What Is The Worst Christmas Gift You Have Received

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. Principessa

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    December 18, 2008

    You Better Watch Out: This Year the Joke’s on You

    By ALLEN SALKIN

    SOME Christmas presents are heartwarming, thoughtfully capturing the spirit of the season. A new crutch for Tiny Tim comes to mind, or a plane ticket to Paris for a spinster aunt who has always longed to visit Europe.
    Or a wreath covered in electric lights around a weird porcelain monkey head that has its mouth open in a scream.

    Ah, yes. The gag gift.

    The screaming-monkey wreath was the brainchild of Gabe Sebastian, whose family has a tradition of conducting a Christmas morning lottery in which one family member produces, and another wins, the “door prize.”

    Other years had yielded a needlepoint outhouse, a photo of a less-than-fit male family member posing in nothing but a red boa, and a toilet-plunger lamp.
    His wife’s cousin’s wife, Anne Morris, won the drawing, held in Montrose, Colo., in 2003 and unwrapped what Mr. Sebastian had been dreaming up.
    She cursed in fright and turned red. But eventually the group’s laughter replaced shock.

    “People were like, ‘This is what you’ve been talking about for half a decade now?’ ” said Christopher Morris, another relative.

    Few recall the other gifts exchanged that day; everyone remembers the screaming-monkey wreath.

    And that’s just the idea. When it comes to holiday gifts, sincerity can be wonderful. But sometimes stupid wins the day. The gag gift is a stubborn holiday tradition in many families and small circles of long-term friends. Often repeated, with variations, year in and year out, a gag gift can become so elaborate that few remember why or how it all started. Newcomers to family circles are often baffled. Or alarmed. Or disgusted.

    And yet, in a season when the pressures of gift giving — of spending hundreds of dollars in a dismal economy for someone who may or may not appreciate all the effort (and expense) — a gag gift can be just the right way to let some air out.

    “It’s a way to show people you care,” said Jeff Snoonian, a contractor in Haverhill, Mass., who bought himself and his brother matching electric-blue velour jumpsuits and pinkie rings, total cost $90, for Christmas in 2002. “You can think about them and spend money, or you can think about them a little more and do something clever.”

    The year before he gave the velour outfits, Mr. Snoonian put together a grab bag of 99-cent-store gifts.

    “Everyone took a turn and blindly drew,” he said. “You know how people will yell out, ‘Look, I got a sweater?’ Well they were yelling out, ‘Look at me, I got a Jesus air freshener.’ ”

    Mr. Snoonian’s parents had divorced, and the idea of a serious observance of the holiday seemed ridiculous, he said. “The whole day turns into a fiasco because you’re driving here and driving there. I just wanted to make fun of it a little bit.”

    The single-use gag gift is one variety. More common, it seems, is the recurring gag gift, which, like Sorrow the stuffed dog in the novel “The Hotel New Hampshire,” finds a way to pop up year after year.

    There is, for instance, “Steve.”

    When Jenny Lawhorn and Weiman Seid moved into an apartment with three others at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in 1990, they found a framed photo left behind by previous tenants. It showed a young man with a winged haircut. No one knew him. He was named Steve and put on display.
    “After graduation one of the roommates took Steve home, and come Christmas he gave a nicely wrapped gift to Weiman,” Ms. Lawhorn recalled. “Weiman thought he was getting a real gift and was giggle-licious when he opened the gift to find Steve.”

    The next Christmas, Mr. Seid gave the photo to another ex-roommate, who was stunned to see Steve when she tore off the wrapping.

    It was never stated explicitly that the regifting of Steve would continue forever. It has just happened that nearly every year, one of the former roommates unwraps a present and finds Steve.

    “My last brush with Steve was in 2004,” Ms. Lawhorn said, recalling the year she was invited for the holidays to the home of another ex-roommate. “She gave me a box that was the size of a department-store gift box. I assumed she had given me a baby gift, an outfit, because I had just had my daughter.”
    Instead of a onesie, it was Steve, still as he ever was, somewhere in his late teens, smiling.

    “That’s the thing about Steve: you don’t remember he’s around, and you don’t expect him because he only comes around every seven or eight years,” she said.

    Lauren Mullaney, a marketing executive in San Francisco, gave her father, who has a habit of eating off his offspring’s plates, a telescoping fork as a stocking stuffer. To their dismay, he started using it regularly, said her brother, Thomas M. Mullaney.

    *SNIP*

    What Is The Worst Christmas Gift You Have Received? Was it a gag gift or did the giver really think you needed a mother-of-pearl back scratcher?
     
  2. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    I got good presents, I'll say that. The worst was when my aunt's secretary screwed-up the packages and everyone watched me unwrap a doll. It was humiliating because all my cousins laughed. Meanwhile my sister opened her box and got a an electric racing set. Quite quickly the adults figured out whose was whose but I got teased for it no end.
     
  3. CUBE

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    that would be a lawn ornament with these huge ground spikes. i live on the second floor of an apt.
     
