Uh…Thanks?: 100 People On The Absolute WORST Christmas Present They Ever Got

Shutterstock / Sebastian Gauert
Shutterstock / Sebastian Gauert

1.

“A necklace…that he stole from his mom. I opened it in front of her and she knew immediately. Plus there was a picture of her wearing the same necklace framed on the table next to me.”

—Abbie

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2.

“A selfie. Seriously.”

—Olivia

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3.

“A fifth of whiskey, even though I’m an alcoholic.”

—Clark

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4.

“A Christmas tree ornament. I’m Jewish.”

—Cary

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5.

“My mother gave me a can of creamed corn once. One of the main reasons I don’t talk to her anymore.”

—Matthew

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6.

“My sister wrapped up a framed 5×7 ultrasound picture of her colonoscopy.”

—Tim

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7.

“A gift card from my wacky grandma that only had $1.24 on it.”

—Melinda

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8.

“All-white hamster with red eyes. I pulled it out of the cage, it immediately bit my finger, I threw it down, it ran off, I never saw it again.”

—David

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9.

“I was once given a manila file folder (yes, just one).”

—Draska

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10.

“My husband gave me four sports bras one year while we were still dating. Each one was wrapped separately.”

—Sonya

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11.

“My wife suffers from extreme orthopedic pain. I often give her massages. One year, she gave me a massager…to use on her.”

—Mark

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12.

“My husband’s grandma sent our son a set of steak knives for his very first Christmas.”

—Kate

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13.

“Size 14 pajamas. That would have been great, but I’m a tall size 4. Husband’s grandmother didn’t understand that I’m tall, not large. Love her anyway, though.”

—Tori

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14.

“My brother got a ‘pretend’ Lion King shaving kit…when he was 14. This was just wrong and made us all sad.”

—Kristin

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15.

“Pink Floyd album that was missing the CDs. Turns out the sender took then out to make a copy for themselves first and forgot to put them back in before wrapping!”

—Alan

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16.

“A box of pencils—all in different states of prior use. It’s hard to believe someone went to the trouble to mail it to me, along with a card.”

—Adam

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17.

“When I was six my aunt gave me a wood-burning kit. Within an hour I almost seared off one of my fingers with it.”

—Carlton

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18.

“Roll-on deodorant and 2 bars of soap. Wasn’t quite sure what my grandma was trying to tell me…”

—Lynn

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19.

“Bras and panties…from my parents! Talk about mortified!”

—Pamela

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20.

“A long-distance phone call from one of my old, senile uncles. He yelled at me in Dutch for a half-hour.”

—Mike

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21.

“It was a cardboard banker’s box with firewood and a garlic braid inside. I am completely serious.”

—Cristina

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22.

“One Christmas, my now ex-husband gave me a nicely wrapped Macy’s box with 4 extra-large bags of beef jerky inside and some cash!”

—Kristen

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23.

“I received the worst present possible two years ago from my brother. At the time I’m wearing belt buckles, and he thought it would be a good idea to buy me a belt buckle. So he ended up buying me a belt buckle that you could enter your name into and it would flash with lights. So it ended up just being a scrolling marquee for my belt and so I could kind of see where we were coming from just because I wore belt buckles. It was truly the worst gift I think someone could possibly get, a scrolling LED marquee belt buckle.”

—Shane

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24.

“When I opened up the gift that I was given in front of everybody at dinner, it was a velvet Dachshund wiener dog wrapped in a hotdog bun. It was covered with lint. It was filthy. It was soiled as if a child or maybe a dog had been chewing on it. It was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen. And the woman that gave it to me, I think actually really thought it was neat. Yes. I thought it was a practical joke at first and it turns out she really thought it was a wonderful gift.”

—Tom

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25.

“One year my mother gave me a light pink rabbit fur poncho. 1) I have not worn pink my entire life. 2) I am allergic to rabbit and my mother knows this. And 3) Um…it was a PONCHO! I will never forget that my girlfriend, who was with me when I opened it, casually took it away from me and said, ‘Friends don’t let friends wear ponchos.’”

—Victoria

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26.

“A student gave me a large statue of a naked fertility goddess! That was awkward—I taught 4th grade.”

