Worst. Gift. Ever. The 6 Kinds of Presents You Should Never Give

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A gift should make the recipient happy — or at least not sad or angry. As the gift-giving season is upon us, it’s a good time to remember that gifts are a powerful form of communication. So what messages are being sent by the holiday gifts you’ve picked out for people?

Gifts can enhance connections between people. A truly bad gift, though, can ruin a relationship, with emotional impact that’s remembered for decades. As a consumer psychologist, I’ve gotten to speak to countless people about the worst gifts they’ve ever received, and their answers can be grouped into six categories:

The All About Me Gift
Many women would be overjoyed with the gift of diamond earrings from their husbands. Not Patty, 58, who said that her husband Bill’s choice for her of flashy, pricey jewelry was the worst gift she’s ever been given. “We couldn’t afford them,” she said. “We had a new baby, a new house, and the last thing I needed was diamond earrings. Bill got them to impress his parents and to compete with his brother. Those stupid earrings didn’t have a thing to do with me or what I wanted or needed.” That was nearly 30 years ago. Bill’s gift prowess has improved since then, and he and Patty are still happily married. The earrings didn’t survive, though—Patty returned them the day after she received them.

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Several people that I interviewed felt that charity donations given in their names also fell into the “All About Me” category. “If it was to one of MY favorite charities that would be different,” says Glenn, a 50-something manager. “Sometimes I think it’s not even about the charity, they think they’ll look altruistic. Either way, it’s not really a gift if you ask me.”

The Obvious Regift
Andrew, 32, was initially delighted to get an elegant Italian dress shirt from his father. “Then I saw that it had his initials monogrammed on the cuff. He hadn’t unfolded it, so maybe didn’t know. Thoughtless.”

Unless it’s a family heirloom, most people feel belittled by a regift. Sometimes the gift itself is great, but what hurts is the knowledge that it wasn’t chosen especially for them. Or that little to no thought at all was put into the gift.

On the other hand, nearly everyone I spoke with had regifted a present at some point. The key to successful regifting is to ask yourself if you would have picked that gift out for that person in the first place — and then be really careful to remove any evidence that this was something that had been given to you.

(MORE: ‘Tis the Season: A Dozen Luxe Holiday Gifts for Him)

Pete’s mom would not be classified as a successful regifter. “She had this book on her coffee table for years. Then one year she wrapped it up and gave it to me for Christmas,” related Pete, 62, who unsurprisingly describes his mother as “cheap.” And that’s the most common reason behind the unsuccessful regift. Others resort to regifting due to poor planning — for example, grabbing something from the closet on your way to the post office or party, out of desperation.

The Statement Gift
In a bizarre twist on the regift, Chelsea’s husband gave her the same Gucci purse — literally the same exact purse — two years in a row. “I loved that purse, it was the best gift I’d ever gotten. I loved it so much I didn’t want to use it because I had two small kids and you know, it would get dirty,” Chelsea, 38, explained. The next year, her husband rewrapped the purse and gave it to her again. “He said since I hadn’t used it, he might as well just give it to me again — now maybe this year I’d use it.”

Chelsea’s husband made his point, and that’s what the statement gift is all about. While gifts are intended to communicate a message of some sort, the story is normally one of affection and caring. Statement gifts, on the other hand, typically offer disapproval or some kind of judgmental commentary aimed at the recipient.

Lori, 40, has received a gorgeous, expensive nightgown from her mother for the last three Christmases. She hasn’t actually been able to wear them though because the nightgowns aren’t really gifts; they’re opportunities for her mother to deliver a message. “It’s always a size or two too small for me,” says Lori, who says she is maybe 15 or 20 pounds overweight. “Then my mother rips it out of my hands and says, ‘Oh that won’t fit will it? You know honey, you’ll never find a husband if you don’t lose weight.’”

(MORE: Why Holiday Season ‘Self-Gifting’ Is Such a Huge Trend)

Terri, 64, remembers with crystal clarity the last Christmas of her high school year. “I dropped hints for over a month about this suede fringe handbag that I wanted so badly,” she recalled. “My parents gave me a set of dishes for my ‘dowry’ instead. They had said they were supportive of my going to college, but this told me that the real goal should be a husband.”

