76 Of The Most Disappointing And Outright Cruel Christmas Presents Ever Received, As Shared By People Online

Deck the halls with boughs of holly

Fa la la la la, la la la la

Give the kids some burnt broccoli 

Fa la la…wait what???

Christmas is right around the frozen riverbend, and most of us have been racking our brains for ideas of what to get our beloved people and pets. It’s gotta be something they’ll enjoy, something they might use, or something that won’t make them cry upon unwrapping. 

It doesn’t seem like too much to ask, and people with a semblance of empathy and soul should be able to give a gift that won’t leave a trace of trauma. However, many have not been so lucky, memories of horrid Christmas presents continuing to haunt them each and every year since. Thanks to r/AskReddit, today we are bringing you a list even the Grinch would be appalled at.

You guessed it, we’re talking about the worst Christmas gifts people have ever received. Make sure to upvote your favorites and share your own experiences in the comments below. And if you're craving some more horrid gift stories, here's one, but if you'd like something nice for a change, here's an article full of sweetness. Now let’s deck into it! 

More info: Reddit


A set of miniature butter knives with ceramic fruit and vegetables as the handles.
From an aunt who said that
I was "So hard to shop for"

I was 7

Image credits: vodkaenthusiast89

Gift-giving and Christmas are two things that are difficult to imagine separately, similar to caramel and salt, or, to be more festive, hot chocolate and marshmallows. One colleague of mine has recently revealed that they prefer their cocoa plain, without any toppings, and to that I say, bit sad innit? I go all out—add fricking everything you got! But I digress. 

The wonderful community of r/AskReddit got asked the very difficult question: “What’s the worst Christmas present you have ever received?” Sadly, hundreds of comments followed, with people sharing their stories of heartbreak, forced smiles, and unfathomable questioning of the festive season and life itself. 


Titanic DVD, pirated copy, already seen it before twice, didn't have a case, just had Titanic written in marker pen, it didn't belong to the person who gifted it, the DVD was SCRATCHED AND DIDN'T EVEN PLAY!

Image credits: toKenblaKKman


When the tamagotchi craze was in full swing my siblings and I asked for one.

My sisters both got one, and I got a jacket because mine was torn up and small.

When I asked my dad why I didn't get one and if Santa thought I did something bad that year. He told me I was too old for Santa and needed to learn life isn't fair.

I was 8.
My sisters were 7 and 5.

From that point forward I only ever received clothing.

Image credits: dariusz2k

From absolutely nothing to the traditional lump of coal, to gifts being re-gifted back to the original gifter one year later, it’s hard not to feel sorry for lots of these fine Reddit folk. There’s no worse day to realize that you mean very little to your relatives or loved ones than the one day the Western world glorifies as the day of family unity and love. 

As for myself, the one “bad” gift I recall from my youth (it wasn’t bad, just confusing) was a ceramic elephant the size of a dollhouse from my grandma. I really wanted a dollhouse that year, so I got super excited, only to find this ridiculous thing I couldn’t even use. We still laugh about the elephant to this day, the fancy gift being a stool for a little houseplant. 


A diet book. I was 15. Thanks grandma, that became an eating disorder!

Image credits: TanichcaF


When I was eight or nine, my grandma gave me a Christmas ornament. It was a little stuffed cherub with pink cheeks and yarn hair.

I cried because I had saved up my allowance to buy it for her the year before.

Image credits: DogtownPD


The year I gave my ex husband a Tag Heuer watch he gave me a $19.99 Walmart blender. We already had 3 blenders.

Image credits: tealgrayone

When did we decide that the middle of winter was a great time for some gift exchanging to happen? Is Christmas really just a modern consumerist’s daydream? According to Love to Know, the gifts given at Christmas are symbolic of the tributes made to baby Jesus by the Three Wise Men after his birth. A modern interpretation of the custom is the recognition that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday, furthering the notion of gift-giving. 

However, the custom of giving presents during the middle of winter dates back long before the birth of Jesus. Many early cultures, such as the Romans and the Norse, had winter solstice festivals that included gift-giving. One such event was the Saturnalia celebration, when the Roman pagan god of agriculture, Saturn, was celebrated on December 17. 