  4. nudeyorker

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    A store bought fruitcake, I could not even re-gift it.
     
  5. vince

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    I got a second hand sweater once. It had a hole in the armpit. Kinda sucked.

    My dad often gives stupid gag gifts, but he always backs it up with another, more thoughtful one. Once he gave his sister a salt and pepper set wrapped up in a huge 3 foot by two foot box all wrapped up very fancy. The greedy bitch couldn't wait to open it and made a big show about opening it. She was some pissed off a him.

    One year the same aunt and uncle (they were childless), gave him 50 dollars a week before Christmas and asked him to buy each of us kids something we'd like. Now we had seven kids... lol. So Christmas day they came over and he gave them their present in an envelope... a 50 dollar gift certificate to K-Mart!
     
  6. Garth33

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    REALLY? why? Did you take it out of the wrapper?:rolleyes:
     
  7. nudeyorker

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    No because everyone one who knows me including the dry cleaner like my homemade holiday goodies! If I had re- gifted it the poor person would have thought they were trapped in a parallel universe.
     
  8. Pitbull

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    Getting gifts from folks with Alzheimers is different.

    One year I unwrapped a jar of Bacon Bits.
    My aunt was beaming from ear to ear like she had given me a car.

    A coworker told me one year she got a butter dish.
    Complete with a partly used stick of butter.
    She had a relative who, when someone came over, just went to the refrigerator and wrapped things up and gave them as presents.
     
  9. MickeyLee

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    years of dolls, make-up, perfume, jewelry and pink clothing. all of it horrible, all of it unwanted. it's taken years for my family to accept that while i am female i'm not the girliest of creations.

    best present ever my uncle gave me my first beater ride and taught me how to resurrect her.

    ML
     
  10. Principessa

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    Christmas 1989 a neighbor and good friend of the family gave me a snakeskin lipstick case with a mirror inside when you flipped it open. This sucked because the same year she gave my mom a silk blouse from Bloomingdale's and a sterling silver chafing dish. My father got a cashmere cardigan. I should mention I used to pick up her daughter from KinderCare three days a week because she was always late coming home from the city. Yet, I got the crappiest gift. :wtf2:
     
  11. Pitbull

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    At one place I worked they had a "Secret Santa"
    Even though they had not picked his name a couple of the guys went and got "Steve" a present.
    "Steve" BTW was somewhat pompous and not very well liked.
    The present was one of those cheap blow up dolls with the open mouth and vagina to insert a body part into.
    They blew the doll up and then one of them (the most muscular man I have ever seen in my life) managed to cram this doll into a rather small box.

    When a very excited "Steve" opened the box and was shocked the doll jumped out and hit him in the face amid much laughter (everyone was in on the joke)

    "Steve" was not very good at taking a joke and was steamed for days
     
  12. Pitbull

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    Stopped picking her up when you realized your efforts were not appreciated.
    Poor kid has been at KinderCare for 19 years waiting for you!
     
  13. Box_Man

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    in my family, we have a running gag gift, an ugly, ugly, ugly bar-set. it started when my grandparents gave it to my parents, and they gave it back to them 3 years later. it then went to my aunt, to me, to another aunit, to my great grandma, back to me, and i gave it to my sister as a wedding gift. we always keep track of who has it and are very careful if we get gifst from that person. i should also point out that it gets exchanged for more than just christmas gifts
     
  14. MagicJohnsonFan

    MagicJohnsonFan New Member

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    One year my mother made a point of telling me how long and hard she looked for "just the perfect gift" for her best friend. I don't remember what she gave the friend, but that year she gave me an oven mitt and matching pot holder.

    Believe the woman when she (proudly) says, "I never should have had kids."
     
  15. PornForPatric

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    Long ago, 6 years into a relationship, Christmas rolled around. We drove to see his family that year and sat around opening presents. I gave him a laptop to replace his very old computer. He gave me....a dick cloning kit. Aside from my shock at opening this in front of his family, I was a bit pissed off that it was a present for me to use to make a present for him!
     
  16. Principessa

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    A different neighbor gave their teenaged son speakers for Christmas. They refused to give him the accompanying stereo until he brought his grades up. :irked: I'm not sure but I think that qualifies as child abuse. :mad:
     
  17. MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK

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    Then there was a vid clip from youtube where a kid opened an Xbox package, but no xbox inside. Real cute. Bet they'll be telling the judge that story down the road when the kid's on trial for something.
     
  18. Mem

    Mem
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    :frown1: Sad yet funny :biggrin1:
     
  19. Mem

    Mem
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    The worst gift I ever got was from a family friend when I was young. She was an Avon lady and probably got the items for $1. I got a Giraffe back washer brush. The problem was that the bristles were hard and it hurt to use. My sister got a box from the lady. It was a cardboard box covered in fabric. I guess it was to be used as a small jewelery box.
     
  20. Mem

    Mem
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    The funniest card I ever got was when I was around 10 years old. It was from a family that did not speak English and they gave me a "Happy Birthday Dad" card.
     
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