27 People Reveal The Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received And It’ll Make You Feel Better About Your Own Shitty Christmas Presents

A christmas gift in front of a christmas tree
Unsplash / Ben White

‘Tis the season for terrible gift giving! Reddit asked its users for the worst gifts they’ve ever received, and it’ll make you feel so much better about all those terrible presents your great aunt has been giving you for years.

1. This NSFW wallet

My wife’s grandparents didn’t like me, possibly because we were living together before we got married.

One Christmas — maybe the one we were engaged, I don’t remember — they gave me a package marked “To Ed,” which is not my name.

It held a large old-fashioned portfolio-sized wallet — you know, the kind about the size of a shoe. Leather, with a large bison embossed on the front. The bison was anatomically correct and appeared to be having a personal moment.

— KenPopehat

2. the same gift he gave his dad the year before

I went on a cruise in the Caribbean and brought my Dad back a bottle of spice rum with the spices in the bottle.

A couple of months later, my dad regifted me the exact same bottle for my birthday. He gave me this whole schpiel about where he found it and how special it was. I waited until he was done to remind him where he actually got it.

— TehScrumpy

3. A (third) shaving kit

When I was 11 or 12 I got 3 separate cheap travel shaving kits from one Christmas gathering. I didn’t have any facial hair or anything.

So the third one was my worst gift ever.

— PK_Thundah

4. Cat food

A carton of cat food. I don’t have a cat.

— jiakpng

5. The same CD — twice

I love my dad dearly, but one Christmas he got me “The Eagles: Hell Freezes Over”, which is I guess a live Eagles reunion concert. Throughout my life I had expressed zero interest in the Eagles. I don’t hate them, per se; I just have no interest in them, so the gift was pretty baffling, but whatever.

The very next Christmas, I go to open a small, DVD-shaped package, and it is the exact same fucking DVD. I thought it was a prank at first, but his earnest expression means he had literally no recollection of buying it for me the year before.

So now I have two of these fucking things that I can’t throw away because they’re gifts, and I know my dad meant well.

— jonnyload3

6. A single piece of Tupperware

It’s a toss up between two gifts I’ve received from my in-laws.

A sheathe for a pocket knife, with no knife.


A single piece of Tupperware.

— TheRealGunn

7. Your own sweater

I once got a really nice sweater from my Dad. The only problem with it was a sweater that I had already bought and ordered.

My Dad actually intercepted my mail and found the sweater, repackaged it, and then gave it to me as a “gift” three weeks later.

Thanks, Dad. Thanks for the gift of inconvenience.

— Wahachanka-luta

8. A used halloween magazine

At our Holiday gift exchange in 2nd grade, I got a used Halloween magazine. All pages colored, crosswords and puzzles done. I had my mum out shopping the previous Saturday for cool Hot Wheels and a nice Barbie for the 2 lucky kids who got my gifts.

— PruTech

9. A knock-off barbie

When I was 7, I was at Christmas at my dad’s parents (my grandparents) house with my two cousins, who were of similar age to me. They both got fancy bikes. I got a knock-off Barbie (like, it was a doll that was similar to a Barbie, but not the name brand) in a package that still had the $5.99 price tag attached.

— MrsNacho8000

10.A pack of 3XL panties

A pack of 3XL panties from my grandmother when I was, at best, a M-sized 13 year old girl.

Bonus, last winter I learned this same grandmother has given all the grandkids a $5 bill for christmas every year for the past twenty-some years…except, of course, to me.

– Whazzits

11. A pineapple

My grandmother gave me a pineapple, wrapped in newspaper. She told me that if she were to use real gift wrapping paper, she would have to deduct the cost from the real gift.

I don’t remember what she got my brother that year, if it was the stereo, the disk-man, or the safe – or which one of those I got a little red plastic bucket.

I do remember not being the favorite grandchild tho.

— iouoneusername

12. A box of trash

My son received the worst gift ever from my wife’s parents. My MIL had bought both kids some chocolates and was gonna put $50 inside for them to pick out whatever they wanted. She wrapped my daughter’s and left my son’s out for my FIL to do. Since he ignores most things people say, he ended up pocketing the $50 and eating the chocolates and putting the wrappers inside the box. The next morning my MIL sees the unwrapped box with no cash and assumes the cash is inside. She wrapped the box of trash and gave that to my son for Christmas.

— Its_Gif_Not_Jiff

13. A McChicken sandwich

A still-warm McChicken sandwich for Christmas. My brother “forgot” to buy any of the family a present so he made a pit-stop to McDonalds on the way to dinner. Tried to pass it off as a joke.