According to History.com, Saturnalia was a day when slaves would be considered equal to their masters and free speech was embraced. It also included the exchanging of pottery figurines, sigillaria, described as symbols of human sacrifice once practiced as part of past pagan celebrations. This tradition was one of the many customs adopted by Christianity as a way to merge these cultures together. 


A case of Slim-Fast. Was I overweight? Yes, but my (not so) passive aggressive ex sister-in-law was a b***h. She fairly soon after was talking about weight loss items and specifically told my then-wife and I we should never use products like Slim-Fast as they will poison you. I can't decide if she was trying to kill me or was just a stupid a*****e.

Image credits: IdahoPatMan


I am a single guy.

I think I’m a horrible gift giver. My sisters and brother tell me what my nieces and nephews want.

But in the end all I do is just make a contribution in their college savings accounts. $500 for birthday and $500 for Christmas for each of them. My hope is that they will appreciate it when they get older.

I love them all very much and I would do anything for them.


When my dad was young he was hell-bent on becoming a drummer. He would make full drum kits out of my grandmother's pots and pans and whatever he could find. Very detailed setups. After months and months of building drum sets and drumming on anything, he could find he woke up Christmas morning…to acoustic guitar and guitar lessons.

He told me he took a few lessons and would always end up flipping the guitar over in the class with the other students and just play it like bongos.

Image credits: Swarhammer

What followed was the emergence of various gift-givers. St. Nicholas was the most prominent figure in many European countries, morphing into Father Christmas, and then the well-loved Santa Claus. There’s also Christkind, La Befana, Babadimri, Jõuluvana, Senis Šaltis, Baba Noël and The Smallest Camel. 

As explained by GiftsInternational, in the 20th century USA, Christmas became a phenomenon. The boom of the American dream and times of economic prosperity after World War Two fuelled a whole industry around the holiday. Instead of being a religious endeavor, it pushed the focus toward the material aspects, such as decorating the home, buying gifts, and preparing meals, emphasizing it all as the best way to enjoy the celebration.

Although the commercialization of the festive season has come under a lot of criticism, some arguing that it obscures the true meaning of Christmas, it’s important to consider the fact that people give gifts to show their appreciation and love for others. But what happens when the gifts show the complete opposite of that? 


I flat out got a lump of coal when I was 11 or 12. I was such a handful s**t head kid man. I deserved that lump of coal.

Image credits: junk-trunk


A $100 bill. I was dating and living with an ex at the time. For Christmas he wanted a very fancy and very specific looking button up shirt. I spent a month making him the shirt and making sure it was perfect. I also made us a nice Christmas dinner with some fun drinks. Christmas morning rolls around and I give him his shirt, he tries it on and loves it! Yay! He then gets a panicked look and his face, reaches in his pocket, pulls a $100 out of his wallet, and says "Um....here ya go. My friends are coming over today so...you have somewhere to be, right?" Basically he was paying me to leave. But the bright side was, I knew right then and there how he actually felt about me. He was dumped before for the new year.


My husbands step mother gave me, a 36 year old at the time, a kindergarten size back pack and when I opened it she said, “I actually bought that for ——- (a child) a few years ago and she hated it so I threw it in a closet and I saw it and thought you’d like it. None of us did, we all think it’s ugly.”

That same year they gave my 3 kids gifts totaling all together $15 with the clearance stickers on them while her biological granddaughter opened a $300 unicorn. Which they made sure we knew cost $300, and then they pointed out to everyone our clearance stickers and what great deals they were (they weren’t), and then they made my kids leave the room so the grand daughter could take pics alone with her unicorn.

It was the last Christmas we visited them. lol

Yamile Torres, a psychologist at Tecnológico de Monterrey, argues that receiving a gift that you don’t like may feel like you’re not being validated as a person. “On a psycho-emotional level, you don’t feel observed; that gift without any words indicates that ‘I did not observe you, I was not interested in you. There is no recognition, you are not important to me,’” he explains.