The Well-Meant Misfire
“My best friend gave me an acne solution kit,” shared Jan, 26. “She was absolutely trying to be helpful and thoughtful. She and I had talked about my skin problems. But still, who wants an acne kit for Christmas? At least she gave it to me in private instead of having me unwrap it in front of other people.”

Misfires most often occur when the giver experiences a momentary deficiency of empathy. They weren’t thinking from the point of view of the recipient, but their own. This sort of mistake is easy to make during the rush and stress of the holidays.

“My wife gave me a stuffed teddy bear the first year we were dating. It completely threw me, I thought maybe she was saying I was a little boy or something,” said Alex, 33. “Between that and my poor reaction to the gift, it’s a wonder we made it.”

The worst misfires are those with lasting consequences. Like a living creature. Erin, 34, recalled the Christmas her single mom brought home a puppy. “I think she thought that all kids should have a puppy, but she hadn’t thought it through. Nobody in the house had time to care for a puppy — the training, the vet. It was a mistake. We did love that dog and he lived to 14, but still.”

The Passive-Aggressive Gift
“My mother-in-law takes the cake,” complained Theresa, a 40-something accountant. “One year for Christmas she gave my husband a thick, beautiful cashmere sweater and she gave me a mug that said ‘Scott’s Wife.’ Of course she was smiling and laughing when I opened it, and saying what a great joke it was. But I think it was meant to hurt.”

(MORE: 13 Decadent Holiday Gifts for Her)

Passive aggression is hostility wrapped in soft bunting. It is a special breed of the Statement Gift, and when it is handed over, it is in effect as a weapon meant to deliver blows to the recipient’s ego.

“Last year, I lost almost 25 pounds, and then my so-called friend gives me two pounds of See’s candy for Christmas?” Sheree, 30, griped. “At first I thanked her and was thinking it was a really nice gift. I love See’s candy. But then after I ate half the box and felt disgusted about myself, I realized that it was actually a mean gift. She’s not my friend, she’s jealous.”

“When her dad and I first married, my stepdaughter got me a hideous top in a size XL,” recalled Sue, 50, who typically wears a medium. “Frankly I wondered if her mother actually picked it out to take a little swipe at me.”

The Non-Gift
In households with shared finances, if it was something you would have purchased anyway, it doesn’t count as a gift. Socks, frying pans, and hair brushes have all achieved the “worst gift” designation by the people I’ve spoken with. But the baddest of bad in the non-gift category are major purchases that were made without input from the recipient and laced with a touch of the “all about me” gift.

Lucy, 54, offered one example of such a present: “After I was accepted into graduate school, I spent months researching which computer to buy and was about to get a Mac when my now-ex husband comes home with a Tandy from Radio Shack. He said it was an early Christmas gift. That gift was awful in so many ways. I felt cheated out of a real Christmas gift, plus it wasn’t what I wanted. He pranced around acting like he was so generous, bragged to his parents and our friends. It was in my school budget all along.”

“Have you ever seen those ads with the car with the big bow and wondered, who would buy someone a car for Christmas?” said 30-something Sara. “My husband did. In fact I think it might have been ads like that that gave him the idea. Anyway, I’m still making the payments on my Christmas gift that WE are driving. He’s usually not that dense. I think he thought he’d look like a hero getting that bow and all.”

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If you weren’t already aware, these stories should demonstrate that gift-giving is complicated. It’s time-consuming and expensive. People are pickier than ever about what they’d like, and shoppers are overwhelmed with options. It’s no wonder we don’t hit the mark every time.

But to qualify as a “bad gift,” or to earn the Worst Gift Ever title means the gift isn’t really a gift. It is a missive, a message that comes across as hurtful or just plain thoughtless. And if there’s anything that’s true about good and bad gifts alike, it’s that the thought is what really counts.

Kit Yarrow chairs the psychology department of Golden Gate University and was named as the university’s 2012 Outstanding Scholar for her research in consumer behavior. She is co-author of Gen BuY and is a frequent speaker on topics related to consumer psychology and Generation Y.

218 comments
DumbartonLady
DumbartonLady

I was always amazed at the thoughtless gifts my sister sent me "once" a year.. I would often send her little gifts throughout the years, CDs etc, but Christmas time I sent her quite pricey gifts, like a tablet or boots and cakes she loved.. but without fail she always sent the same thing "a calendar and underpants the never fit me and I never could wear".. ugggg. I hated her gifts and hinted that she did not bother since she was always broke.. anyway.. (but not to buy her kids junk)..We don't talk anymore, and I am kind of glad, she is kind of mean and never sounded to happy when I would call her.