— DocTobbogan

14. A Dirty mug

On a class secret santa, I received a mug from a classmate. It had those brown circles inside, which are left by tea. also, the inside of it was scratched and I found a similar one later in a nearby grocery shop for about 1 $. I didn’t even get some sweets or something with it, just the mug in a paper satchel.

— krisztiszitakoto

15. A coupon book

I bought my ex-girlfriend a brand new watch for $300. She bought me a coupon book to local restaurants. Gee, thanks Steph

— norodeotown

16. A pack of tic tacs

I was in a bowling league as a kid and we had a gift exchange. I helped my dad pick out something great to give and I wound up with something decent (a Polly pocket). Another little girl opened hers up and someone actually wrapped up a six pack of tic tac and passed it off as a gift for the exchange the little girl started to cry. My dad felt bad and had me trade her gift for mine. As a kid, I was selfish and like “no” but he insisted and said he would make it up to me. “Fine” I traded with her and she stopped crying and had a huge smile on her face. I don’t remember if he ever made it up to me but that’s not important. He taught me a huge lesson and am forever grateful for it.

— Knightchick08

17. A monogrammed shirt

A monogrammed shirt.

Both the middle initial and size were wrong.

— Back2Bach

18. The Sweater He Was Already Wearing

Not me but my cousin. He was opening a gift from G’ma, face full of excitement as he pulled the sweatshirt out. What was excitement quickly turned to dismay as it was the exact same sweatshirt he was wearing…

— GlennsPencil

19. A game without batteries

My ex-wife’s grandmother once gave this little toy video slot machine game that she got from the dollar store, because she knew “I liked playing all them video games”. When she handed it to me, and before I opened it, her words were, “Merry Christmas, you’ll have to buy your own batteries for it.”

— VictorBlimpmuscle

20. Socks

My older sister and I are from my moms first marriage. One Christmas we got socks from our step-grandparents while my brother (their blood grandson) was given nerf guns, toy cars and lots of candy.

I was 10 and my sister was 12, I don’t think I’ve ever seen my mom that mad before. We were always treated like shit by my step-dads side of the family because “blood is thicker than water”. Thankfully they divorced when I was 15 and she is now in a happy and loving relationship with a great guy who has an awesome family :)

— Niddrie

21. Slices of toast

My great auntie (maternal grandma’s sister) bought us some slices of toast wrapped in paper towels one year. Presented them to us as the Kings presented Jesus with his gold and frankincense. My dad thought it was hilarious. Unfortunately it wasn’t her being a dotty old lady it was her getting back at my mum for inheriting all of my grandma’s money when she died. Her husband was really embarrassed and slipped me and my sister a twenty each when they left.

— ihaveacat92

22. a golf magazine subscription

My grandma got me a subscription to Nicklodeon magazine when I was 10. She kept renewing it every Christmas until I was 17. After that she switched it to golf digest. I don’t even like golf and I still get them every month.

— nigerlet

23. a damaged jigsaw puzzle

At 17 I received an opened, damaged jigsaw of a Fox from my grandparents whilst every single member of my family received meaningful, awesome gifts from them. Guess who’s least favourite grandchild…

— alicenowonderlandtho

24. a plastic Santa outdoor mat

When I was around 12-years-old my grandfather, a wealthy man who had virtually nothing to do with me growing up, gave me a plastic outdoor door mat with Santa’s face on it for Christmas.

I’m glad it came with the receipt because I sure as shit took it back and got my $8.25.

— Wigriff

25. A photo of themselves

One year my grandma gave everyone a framed photo of herself for Christmas.

— littlebitch3467

26. A Jack Daniels Bottle (Without The Jack Daniels)

I told my aunt that I liked Jack Daniels and instead of buying me a bottle of it like most people, for 3 years straight at Christmas, I’ve had Jack Daniels related presents and they’re all as bad as each other. The first year I was given a Jack Daniels lamp. Well when I say lamp, it was an empty Jack Daniels bottle with fairy lights inside. The second year I was given yet another empty Jack Daniels bottle with glitter and water inside which I had no idea what to do with. Last year I got a pair of Jack Daniels sunglasses which broke within a week. Fingers crossed I actually get a bottle with Jack Daniels in it this year.

— sean12349

27. Halo3 (in spanish)

My girlfriend bought me Halo3 …in spanish, withouth the option to change the language. Till this day I remember the small mobs screaming “ayy diabloso” or something like that when they see Master Chief. Las time she bought me No Man’s sky…. She asked me why I dont like it because I didnt look happy, I told her I just don’t like getting gifts….. :|

— maciek-0 Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Callie is a writer, editor, and publisher at Thought Catalog. Her debut book, ‘The Words We Left Behind,’ was released in January 2024.

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