Sometimes it may happen by accident—the ‘I wanted to do the best I could but it didn’t work out this time’—but it’s more perplexing when someone gives a rotten gift on purpose. Deborah Y. Cohn, an associate professor of marketing, argues that there are 5 types of inconsiderate gifts: confrontational (gifts that are essentially personal affronts), selfish (gifts that benefit givers more than recipients), aggressive (meant to offend), obligatory, competitive (intended to out-gift someone else). 

The best thing to do when receiving one of these gifts is to say ‘thank you.’ Don’t let it affect you too badly unless you know the person’s intention is to directly harm you. A conversation between the two of you should follow in that case, to get you closer to a middle ground. If they can’t be reasoned with, maybe don’t spend Christmas with them. Lastly, donate or sell the gifts you don’t like; you know what they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. 


A goose. Like, a real life full sized female goose. It was fun tho, I named her Rufina

Image credits: salsamexa


A book entitled, "How to Help Kids Cope with Divorce", given to me by my husband (at the time) on Christmas morning, in front of our kids....

...Who we hadn't yet told about the impending divorce, yet.

Oh, yes, and there was that one time he bought me "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husband's."

Image credits: 8MCM1


A bottle of raccoon urine. Not joking. A completely sealed, brand new bottle of raccoon urine.

Image credits: omfgbrb

Regardless of everything, Christmas is coming! You don’t have to follow any stereotypes to have a good time, especially as these days the prices are higher than high, so gifts may not be as fancy as before. And they don’t have to be! Just make sure it comes from the heart and it’ll all be well. 

As you continue reading through the stories, make sure you upvote your favorites, or those that you find most heartbreaking. Either or works. Leave your thoughts in the comments below, maybe share your own horrid gifts if you have those kinds of stories, and I shall see you in the next one! Toodaloo! 


So one year, my mil asked (read:demanded) that I knit a scarf for her for Christmas. She was very specific on colors and style and called several times during December to check on the status of it She opened it on Christmas day and was absolutely delighted with it and immediately put it on. Then she started to hand out her presents. Tons of stuff to the kids, my husband, her husband, her other son, and her other DIL. Nothing for me. Then I heard 'OMG, I FORGOT PRESENTS FOR YOU!' and I turned around and found her talking to my cat.

She brought the cat presents later. No, I did not get anything.


A used cookbook, graciously given to me by the same people that gave my little sister a full snowboarding set, snowboard and all that other stuff you use when you snowboard


Nothing. My parents are Muslim and Christmas was f*****g miserable every year. I'd go back to school after winter break and hear about all the cool stuff my classmates got while I got nothing. Imagine what that does to a kid over the years.

Now as a parent, I spoil my son every Christmas. I don't believe in religion but every kid deserves Christmas.

F**k you mom and dad. You were s****y parents. Rant over

Image credits: Cuss-Mustard


The information that my parents were getting a divorce when I was 12.

The Christmas spirit in me died that day.


I’m 2 years older than my sister. When she was 5 we walked up to the tree a couple weeks before Christmas and found a huge box with her name on it. I was pissssed. I would cry and she would brag about it every night.

Then Christmas came and she opened the huge box. It was a large reading lamp. She couldn’t stop crying, I couldn’t stop laughing.

Best Christmas ever. Wait what was the question?

Image credits: vgavaldo


Sensory toys. Very degrading. It's like my mom didn't know what I would like, so instead of asking any of my siblings, she took my autism and just picked out a random bundle of sensory toys on Craigslist. I haven't used sensory toys since I was 10. I just wish she would put more thought into it, yknow? It would have been better if she didn't get me anything at all.


My dad, his first christmas divorced and living alone, first time ever shopping for us clearly lmao because my mom did all the shopping before, got me a nose hair trimmer...

I was 12.

And definitely did not understand why I got that gift.


When I was 12 I bought myself a kindle. Me and my sister spent an entire summer working for our grandpa and stepdad to save up for them, each of us spending about 200$. My mom got all 3 of my brothers a kindle for Christmas and I got some Clothes from old navy.

I was livid and when I talked to my mom about it she told me that my sister and I had been excluding our brothers from hanging out while we played videogames and it was unfair. She never apologized or saw anything wrong with what she did, and I honestly still haven't forgiven her almost a decade later.