HannaSims
HannaSims

My story is a little different and taught me something. It's true that some gifts are bad and especially if this happens often it gets a little bitter. But to evaluate if someone means well or was in a situation where they couldn't get much, really does make it a little easier to bear.

One christmas, years ago my mother had to go on a trip for work. The most she could get my sister and I were markers and one stuffed animal bear. Our disappointment was apparent though we tried to hide it and we were legitimately upset because we felt we had given her a much more thoughtful and expensive gift (a blender, I think). Our father scolded us and explained how our mother couldn't have found anything else in the time that she was gone. We felt bad and changed our attitudes from then on.


Turns out she did not even have a use for the blender or whatever it was we had given her. I was more sad that we actually didn't get the greatest gift for her but was okay with her reception to it, considering I had just learned a lesson myself.

Funny is that nowadays I get spoiled rotten for Christmas yet I would be happy with a set of markers.

HannaSims
HannaSims

I know we should be grateful for even getting a gift but some I've read about were mean in nature and should never have been given. It may be worse than getting nothing.



michvng59
michvng59

How to react if you were to receive the same Christmas gift that was given by yourself to that giver last year? Should I go tell her?

marymack
marymack

@michvng59 

I had the same thing happen to me.  My friend has some problems with dementia.  Given the circumstances, I thought it was kind of funny.  At least I like the gift, and am using it frequently.  I don't know if I'd tell her, it may have been an innocent mistake.  She may have had a brain fart or something.  If you like the gift, maybe you can enjoy it, and have a chuckle.

michvng59
michvng59

How to react if you were to receive the same Christmas gift that was given by yourself to the giver last year? Should I go tell her?

tigertown2
tigertown2

My parent's were very very thoughtful this year in their gift giving decisions. I could see the time and effort they spent while unwrapping each gift. My mother was having a great day, and when opening the top gift they gave me and my friend for Christmas I realized something. It was that she had bought my friend and I a projector for the house we split. We currently already have one, but the issue is that it can't play 1080p on it because the HDMI port is broken. I know my mom put a lot of thought and effort into everything, but I've don't my research on tons of projectors and know the specs of what's considered a good one and what isn't. She unfortunately bought a cheap Chinese one, and turns out paid a small fortune on it. The projector she bought says it's 1080p capable, and it is, but once you put it you you'd realize the difference in clarity and quality of the one we currently own. There's a HUGE difference in quality. I choose instead of taking it home and lying to her that we use it and get the money's worth to leave it there. The idea was the go to my friend's family dinner afterwards, then head home and call her to explain the situation. My thought was that she could return it and get her money back for such an expensive item that unfortunately would basically be a down grade from what we currently have. I tried calling once at home, no pick up. I call my dad, and I explain the situation to him and he understands where I'm coming from but tells me I need to tell her as well. I explained that I was about to hop in the shower and give her a call and explain things here in a little bit, and he says ok sounds good. About an hour later I get a call from her crying, basically claiming that I'm ungrateful for the gift, and that next year to just expect a gift card. I can't help but feel horrible over this, but I know the re-sale value on the item she got and I would be lucky to get $50 for it. It made me think it would be an even more good idea for her to try and get her money back for it. I tried explaining that I was truly sorry that it came across as ungratefulness, and that I never meant to hurt her in any way. She was so upset crying she could barely talk to me. I really feel horrible. She is a terrific mother and I can't help but wonder if truly would've been better to just lie to her and say that "this is great and I'll get so much use out of it", or do what I felt was the more heart-felt thing to do, and leave it there for her to try to get the fortune she spent on it back. I can't believe I made my mom cry on Christmas day. :[

HannaSims
HannaSims

@tigertown2 Hey, your situation is totally understandable. Your mother took it the wrong way and hopefully will see what you mean eventually. You can try to hug your mom and say you are so sorry that you didn't mean to make her feel that way and try to explain again. It's not your fault but she doesn't understand. I feel the same way about certain things I get and it is often difficult to explain this without others taking it the wrong way. I have often been in the same boat. I just hold onto it usually and buy myself the alternative I wanted.


