27 Men And Women Describe The Best And Worst Last-Minute Gifts They’ve Ever Gotten

via Unsplash - Hannah Morgan
via Unsplash – Hannah Morgan


“When I was around 8 or 9 I had a sneaking suspicion Santa Claus wasn’t real and I decided to test it. The months leading up to Christmas my mom kept asking me what I was planning to ask from the big red guy and I always answered, ‘I can’t think of anything I want to ask for.’ This kept up all the way to Christmas Eve and as I was being tucked in that night I said, ‘I’ve decided what I want Santa to bring me. Clay.’ My mom started telling me that Santa had already left the North Pole and it might be too late. I was having none of that and said, ‘It’s something small. Santa can do it.’ Well, Christmas morning comes along and I wake up to an abundance of beautiful, colorful clay. I asked my mom about it a few years back and she confessed she stayed up all night making that clay from an online homemade recipe.

I ended up believing in Santa Claus way longer than any kid should have thanks to my amazing mom.”


2. Hedgehog Exercise

“A hedgehog exercise wheel.

I do not own a hedgehog.”


3. Aunt Accidentally Gives The Best Gift Ever

“I used to get hand me down consoles from my cousins growing up. But one year I got a new copy of Final Fantasy VII for the playstation from an aunt who was making a stop by our house and didn’t want to come empty handed at Christmas. One problem. I didn’t have a playstation. My parents used to get the Sunday paper and every week i would stalk the ads and check out the playstation… its price had changed from 150 to 129… and I suddenly got it in my mind that I could DO 129…

I cleared driveways, mowed lawns, walked pets, watched kids, watered flowers, weeded gardens, fixed bikes, planted trees, mulched beds, and saved my way to the $129 playstation.

I walked into the store with exact change, went home plugged in FF7 and proceeded to have a near-spiritual experience playing that game. I still remember the sound and feeling of that opening sequence.

I didn’t even know what an RPG was. Best present ever.

Edit: Context – Aunt had no plans to get me FF7, no idea what she was buying, no idea what kind of game system I had – it was a last minute impulse buy on her way to our house.”


4. A Surprise Snowmobile

“This was probably 20-22 years ago… We were done unwrapping gifts, and to be perfectly honest I was a little bummed out. Sister had a huge stack of gifts, I had hardly anything and as any 10-12 year old you’d be a little bummed out right?

So it was about 10 or so in the morning, as we were cleaning up… I sat there thinking hard as to how I might have been a bad boy that year. Wasn’t long after all hell broke loose. Dogs started barking, and some dude was out in a santa suit driving a skidoo around the house (we lived out in the country, so lots of open space).

Everyone acted all surprised, but mom and dad were in on it. They had bought me an old Safari 377 (an awesome snowmobile) and stashed it down at my neighbors. On Xmas morning, the neighbor dressed up as santa clause, drove it down the side of a road a couple km’s to get it to our place. Hands down most memorable last minute gift I ever received.”


5. Regifting Done Terribly

“About 10 year ago, my great aunt gave me a hairbrush set containing a mirror, a comb, a large paddle brush and one of those round barrel brushes. Only, when I received it, it was missing the round barrel brush. I know that the brush was in the original set and therefore had been taken out, because I was with my great aunt when she won it at a Christmas raffle a couple of days before.”


6. Ketchup And Lots Of It

“I have received a bag of Ketchup. Not some silly little condiment pack, but a 5 pound commercial bag of ketchup! You would not believe how satisfying it is to hug and cuddle with that much Ketchup.”


7. Teacher Ruins Secret Santa

“Secret Santa gift exchange at school. Everyone else got cool stuff or beautiful handmade pieces of art. I got a small box of cut construction paper. From the teacher.”


8. Twenty-One-Year-Old receives his first gift ever

“I was born and raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I never had Christmas, birthdays, pretty much never got gifts or presents as a child. I left the cult when I turned 20, and on my 21st birthday I had to work the entire day and late evening at the mechanic shop. I was so eager to just get off work and have some legal booze, but a pickup hauling a trailer came in with a really bad flat while they were traveling through. They asked if I would stay and fix it, so I did. Took about an hour working slow paced and the guy who owned the truck was just hanging out and chit chatting. He found out it was my (first) birthday from my boss and went into the store (Sears Auto center connected to a Sears) and bought me a birthday card and put $20 in it with “Have some drinks on me”. He cashed out and left, but put the card in my tool box. It was the first birthday card and ‘present’ I have ever gotten, and honestly when I left it made me feel so good I cried.”


9. The Eternal Apple Slicer

“In my family, a certain apple-slicer has been regifted 3 times over the span of 10 years… it’s like they wait until they think everyone’s forgotten.”


10. Husband Thinks He’s Slick

“Last Christmas my husband procrastinated until 2 days before Christmas and because he hates trying to figure out gifts and shopping he just decided taking me on a surprise trip to New York was easiest. I loved it! But I totally know his thought process and how it happened. He thinks he’s slick.”


11. A Travel Mug

Last year my husband and I were out buying groceries on Christmas Eve and he said he had to make another stop, and I should wait in the car. He came back out with a travel mug and just said, ‘There ya go.’ Merry Christmas to me.


12. A Smut Novel (Used) And A Selfishly Given Wii Controller

“I have two. In high school, an older ‘friend’ and I were doing a gift exchange. We were keeping it under $10.

I got her a very pretty glass Christmas tree that had some candy in it. She gave me a book, a smut novel … that had her mom’s name written on the inside cover, but poorly scribbled out.