—Heather

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27.

“A ton of Vegas souvenirs: coffee cups, drinking glasses, a chip & dip set with dice all over them. Vegas is cool but not that cool…And it wasn’t even my trip.”

—Julie

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28.

“One year a student gave me a one-pound box of See’s Candies chocolates. When I opened it, half the chocolate was missing and one had a bite taken out of it.”

—Irene

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29.

“My sister gave me back her birthday present 5 or 6 years later. Not so bad right? Wrong! She had never even unwrapped it, and it was personalized.”

—Marie

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30.

“Giant granny panties with HIDEOUS floral prints and a can of Wind Song. Nothing says love like shopping in the grandma aisle for an 18-year-old…”

—Jen

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31.

“I know my best friend meant well when she gave me an electric bug vacuum, because she knows how much I hate insects. You trap a bug in one end of a tube, then press the trigger to suck the bug into wherever part collected the dead bodies. The whole idea grossed me out so much I never even opened the box!”

—Beth

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32.

“Someone gave me pair of used red suede cowboy boots. And they came with authentic dust.”

—Barbara

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33.

“My ex-boyfriend used to call me ‘Larry’ as a joke instead of ‘Perri.’ For the holidays one year, he gave me a Tiffany’s robin’s-egg blue box. Exciting! Inside, I found a beautiful, initial necklace…but an ‘L,’ for Larry. I tried wearing it, but it was too hard to explain why the pricey jewelry had the wrong letter. To this day, I’m still in search of a best friend whose name starts with an L so I can pass it along.”

—Perri

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34.

“A book of etiquette from my mother-in-law.”

—Maureen

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35.

“My grandmother gave me a large, brown stuffed toad that she bought in Guatemala. I was about 14 years old.”

—Tim

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36.

“One year, when I was about 12, I got a boxed set on ‘How to Play Contract Bridge.’ It was very puzzling—I had never expressed an interest in bridge or any other card game. I never opened the box. Decades on, I still have a strong prejudice against the game because of that strange, disappointing Christmas gift.”

—Dinah

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37.

“Snow pants. I was 10 years old and really, really wanted a book on Pompeii.”

—Homer

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38.

“A Harrah’s Casino coffee mug full of quarters given to me by my grandparents. The mug read, ‘Life begins at 21!’ I was 9.”

—Sharon

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39.

“I got a bird feeder last Christmas from my parents. I am 28 and have no interest in bird feeders.”

—Dave

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40.

“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

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41.

“My worst: a rifle-toting, battery-powered toy soldier that crawled along the floor on his elbows. I was at least 32 and it was my ex-wife who gave it to me.”

—Esteban

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42.

“My father came home from New York City with a big gift when I was 8. It turned out to be a sturdy blue suitcase with my initials in gold by the handle. I was worried from then on when I was going to be sent away.”

—Victoria

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43.

“When I was a kid, I had an uncle who was in the garment business. Maternity lingerie, to be specific. Every year I would get nightgowns (with these weird slits) and pantyhose with big lacy tops big enough to cover a watermelon. Needless to say I thought the nightgowns were just rejects from his factory and the pantyhose were just too big.”

—Patricia

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44.

“I should have known my marriage was over when I got ice cube trays from my husband for Christmas. I’d survived the coffee-pot-when-I-didn’t-drink-coffee year. And the year of three boxes of clothes all in the wrong size. But ice-cube trays? The message was clear. I just didn’t see it for another few years.”

—Peggy

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45.

“A toilet paper holder made of a wire coat hanger and lace, which gave the receiver the ability to tastefully display extra rolls of toilet paper above the tank to prevent unfortunate shortages. Bless her heart, my aunt made these for everybody and really thought they were something.”

—Kristin

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46.

“Dawn dish soap. I was 14. I guess somebody forgot to get me a gift, so they raided the cupboards. It was in a Happy Birthday bag.”

—Tara

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47.

“One year I was given a poorly Photoshopped photo of a friend of mine (not even the person who gave the gift) and a ball of tangled Christmas lights that were never intended to be untangled (it was ‘art’). To this day, I find it both confusing and epic. Returning the favor, the worst gift I’ve ever given was a used garden hose that was missing one end, so it was virtually non-functional.”