What you can do is attempt to return it yourself to the company, even without a receipt they may take it though if it shipped from overseas I'm not sure. Also when you get the money back you can decide to use it toward another projector. 

EmilyDeFamily
EmilyDeFamily

Thank you for this article.  it does not feel right me being unhappy and complaining about *bad* presents that I  received  from  my husband over years,  and at the same time it does not feel right to receive those *poor taste* presents.

Our first  Easter together, 15 years ago, my hubs  surprised me with a huge basket of silk flowers.  It felt odd.  He purchased  two similar baskets, one for me, and one for his Mom,  she received  the silk  composition  with joy, and has it  still sitting in her living room. I  was polite,  but got rid of the basket as soon as I could. 

Two years ago at Christmas was ever  worst.  I  received FIVE separately beautifully wrapped big boxes,  each contained  different set of all kind of sizes and shapes  plastic  kitchen containers,  all from Aldi's. Total count of 64 small and big,  shotrt and tall... My self esteem was  crashed. I was embarrassed  to unwrap  them in front of my then 18 stepson who laughed and laughed and laughed,  and our  then 10 years old son,  who felt my pain and got actually mad at his father. 

Last Christmas hubs  gave me 200$ and a card that said: let's go to buy you a  diamond  ring.  It sounded promising, but I received  two other cards with similar wording in past years, and nothing happened. So... nothing happened at that time either. 

Today we were opening gifts once again,  I had one big box from my  sweet husband,  that I opened rather with caution... there were not one, not two, but THREE  cheap  perfume/lotion  combos from Walgreens.  Sweet! Right?  Only I told him two weeks ago: Anything, BUT  perfume,  I can't ware perfume lately,  have headaches. .... So...

Thanks Honey,  You overdid  yourself - again! Yep, I did mention to him how unhappy I was. He got really sad, saying, listen, I do MY BEST.  I asked Walgreens lady for advice,  and that is what  she suggested, all three,  and that is what I got for you.

Really?  What have you been doing at Walgreens at all, sweetie?  This is the WRONG  place to shop  for Christmas present for a significant  one.

I am in my mid 50s, hubs in his mid 60s..... Is there any hope he'd become more thoughtful and romantic ever in our lifetime? a spa day pass maybe? Two tickets to a symphony  orchestra? a small freaking diamond ring finally maybe? Market is filled with beautiful  things, material and non material,  and we are not poor. 

OK done 

Thank you for listening. 

Merry Christmas :)

DumbartonLady
DumbartonLady

@EmilyDeFamily  Some people are just cheap and thoughtless.. you are not.. so just ignore it and don't expect much.

None of my family have ever given me a gift that amounted to anything more than a few $$ and I send a gift worth $$$$ to Each and every person.. I never get anything but garbage back.. My sister send s me cheap underpants each year and complains about the over priced stuff I buy her .. yeah.. she complains. I am me and I know better. IT HURTS.. I have stopped sending gifts altogether now as it seems to be a bigger issue now with the cost of postage which they all complain about..but I might point out,, my rich uncle gets great gifts from them.. Hmmmm. Them who has gets?

katfighting
katfighting

Last year my mum gave my son some books ... Only problem was she was re-gifting something I had bought and some of the pages were torn. I got so mad because she stuffed them into his Santa stocking and he couldn't get anything out easy as I planned so I could video it. Had to turn the camera off and help him. Same year my uncle regifted my Christmas present to him to my mother on her birthday infront of me. Still in the same Christmas wrapping paper. He's someone who uses really old wrapping paper and tape so the paper falls apart in your hands. So the beautifully wrapped gift was a dead give away that it was a regift. My sister returned a ring I chose for her as a child it broke my heart as I thought she would really like it.

KLeess
KLeess

My Husband gave me a car for Christmas last year.  I LOVE IT.  It's a model of car that I have wanted for years.  It's a second hand car that he paid for outright.  Best present I have ever had.

wellgiftedco
wellgiftedco

http://wellgifted.co/ might also help you give better gifts.


​With Well Gifted, a reverse gift registry our team built, you can send gift options, and let the recipient pick the best fit.​

willowfire01
willowfire01

I just sent a relative and her husband a gift idea using E mail.  It might be called 'SPAM' if it weren't for the fact that this party knows me.

revengebunny
revengebunny

My sister-in-law gave me a book on pregnancy for Christmas.  I'm not pregnant.  I've never been pregnant and probably won't be pregnant for at least three more years if ever.    Moreover I think it's one of HER books from when she was pregnant.     It was thoughtless and cruel of her , especially since she knows better.      It was hurtful after I've spent so much effort getting her a gift she would enjoy and one for her child too.      



