother once mailed me a shoebox with a large bag of M&M’s and a dead Venus Fly Trap. I had to ask her what is was it was since it was so wilted and decayed I couldn’t figure it out. I still laugh about that and it’s been over two decades now. I still miss her quirkiness."
12."My sister used to always get constant phone calls, all day long, and she was never at home. This was way before everyone had cell phones, so getting ahold of someone was tougher. Anyway, I never really bothered to write down any information about who was calling or whatever, because I guess I just didn't feel like it was my job, and we didn't have pen and paper just lying around the house. Well, my sister generally did not give me birthday gifts, so imagine my surprise that year when she did. Excited, I opened the gift to discover...a telephone Iog book, so that I could keep a written record of everyone that called her."
13."My brother was upset with me, so he convinced my grandmother to return the gift she'd originally gotten for me, and replace it with an Aquapik because I was 'really into oral hygiene.' I still don't know what the original gift was, but my grandmother had been talking about how excited she was to give it to me for months."
14."For a secret Santa I received two free promotional tickets to the science museum that had already expired."
15."My niece and nephew gave me a dirty fork a few years back. I still have it in my office being held by my Stormtrooper."
16."A CD of his favorite country songs. I loathe country music."
17."My sister gave me a small food processor for Christmas last year. I didn't even need it, but when did decide to open it months later, it was covered in dust and didn't work. It was sealed so not sure what was up with that. I assume someone returned it to Amazon, and they packed it up and sold it as new. Either way, it was a shitty gift."
18."A $10 hat from someone that gave my twin a $150 bag."
19."A cup that was stolen from The Spaghetti Factory and a package of Halloween napkins."
20."My divorce papers came in the mail on my birthday."
Got your own terrible gift stories? See you in the comments!
These entries have been edited for length and clarity.