My boyfriend got me a can of pears last year.


Eons ago I worked for a company owned by the richest man in Minnesota. One year, all of us peons (and there were a couple thousand of us) got a copy of his book; it was al about how he became the richest man in Minnesota.

Cheap bastard.


I hate soap bags. I get at least one every year. I have never once worn through a soap bag.

One year i came home for Christmas.

made the dinner. 11 courses/sides etc.

Got up at 6am to start making it.

Presents opening at 9.00 am my parents get me a posh leather soap bag. I hate it. In side is a mediocre bottle of after shave that i will feel compelled to keep but will never use.

I kick off cos tired stressed drunk, bit of a d**k

I rant about the no thought present.

Joining us for Christmas is my aunt. Recently divorced, son committed suicide.

I open her present next.

A s****y soap bag and a really cheap bottle of aftershave

And Thats how i ruined Christmas

Image credits: BuzzAllWin


A barrel of Quaker Oats. It was f*****g hilarious though

Image credits: JarlBum


This was actually a recent one. Been with my girlfriend for like 2-3 years now. Her family considers me a part of their family, but my girlfriend’s mom, and aunt, are probably the most hypocritical and bat s**t insane people you could ever meet. Aunt believes that if you use a gps you are a b***h that doesn’t deserve to live in that state (she proceeded to get everyone lost when she was driving us around on vacation. She lives in Florida for 27 years by that time). The mom is a manipulative narcissist, that actually said to my girlfriend and a mutual friend of ours that the only reason she has my girlfriend around is because she is the person that she uses to let her anger out on, (I.e. yells about nonsensical c**p, pushes her, or makes her feel like she is worth nothing 24/7).

For Christmas, I went over to my girlfriend’s home to celebrate with them before celebrating with my girlfriend t my house. Got a present from the aunt who sent something over. I received, a single rubber duck, that had the bottom torn out, a note was stuffed in the opening, and on that note, was the sentence, “If you are reading this, you killed the birdie!”, and a painted rock that was just painted black with the words “best buds” on it.

The mom was the worst one though, I got a nutcracker. I didn’t fully understand it at the time. But I finally got it when my girlfriend’s dad took me aside and said in a hushed tone, “I’m sorry for the gift, but Tray has given that to [eldest daughters] boyfriends as a threat.”

That’s right, I got a broken rubber duck that blamed me for killing it, a painted rock, and a threat that if I did ANYTHING to hurt my girlfriend (more than what the mom already does), that her mother will use the NUTCRACKER.


A ceramic jar for holding dog treats when I was 15 when we had JUST given him away. Miss u Rascal


The Christmas after my grandmother passed away, my aunt gave us all the various and sundry junk that she cleaned out of my gma’s house as presents, but signed the tags with my gma’s name. So I got a rusty broken bell ornament from my dead gma that year


When I was 10 years old money was rather tight for my family. So my parents bought a hammer and nails for my 5 siblings and i and told us to get creative and build something. That was a really sad Christmas. That was also all any of us got. A hammer and nails.

Image credits: Sethrich98


Not one I got, one I didn’t get. My mom crocheted my two sisters tablecloths and gave it to them in front of me. I just stood there, trying not to cry.


My mom bought me one of those 3D posters that were all the rage on the 90s. I am blind in one eye.


Temporary glittery metallic tattoo kit made for an 8-year-old girl (butterflies and phrases like "GIRLS RULE!") when I was 15... I am male too.


Cheap cologne (I don't wear cologne) that I suspect was shoplifted.

Image credits: Automatic_Mulberry


My ex's parents gave him an alarm clock for Christmas when he was 15. Not even a clock radio. Just an alarm clock. That was his "big gift" because it was "electronic." These same people gave their grandson (my son) a book about manners for his 3rd birthday, and me one (1) kitchen towel for my birthday. Today my ex was over here picking up our kids and he announced, "guess what?!? Grandma and papa are getting you SHOES for Christmas!!!" My kids already had shoes on their feet. They were like, Oh-kay. Good? It's bleak.