So this year I'm not going to spend much money on her nor try to be thoughtful. I'm going to buy her something ugly, or useless or clothing that's two sizes too small.    Maybe a book on divorce.       I can be petty too. 

Flaggirl
Flaggirl

My boyfriend of two years gave me an out-of-season Fall garden flag from the clearance section of Lowes the day after Christmas and bragged how he found it for $2!!! The good thing...I will remember this Christmas for the rest of my life...priceless!!!

Anonymous13
Anonymous13

America is way too sensitive these days. People bitch and complain about everything no matter what.

CardenasNaida
CardenasNaida

  Life can be very displeasing especially when we loose the ones we love and cherish so much. in this kind of situation where one loses his/her soul mate there are several dangers engage in it. one may no longer be able to do the things he was doing before then success will be very scarce and happiness will be are. that person was created to be with you for without him things may fall apart. That was my experience late last year. but thank god today i am happy with him again. all thanks goes to Dr. EDIONWE, i was nearly loosing hope until i saw an article on how Dr. EDIONWE could cast a love spell to make lovers come back. There is no harm in trying, i said to my self. i contacted him via email: edionwesolutiontemple@yahoo.com. words will not be enough to appreciate what he has done for me. i have promised to share the good news as long as i live.

AlikaKinimaka
AlikaKinimaka

I truly understand that the thought is what counts...I have said it to myself always, Until, I got  Press On Nails and  Only one( not the packages the come with 6 or more) Scrunchie. It looks like he went to the dollar store!...In this circumstance, I truly would have hoped he would have just gave me a hug and had a nice conversation on my birthday. I guess, I must be worth crap, that is fine, I say to myself,  Just move on!!!!

DumbartonLady
DumbartonLady

@AlikaKinimaka  My rich sister in-law (new) gave me a scrunchi one year.. I gave her an artist set and some beautiful poetry books to make an impression.. She went into her room and wrapped up a scrunchi.. nice one.. She had just sold her house for 1.6 million. My husband was horrified with her.. since he gave her a beautiful ring for her birthday a few months before..She is so stuck on manners and etiquette.. what a hoot! So much for manners!

G.B.
G.B.

Good gift-giving is like good driving - everyone thinks they do it, but always sees when someone else doesn't. I think good gift-giving is like exercising a muscle. It can get stronger if you work at it. Some people, my sister for example, consider a good gift whatever they would want to receive. I take notice of gifts she buys other people and try to give her something similar. She recently told me that I had given her the best gifts of anybody over the years. I said, "You too, Sis!" It made her really, really happy. That made me happy. 

Some people try hard to give the perfect gift to everybody, but manage to get it wrong somehow anyway. My aunt is a great example. Her gifts are always so thoughtful but without fail miss the mark. Last year, she gave my daughter an all pink tutu outfit that would have been perfect for her a couple years back when she was in full-blown "sparkly pink fairy princess" mode. She fell out of that phase hard and never wanted to see pink again thereafter- but on Christmas morning without missing a beat, she said thank you and gave my aunt big smiles and hugs. I was proud. She's eight but already gets the spirit of giving better than many an adult. 

Back to my aunt- she loves to knit. She spends hours upon hours every year making my husband a sweater or mitts or a scarf or a hat. Every year he wears her gift under the tree, in pictures, and all day long until she leaves. This year, he took her gift, which was a red and green sweater, plus Christmas leftovers to an old guy he met while fishing. He lives by himself in a broken down bus near my hub's favorite fishing spot. Living in a cold bus, he appreciated my aunt's sweater in ways that my husband never could. Hot dinner and getting to spend some time with a friend on Christmas were pretty good gifts too, I'll bet. 

Getting nice things from the universe is great. Giving nice things out to the universe is often hard but usually more rewarding too. Instead of feeling disappointed with gifts you receive, have a game of making the very best of the situation. You might be shocked by how much fun you have.