—Jameson

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48.

“I thought fruitcakes went out of style a couple of decades ago, but I did receive a particularly terrible fruitcake from a client in 2012. Of course she called it ‘holiday bread,’ but we both knew what it was. You can’t hide a fruitcake.”

—Ryan

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49.

“I was once given a bag of Starbucks coffee grounds. When I went to go use it I found that it was expired by 4 years….The question is, do I re-gift or not?”

–Kris

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50.

“I got a gift card to an AMC theater; pretty awesome except the closest one is 3 hours away in Atlanta.”

—Travis

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51.

“The worst gift I ever received, hands down, was a gallon tub of nacho cheese dip. The stuff goes bad after one month after you open it. Who can eat a gallon in one month?”

—Michael

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52.

“Oh boy, so I would say the worst gift someone every gave me was a little stress ball. That being because it is filled with liquidy stuff and actually exploded in my hand and the goo was everywhere! On the walls, on my keyboard and on my clothes!”

—Deema

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53.

“A kitten. I had no intention of owning a pet and nowhere near the time to do any sort of training.”

—Eric

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54.

“My sister got a sleep sack one year…it was essentially a burlap sack with arm/leg holes and a hole for your head. It was not very form-flattering. Needless to say, it was immediately re-gifted.”

—Tyler

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55.

“My (now deceased) evil whisky voiced, chain smoking step grandmother used to knit me an itchy, too small cable knit sweater every year for Christmas. I then had to wear the thing for the rest of the day. As a bonus, she would knit a matching too small cable knit sweater for my dad. I don’t remember him wearing his all day.”

—Al

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56.

“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.’”

—Nick

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57.

“My husband, bless his heart, is not the best at gift-giving. For our first married Christmas he gave me a paper shredder and a wind-up flashlight for our emergency kit. Last year he gave me an ugly hat and a stocking full of ChapStick. He’s super offended that I never wear the hat.”

—Kayla

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58.

“The weirdest gift I ever received was from my sweet, if a little misguided aunt. At a conference, she picked up a condom in a key chain that had an outdated ’90s Nike logo on the side that said: ‘Just use it.’ For some reason, she thought of me, and I honestly didn’t know what to think, but giggled uncomfortably and thanked her. The last thing you want at Christmas is for your family to think you’re a man-whore, especially when it’s unfounded. However, it made for a hilarious re-gift, so it all worked out in the end.”

—Patrick

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59.

“Once, an old family friend who was in his 70s gave me a Bundt pan. It was wrapped in old, wrinkled paper. When I took off the paper, I saw a box that looked like it was at least 30 years old. It had turned brown and had obviously been opened before. Inside was the Bundt pan that was pictured on the box along with the crumbles and outline of a cake that had been baked in the pan. My initial thought was: ‘How dare he give me a used and dirty pan?’ However, after some thought, I remembered how his wife, a woman I loved dearly, loved to bake. I imagined her using this pan and baking one final cake before she passed away. Then, that pan became one of my favorite kitchen items. I keep it in a place of honor in my kitchen with the crumbles still intact.”

—Stephanie

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60.

“At my previous job, we had a holiday party where everyone drew numbers to a corresponding gift. I ‘won’ press-on sticker nails and a bar of soap. Compared to the masses of store and iTunes gift cards, movies and cute office décor exchanged amongst staff, I wondered what this person was thinking. I no longer work there for various reasons, but sticker nails got the ball rolling.”

—Sheila

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61.

“My wife has bought me Catch Me If You Can (great movie btw) not once, twice, but three times as Christmas presents. The third time I just burst out laughing thinking it was a joke…it wasn’t.”

—Ben

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62.

“Wooden toilet seat. From my mum. It was wrapped and everything. 20 years later I still have no bloody idea what the hell.”

—Luke

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63.

“A Hanukkah card with a gift card for a plus-size women’s dress shop. I’m Christian and had lost a bunch of post-baby weight. A couple of cups of eggnog and I laughed it off.”

—Frances

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64.

“Paper plates, plastic cups, and plastic ware from Costco.”

—Amanda

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65.