A pencil

Image credits: Sea-Wonder722


My step family was a giant group of total a******s. My step sisters got designer clothes and jewelry, shoes etc. Actual toys. They got mounds of gifts. My brother and I literally got a bag of switches and/or coal. Like that joke about bad kids? What sucks so much is that my step dad loved hitting us with switches when we were in trouble. We'd have to go pick out one ourselves too. And how we'd be considered the bad kids is beyond me. They were the ones who were terrible. One of my step sisters broke my arm twice just being a sadistic psycho. Cut off my eyelashes while I slept. Among other f****d up things over the years. God I was so glad when my mom finally left him and his piece of s**t family. I was 9 when we left. And 2 when they married. So this went on for 7 years of my youngest ages. Oh yeah, I guess one year the grandma gave me a coloring book. (No colors) With my switches.

Edit for those who don't know. Switches are basically long, thin, limbs of a bush or young tree with the leaves stripped off. Not a branch or limb, bit the very thin ones that are bendy. They hurt like a MF and split your skin open sometimes.


Butt plugs from my stepfather


My father wrapped and gifted me a wrecked front bumper.

It was from his car that I wrecked earlier that fall while in college.

Fords fly nice, but landing is a b***h.


My ex wife bought me snowshoes for Christmas the last year we were together, after multiple discussions about the fact that I was not interested in going snowshoeing with her and her friends.


A bottle of allergy medication from Costco. The med I took had recently gone from prescription to OTC & my mom thought it would be great to get me a year's supply. I was in my 20's & by that point you're not supposed to care as much anymore, but I had worked dozens of hours of overtime at my s****y factory job to buy my mom a custom made birthstone ring for Christmas that year. My sister got beautiful leather boots, my brother got an XBox. I cried all the way home.


My step sister and I both received a box inside was a roll on Avon deodorant and one of them rainbow lollipops . Meanwhile my mother and her girlfriend were exchanging $1000 gifts

The boxes they put our "presents" in cost more then the deodorant and lollipop seeing they got our presents from the cupboard ?

My mums girlfriend was a Avon sales lady , the lollipop from a show bag ?


Worst was from my grandparents. Me, my brother and dad all got a used book each from a charity shop. Like the cover was bent and pages yellowed. My brother and dad have barely read any books in their lives and mine was some adult drama romance novel (I was about 12 at the time) that nobody has ever heard of by some author nobody knows. To top it off these grandparents were ridiculously wealthy, my granddad was making almost 2 million a year, and their other grandchild got a ps3, which had just came out, and big stack of games to go with it plus other toys and some clothes.


One sock.


So with the ex wife, I made a effort with gifts. Got her the second gen iPod one Christmas, then because she got big into hiking, I picked out an expensive GPS with an SOS. What would I get? Lame a*s excuses. “Christmas is really for the kids.” Or my favorite, “Well, we buy stuff throughout the year, so that is our gift.”


First married Christmas my brother inlaw gave me a fake cat turd with kitty litter and all. Welcome to the family! He gives similarly gross/funny gifts to someone every year.


My sperm donor and my stepmother had a Christmas tradition: My (half) brother and I got a split gift every year, something too expensive to buy individually but we both wanted.

Or, at least that was what it was supposed to be.

One year my brother wanted a Playstation 4. Of course, being ten years older and 18 at the time, I explained it may be too expensive for Santa to bring him. Spoiled brat that he is, he didn't believe me.

Cut to the morning. Opening gifts, drinking coco, all is well. Last package is the joint gift. Guess what it is? A Playstation 4. I was pissed. I know how bratty this sounds, but it isn't that I was pissed about getting a PS4. I was upset that they were pretending this was a joint gift, that they expected me to excited about something I had never so much as mentioned before. I would have been fine if they had gotten just him the PS4, even if it meant skipping the joint gift that year. He's their blood son, and I'm just a half, obviously they will care more about him. But it was still like a punch to the gut. It was like the gift was them saying that my brother will always be above me. Merry freakin' Christmas, right?

I don't even know why I was surprised, the year before "we" got a rifle. My brother loves shooting guns, especially rifles and shotguns. I don't care too much for it, but my prefered choice are handguns and revolvers if I have to choose. Before that was an air hockey table. Guess who's the sporty one between the two of us? Year before that was a TV, to be used for my brother's Wii and other gaming systems.