Lalala
Lalala

Also, wives...watch out with your complaints regarding gifts.  For  a number of years, I worked in an upscale retail which is now part of the Macy's chain, and I can remembers husbands coming into the store looking completely out of their depth. They'd spend HOURS looking for what they felt would be the perfect gift for a hard to please wife. The gifts were absolutely BEAUTIFUL scarves or other accessories!  Then the wife would show up a day or so later to return the present and grumbling "I don't know what he was thinking!" Then, they'd exchange the present for the ugliest denim dress they could find.  After awhile you'd get to know the various customers and they'd confide in ya like the clerk was their best friends. If I had $100 for every wife who returned an item and later on complained, "my husband never gives me anything", I'd be richer than Bill Gates and Warren Buffett combined! LOL  The wife who complains too much winds up giftless, and those good gifts wind up going to mistresses. Trust me, I've seen it when I worked in the shops...and the mistress is NEVER ungrateful!

Lalala
Lalala

Some of those folks should be glad they get any gifts at all. I can't tell  you how many birthdays and other events I've gone gift-less over the years. So am grateful for whatever I get.

frankiegogo
frankiegogo

my mother in law  bought me a tin of cookies, ate the cookies, and gave me the empty, except for the crumbs, tin.

repousse
repousse

At the holiday season I tell my family members that I give (and expect) no presents.  You never know what people want, need, or will appreciate. A lot of presents seem to be put away or otherwise disappear, never to be seen again.  Here's what I do instead: I invite all family members (all ten of them) out to a decent restaurant where I pay the bill for everything: drinks, food, and dessert. I tell them this meal is in lieu of gifts at Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Saturnalia, and New Years!  We all have a great time and later on I snap a few digital pictures that I distribute to them online.  What can be better than a fine meal, especially if it is a gift?

AmericanFool
AmericanFool

@repousse I think experiences are a great gift - from a meal out, to a movie or play, to something really different like a chance to drive a race car or covering some or all of travel costs for a group vacation.

Danno
Danno

Worst gift ever... as a well established artist working in oils and sculpture, and well into my 20's, my future was set. (Not really, now I'm a mechanic.)My brilliant sister-in-law, in all seriousness, gave me a paint by number set. Snap!

ssss08
ssss08

My mother would give me clothes in her style and size as I was growing up so that she could "borrow" them from me and we could "share"

AnneWhitaker
AnneWhitaker

One of the best Christmas memories I have growing up come falls into "The Obvious Regift" and "The Statement Gift" categories.  One year, I gave my Dad a Notre Dame long sleeved shirt for his birthday in August.  He told me he loved it but forgot about it when he hung it in his closet.  

A week before Christmas, Mom told him to wear the shirt to church.  He claimed that he didn't have a shirt like that and wore something else.  While he was at work, I sneaked the shirt out of his closet and wrapped it.  I hid the pictures of him opening it under the grandfather clock in the living room because that was a convenient spot near the tree.


On Christmas morning, I gave Dad the shirt.  He gushed about how much he loved it and changed into it to wear to Church.  As he gushed, Mom and I laughed.  He asked what was so funny.  


I replied, "That's what you said last time."  

Then, I pulled out the pictures from under the clock.  We all had a great laugh.  He wore that shirt all the time after that.  

I did include a new gift for him too, but that shirt will always be one of my favorite Christmas memories.

drsaka
drsaka

I was once given a manila file folder (yes, just one) for a Christmas present.

teddy_salad
teddy_salad

First world problems.  Everyone has them, nobody cares.  All we're asking, Kit, is that you please write something meaningful JUST ONCE.

sacredh
sacredh

Who hasn't received a terrible gift? Who hasn't received a gift that started a fight or caused hard feelings? About 9-10 years ago a friend gave me a gift that he'd picked up at a flea market. I always gave him something nice. He always gave me something he got cheap. It turned out it was a collectible worth over 1k. I had it for a couple of years before I found out what it was worth. He insisted I sell it and give him half. I refused. End of friendship. I still have it.

kittycat
kittycat

These people are so ungrateful. Whining because your husband bought you a car? Really?

AnthrostericalCu
AnthrostericalCu

One year for Mother's Day, my husband bought me a toilet roll holder.  It was nice, wrought iron, and had a dagger-like point which I refrained from using on him.  My MIL still laughs about it.  She's great.  