“A pair of army green, orange and brown Aztec print slippers! Horrendous. And from a boyfriend no less.”

—Renee

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66.

“My mom gave me an empty box, and gave my sister the bracelet that went inside of it. I was an extremely sad child lol.”

—Alyssa

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67.

“My aunt and uncle got me a clock shaped like a tire when I was like 15.”

—Hunter

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68.

“A toothbrush holder and toothbrush for my unborn child. I wasn’t pregnant. Pushy much?”

—Melinda

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69.

“The worst gift I ever got would have to be a gift certificate to Outback Steakhouse (which would be awesome if I didn’t happen to be a vegetarian!). Oh well, it’s the thought that counts!”

—Geoff

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70.

“Worst present ever: During a long stretch in high school when everything I wore was black and gothy and emo, my (estranged) grandfather gave me a pink children’s sweater from K-mart. It was a size kid’s 6X and might have fit over my left calf if I was into one-legged, pink, leg warmers with sleeves. Luckily, he left the top of the tag attached so I was able to take it back to K-mart, where (after waiting in line for an hour) the lady at Returns told me that the original price of the sweater was 89 cents. I took the voucher and traded it in for kitty litter, which I had to pay an extra dollar for myself to make up the difference. So that’s my worst present ever. Owing a dollar for kitty litter.”

—Jenny

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71.

“A The Breakfast Club movie poster. I don’t even like that movie… ?”

—Katy

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72.

“I received a second-hand copy of Shania Twain’s biography…I’m still confused.”

—Molly

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73.

“Hubs and I got a duck toilet paper holder. It’s a standing duck that ‘holds’ toilet paper in between its wings. I just don’t understand considering we don’t hunt and it in no way fits in with the decor of our house. We are still having a good laugh about it, though!”

—Ginger

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74.

“I got a Red Lobster gift card for $10. Firstly, what can you get there for ten dollars? Secondly, I’m allergic to any kind of fish.”

—Helen

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75.

“One of my clients handed me a bottle of wine and said, ‘I KNOW you don’t drink alcohol…but this is my FAVORITE bottle of wine!’”

—Sandy

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76.

“A razor and deodorant. I said to him, are you trying to tell me something here?”

—Megan

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77.

“A college boyfriend gave me a diamond necklace. I later found out that he stole the money from his roommates to buy it. I felt pretty terrible, but I totally kept that s**t.”

—Colleen

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78.

“An old boyfriend gave me a bridal magazine and a wedding planner. He never proposed and we never spoke of marriage. He just arrogantly assumed I’d be all over it. Uh, no thanks.”

—Jessica

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79.

“Have you ever seen those display boxes of candy? The big Russell Stover boxes that look like full boxes of candy but aren’t full of anything but air? Yep. Got one of those one year.”

—Missy

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80.

“My former mother-in-law bought me a hunter green turtleneck dickey. (Every time I think of a dickey, I picture Randy Quaid as Eddie in Christmas Vacation.) Oh, and there were also little ankle socks to match. I was like 28 at the time and had not worn ankle socks since childhood.”

—Tracey

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81.

“Poop Faux Pas: Many years ago I was interested in doing some gardening in the backyard of the home we had recently purchased. On Christmas Day my husband led me to the garage where a 50-pound bag of manure and a new shovel awaited. That was it-his entire thoughtful gift. A few years later, we were divorced. His greatest sin that year-he didn’t even bother wrapping it!”

—Anne

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82.

“I was 15 and it was an over-sized burgundy jumper upon which was the drawing of a skull and crossbones wrapped in a Confederate flag, and emblazoned underneath it the legend: ‘Mess with the best, die like the rest,’ all written in a medieval-style font. To this day, despite having trawled the charity shops (and skips) of every town and city I have ever visited over the last 25 years, I have never seen anything that’s comparable in terms of its sheer, toe-curling awfulness. I wasn’t going to say who gave it to me for fear of hurting their feelings, but then I remembered my nan doesn’t have internet access at her sheltered accommodation—so, thanks for nothing old woman!”

—Nathan

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83.

“My worst ever Christmas present was probably a life-size cuddly Garfield the cat. I was 25. Another really bad one was a Sex & The City perfume set—real fans will understand why that was a stinker.”