Anyways, that was the straw that broke the camel's back. We haven't done joint gifts since, mostly because I refused to come over for visitation during holidays since then. Of course, that means stepmom thinks I'm a brat for picking up gifts anyways, but I've made it clear I don't expect gifts from them. I'll pick them up, because I'm not an idiot, but I never ask for anything more than a Merry Christmas and maybe a candy cane.

....Well that turned into a rant. My apologies.

TL:DR Worst gift was the crushing realization I meant less than my half brother, even more so than I thought.

Edit: Thank you everyone for the reassurances and hugs, I really appreciate it. Thankfully I have an awesome mom, who took care of me most of the time(only had visitation on weekends every other week until I was 18). And yeah, I guess I kind of get that their behavior is kind of messed up, but eh, at the same time, I was only around four or five days a month from five to eighteen, didn't see them often enough for them to really bond with me while my brother saw them daily.


My nana once got me this really creepy looking porcelain doll. It only had one eye and it was dusty and I’d never, ever played with dolls like that before, let alone one that is definitely haunted. I don’t know if she was trying to offload a cursed doll on me or something.


My aunt. Poor lady. She wasn't in the best financial situation and she had arthritis and cancer. But was sweet beyond what she should have been.

She gave me 2 gifts.

When I was 16: a vampire makeup kit. I had never mentioned anything about vampires. I was kind of your run of the mill jock just worried about sports and friends.

When I was 15: a floppy black hat with an elastic piece on the back, with pennies glued to the bill with glitter glue.


I received a pair of used earrings that had obviously been purchased at a second hand store. They had a sewing needle in th box with it. He tried to tell me he got them from an artisan street vender. One earring had green growth on it. Totally vile.


Grandma got me a dollar store electric toothbrush. Y'all know that thing didn't even turn on


I was six years old and I really really wanted an electric train set. I was like Ralphie in "A Christmas Story" harping on about his BB gun that he wanted. The big day arrives and there's a large box that looked pretty close to electric train set size but my parents would dictate in which order the presents were opened and of course it was saved for last.

I don't remember the other gifts, but I do remember the big electric train set sized box. I'll give you a hint. It wasn't an electric train set. It was a box filled with sweaters and socks. No joke. Just what a six year old boy wants. Sweaters and socks. Worst part was that the person giving me this wanted to see me model the sweaters and my parents forced me to. Yes, because a six year old boy with his heart set on an electric train set really wants to be disappointed and have to model sweaters he didn't want in the first place.


A Starbucks gift card with a $0 balance and a gallon size ziplock bag of coffee straws. The straws are at least useful, the gift card was just mean. I’m glad I had enough money when I tried to use it though. Lol


A size 3xl dark pink sweater from my sister. I wore xl and was very vocal about hating the color pink. But my sister had just lost like 80 pounds. Probably about the sweater for herself before she lost weight then never wore it. So she took it out of her closet and gave it to me.

My sister is 25 years older than me and I was in my twenties at the time. This wasn't just youthful ignorance


My dad played a running prank on me for years where he would either wrap up a toy he dug out of my room I forgot about, or he would do something like fill a small box with rocks and put it with the other presents. Without fail every year I would beg and plead to open a single present early of my choosing, and EVERY time I got the joke box. The rocks sounded like legos which I loved so I opened that one. One year he put one of my forgotten toys right out front begging for attention, bamboozled again. Another year he nestled it towards the very back like he was hiding a real present, he got me again. Without fail he got in my head somehow to guide me towards that present.


My great grandma gave my cousin a jock strap from goodwill. Her mental health was bad at this time. 1992ish? He started crying. He was 9.


Last year my dad promised me a whole bunch of steaks at Christmas whenever i bought a deep freezer to store them in. I bought a deep freezer immediately, then in April of this year he gave me the steaks, which were packaged in March of 2018, the only taste left was freezer burn


It was more of a gift for my family to enjoy rather than just for me. I don't know what it's actually called, but in my family we called it the pizza cookie. It was an inedible mass of mostly cashews baked on a pizza pan. We got one every year, we'd politely thank my aunt for her thoughtful gift, and throw it away when we got home.