Anniversary present: a pot bellied stove.  Hubs had always wanted one.  We drove it back from Texas to Arizona. Over 1500 miles.  Heaven knows how much extra gas it cost.  Thank goodness gas was around $2 back then.


Another anniversary!  Hubs found a bed on ebay he knew I wanted.  No, not really. It was a faux antique that looked like someone, a Victorian someone, had died in it.  It was so big it could not get up the stairs but had to be hauled  up via a rope and through the window.  My best friend still laughs about and secretly covets.  She can have it.  So far no one else has died in it.  Yet.


Sigh. Is a  gift certificate to Barnes and Noble or Anthropologie so hard to ask?

adamherring1978
adamherring1978

When I was a kid, the worst gifts I received from relatives were socks and underwear. Not to mention, they were never my size. 

LowerContrast
LowerContrast

BTW, buying a Tandy when the woman wanted and HAD the money for a Mac
was just cruel. And, for those who didn't get it--neither was a laptop.
If he bought a Tandy, that was a POS that needed a tape drive to run
while the Mac available at that time was at least using a HD and a full
OS.

LowerContrast
LowerContrast

All the people complaining about "practical" gifts kind of work my last good nerve. I LOVE getting something practical and that I will use because that means the person buying it actually knows something about me. My favorite present of the last decade was the nice upright freezer I got for Christmas a few years back. That freezer is my best friend (so to speak) when favorite cuts of meat go on sale or when a friend who hunts has too much to fit in his own freezers. I'm also a lover of kitchen gadgets and good pans, so those are always welcome. 

It's the smelly gifts of soap, candles and perfume that make me mad because that shows how little one is thinking about me--I have asthma and some of those things can actually send me to the ER.

However, I have learned to say "Thank you!" and then quietly pass the really horrid things along. Someone mentioned books they've already read. Keep them a week, donate them to the local VA hospital, nursing home or shelter and then tell the giver you read them immediately and then shared them with someone else who would love the book(s) as much as you did. Make them feel bad for even broaching the subject, if you must, but at least you know someone will indeed appreciate the books.  (I give the smelly toiletries to the local shelter where I know they will be appreciated/used.)

nevuela
nevuela

@LowerContrast  you have no right to get upset about candles and soaps when you continue to thank people for them and never bother to tell them how they affect your asthma. It's YOUR fault you keep receiving them, because you keep lying to everyone by acting like you like them. You cant' expect anyone to know how they affect you unless you TELL them! Just because your friends and family know you have asthma doesn't mean they know exactly what triggers it. I have asthma too, but perfumes, scented candles and soaps, and most incenses DON'T affect me. Only smoke and dust affects me.

bunnymunro12
bunnymunro12

@LowerContrast

I concur!

If the letter before B weren't stuck on my computer, I would tell you the "non prcticle" doozy from this recent xms!

JessicaLeannaTaft
JessicaLeannaTaft

worst gift ive ever gotten??? MY AUNT GOT ME A BOOK ON COMMON COURTESTY! CALLED "HOW TO BE A LADY!"


davidhoffman
davidhoffman

Christmas needs to return to being a celebration of the winter solstice.  There is no need for personal gifts, just great food, music, and companionship to celebrate making it through the halfway point of the winter season.

jknjknkjn
jknjknkjn

Is this the whiny page where I cry about my first world problems?

Mykalg73
Mykalg73

My family has the right idea when it comes to giving each other gifts - we are ask each other what we want.  Saves getting crappy gifts, and giving people crap they don't want. Problem solved!

dfg
dfg

Well socks may be the cats meow for some people, but needlews to say they didn't bring me much Christmas joy this year. My partner of 15 years got me a tshirt, pair of sweat pants and a pair of wool socks. Yes, that's it. I know it's all about the time spent together, blah blah blah, but where's the love in that? That's stuff I buy myself when I need it; not as a "I love you" gift on the biggest holiday of the year. Call me selfish, but I'd at least like to feel the love... oh, and my son didn't get me anything either except to spend about 2 hours at home. Guess I should be greatful for that...he brought laundry and did it himself.

Jenniferashlee
Jenniferashlee

When did everyone become so ungrateful?  How about NO gifts then.  Jeez.  A bad gift is still time, money and/or consideration spent on you by someone else. 

Chrigid
Chrigid

So she hands me a bottle of Cointreau and says, "I thought you'd like this. It tastes like kerosene."