—Claire

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84.

“My dad and my step-mom gave me a menorah for Christmas. They thought it was a ring holder.”

—Vickie

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85.

“Ping-pong balls and paddle. I had no table. I was 12 years of age.”

—Lee

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86.

“A signed Rush Limbaugh book. Lol! Made a good fire-starter.”

—Jeffry

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87.

“When we were kids, we got empty beer cans and dog food in our stockings. Drunk uncle thought it was funny. My younger sister was devastated.”

—Vicky

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88.

“From my husband’s family over the last few years: a two-foot statue of the Pope—yes, we are Catholic, but really? Where do I put this thing? A 3-foot-tall stuffed chili pepper that sings ‘hot, hot, hot’ when squeezed. Very funny, not! And this year—a 4-foot-tall black stuffed bear holding a welcome sign that reverses from English to French that they think I’d love to put on my front porch! Notice how everything is getting taller? They are not being rude, just really tacky people with no sense of humor.”

—Jody

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89.

“Mine was turtles. Not only did my husband forget my birthday that year, he gave me a box a week later. When I opened the box it had three turtles inside. I was so angry, I looked at him like he was crazy. He said, ‘I figured you would want this because you said that when you were younger you had one and it died.’”

—Julie

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90.

“My Sis-in-law to be gave me an iron and an ironing board at my Bridal shower. So romantic. It went downhill from there, but at her baby shower I gave her a breast pump!”

—Jean

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91.

“Worst (oddest) I once got a whole 4 pack of toilet paper from my mother in law. Think she was trying to tell me something?”

—Chris

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92.

“My older brother was notorious for throwing gifts together at the last minute. His freshman year of college he got me a ‘gently used’ T-shirt unwrapped and very wrinkled that featured the university mascot and the words ‘Spring ’92 Intramural Champs.’ What every boy has always wanted.”

—Matt

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93.

“The worst gift I ever got was definitely the curly, glittery shoelaces I got from Aunt Marion. They were terrible on many different levels.”

—Andy

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94.

“I had an eccentric aunt who was landlord over several small, rundown rent houses. She was a hoarder and to her, these often suddenly abandoned wrecks were a treasure trove. She was a sweet old thing and liked to share her findings. When I was 12 she gave me an inflatable pool with holes in it for my birthday. At Christmas a few years later she gave me a shoebox full of used brush hair curlers, complete with bits of hair from a former tenant.”

—Nancy

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95.

“My mother’s husband has given me both a fire alarm for Christmas and a nose hair trimmer for my birthday. Kind of awful presents but he is really a nice guy. He also gave my mother a ladder as a birthday present, and another year a fire extinguisher.”

—Helene

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96.

“A lacy, cream-colored, silk blouse with a scalloped collar and pearl buttons.”

—Joel

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97.

“For Christmas one year, my dad gave me a stack of Calvin and Hobbes books. I was thrilled (I love C & H) until I realized they had barcode stickers on them…and stamps on the inside cover from the local public library. He laughed about it during the entire duration of the two weeks until they were due back.”

—Arjuna

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98.

“As a teenager, my mother gave me a Thomas Clark collectible gnome as a gift. I think the name of the gnome was “Peanut.” Not wanting to hurt her feelings, I waxed on about how much I loved it. This resulted in more gnome offerings every birthday and Christmas…for years. I ultimately obtained a collection of around 40 of the little pointy-hatted creatures before I finally told my mom that I was overwhelmed. They still live in a box somewhere in my attic awaiting future generations or eBay.”

—Frank

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99.

“The worst present I ever received was a half-used crayon set painstakingly stuffed into a dental floss container. It was an anonymous gift, so I never knew who gave it. I assume I was being mocked because I was terrible at art and I had buck teeth.”

—Shiva

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100.

“A paperback book of limericks and a record album from a man I thought I was in a serious relationship with. It was our first Christmas together after six months of dating. I had taken several days shopping around, and purchased him a pair of exquisite marble and brass bookends. I wish I could say that I tossed both him and his crappy gifts out the door, but it took until Valentine’s Day for me to truly appreciate that he was a horse’s ass (and not just a poor gift giver.)”

—Jann Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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