I can understand if she didn’t have the money, but the whole gift exchange and budget were her idea.

The other one was from my sister in law. She gave me a Wii Motion Plus controller several years ago. Not a shitty gift on its own, but her reasoning makes it a shitty gift.

We had mentioned months before Christmas that we might give her our Wii because theirs was broken and we never played ours. Then Skyward Sword came out. We got cracked out on that and decided to keep the Wii.

Christmas rolls around and normally we got small, inexpensive gifts from them, so when I opened a $50+ controller, I was shocked. Grateful, but shocked.

Fast forward a few weeks and she brings up the Wii. We told her that we were into Skyward Sword and had decided to keep it. She replied with, ‘Ugh… dude… if I knew you were going to keep it, I wouldn’t have gotten you the Wii controller! I only bought that because I thought I was getting it back!'”


13. Whiskey And White Sauce

“My best friend got me a bottle of whiskey and a packet of powdered white sauce.

They were in the same gift bag, there is zero relation between moderately priced scotch and what i believe is the sauce you use to top lasagna.

To this day I have no idea this gift was intentional or not.”


14. A Half Empty Pouch Of Tobacco

“My university class is very small, and last year we did a secret Santa. I got a half empty pouch of tobacco…

I would have honestly been happier receiving nothing.”


15. A Four-Year-Old’s Idea Of Presents

“I very proudly and with great ceremony presented my mom with a clumsily-wrapped box of tampons – which I’d taken from her bathroom cabinet – in front of all her friends.

4-year-old me had not really gotten the hang of presents yet. 30-year-old me is still living it down.”



“One year my big present was a disposable emergency rain poncho.”


17. The One Thing Grandma Loved

“My grandma is the WORST person to buy for. She’s kinda stubborn about doing things the old (hard) way, even with her MS. She complains every year that we get her things every year because she’s ‘trying to get rid of so much stuff’ in her house. Its unselfish, but still annoying because come on lady its Christmas.

Anyway a couple years ago I was at Target, and they had one of those monthly planner calendars for $1 that had Mickey and Minnie mouse on it. I know she loves Mickey mouse so I picked it up on a whim.

I figured, dumb gift right? Its a calendar. Turns out she LOVED IT. So the next year I got her a candle and a calendar, and the year after that, and the year after that.

Every single year since she tells me ‘I don’t want you buying me tons of stuff. I have too much stuff! …Except for my calendar, thats the gift I look forward to every year.'”


18. A Cake Minus One Slice

“My buddy baked me a cake one time but with one piece missing because he had to ‘make sure it was good.’ Like I knew he was stoned and couldn’t help it, but it was still a pretty endearing bro-on-bro gesture.”


19. The Gift Grandpa Remembers Most

“It didn’t happen to me, but I’d like to share this heartwarming story with you guys.

My grandfather was the oldest boy of the family with 7 kids in total. During some Christmas my great-grandmother told to my grandfather (probably ~10 years old) that there was not enough money to get presents for every kid in the family, so my grandfather would receive nothing and she hoped that he would understand, because he was the oldest. On Christmas eve my grandfather received a present after all and there were one small pack of local candies and a pocketknife. He started crying because he thought that there wasn’t gifts for him. He always said that it was the greatest gift he had ever received.”


20. Frozen Veggies

“One time I received frozen vegetables from my birthday from my meth head sister in law.”


21. Oreos From A Vending Machine

“I was in a train coming back from vacation when I realized it’s my dad’s birthday, bought him a pack of oreo cookies from a vending machine. I still feel bad about this.”


22. A Cruel Prank But Worth It

“This was around when I was 13 or 14 in ’98 or ’99. Growing up I knew the household spending limit for Christmas was ~$150 per kid (only 2 of us) but I really wanted a new computer. I begged and pleaded for one and my parents would joke and tell me no. Christmas morning came I walk out of my bedroom and see a huge gateway box!!!!

I run to it to waste no time in setting it up…. but it’s empty…. my parents laugh at my disappointment. I didn’t expect a computer because I knew they where way past the budget but I was holding out hope. After my parents got me with the 30 seconds of laughing they told me they really got me a computer it’s out the the car but I have to go get it. Best Christmas present ever but horrible way to give it….”


23. Grandma Had Favorites

“My grandmother gave me a pineapple, wrapped in newspaper. She told me she didn’t use real gift wrap because it would just take away from the value of the real gift.

That same year my brother got a disk-man from her. She had favorites.”


24. A Bad Gift That Turned Out Great

I had one that started as ‘worst’ but ended as ‘best’ – an envelope with no card in it, but rather $10 worth of scratch-off lottery tickets, but then one of them won me $100.


25. A Used Shoe Polish Kit With A Note From His Ex

“My girlfriend found a barely-used shoe polish kit in the closet and wrapped it and played it off as a new purchase. It had originally been gifted to me by my ex, and the original birthday note was still tucked in the box…”


26. Regifting Socks

One of my friends borrowed a pair of socks from me then gave them back 2 years later as a “gift” on Christmas.


27. What Mom Really Wants

“I am 60+ and have 4 kids (24 -30) who always ask me what I want for Christmas/ birthday. They are starting out and I loath the idea of them stressing and spending money on stuff just for the sake of spending. What I have done is ask them for a ‘date.’ We have been to the science museum, art museum, zoo, walks, we visited my parents graves, lunch, drinks, etc. This is awesome! It is meaningful, loads of fun (they are wonderful people) and exactly what I want.”

maryg95030 Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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