My very first period.

This wouldn't have been so bad if I had been told to expect it beforehand, but no. I cried and said I was dying in front of my entire family. Grandparents, cousins, everyone. Of course they laughed at me, but I am still mortified 25 years after the fact.


My sisters father. I wanted Pokemon sapphire or ruby so bad for Christmas it was the only thing I asked for. A few days before Christmas he came home with a GBA cartridge wrapped in wrapping paper and set it on one of the Christmas tree branches. He said "you can't open it until Christmas" excitedly so my 3rd grade brain assumed he had gotten what I asked for.

Christmas day comes and I open it immediately to see Ice Age 2: The Meltdown staring at me. It was the first time I faked liking a present.

Edit: For those wondering I did indeed get the game a year later, my moms good friend bought a used version of sapphire for me.


When I was 13, I asked for Dungeons & Dragons books. I even wrote out directions to the 4 local stores that sold them. My aunt and uncle were known to deviate and try to give whimsical gifts, and hated pre-planned gifts. I got a He-Man pop up book.

Image credits: TheRealGoobtron


My brother’s ex gave me a boyfriend pillow and a stepper one Christmas. Bit of a slap in the face with that combo.


I grew up in the 90s and two different years we got bible video games.

1. Bible Adventures https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_Adventures

2. Exodus https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exodus_(video_game)

These games were terrible, repetitive, hard, and boring with s****y controls. The only exception being the one where you play as Noah and have to kidnap animals and force them on your boat.

My brother got a toothpick dispenser from our grandparents one year. We had a strange childhood...


My mum is notorious for bad presents, I've had such delights as toothpaste and vitamin pills wrapped up for me at Christmas. But one that stands out was a car crash kit. It had a disposable camera for recording the scene, a form for both parties to fill out, a tape measure for measuring... I dunno stuff and some chalk, for what I assume was for marking out where the dead bodies landed, or something, I dunno.


One year, I was maybe eight years old, my sister and I got just a card from my grandparents saying that instead of buying gifts for us that christmas they would give money to missionaries in South America.


My aunt and uncle are comfortably off, but get us presents from TK Maxx. I could tell you about my mother's 'glamour poncho' or my brother's 'airport thriller novel', but their most recent Christmas gift is the one that's caused me the most inconvenience.

Last Christmas, they gave me a small anthology of short plays based on Shakespeare, which I actually thought was quite nice - I did my undergrad dissertation on Shakespeare, and I have [this poster](https://imgc.allpostersimages.com/img/print/posters/shakespeare-big-w***y-funny-poster_a-G-9843569-0.jpg) up in my room - but I must admit I haven't read it yet. In fact, I'm not entirely sure where it is.

More recently, however, I learned that their AmDram group have been trying to perform the anthology since before the pandemic, and are just about to do so now that lockdown is lifting. They must have brought the books in bulk for the group and given me a leftover. And what's worse is that my uncle actually reminded my dad that he'd brought me this book, and my dad lied that I'd read it and loved it so as not to offend him. We're seeing them soon. I've got to read that bloody anthology cover-to-cover and find things I liked about it, or my dad and I are toast.


100 piece Tupperware set. I was 19 and living in a dorm.

Edit: well this blew up while is was sleeping. To address some comments

100 pieces absolutely means 50 bottoms and 50 tops. Of the 50 shapes, only 4 were large enough to hold a piece of American sliced bread. So think small. Many were odd shapes. Like the four half circles, and 8 quarter circles. Those were probably meant for dips and dressings. They were low quality, so the lids didn’t stay on. I realize I wrote Tupperware and should have said “food container storage set from Big Lots.” I also know it was from Big Lots because the price tag was still on it. It was gifted to me by my boyfriend’s grandma from her “gift closet,” which was a literal closet full of things she regifted to people. I saw it the next year. When I was told to just pick something out from it by my boyfriend’s mom so I didn’t open something strange in front of the their entire 55 person family gathering again. The grandma always wanted everyone to have something to open, and I was the only one she either forgot or just didn’t buy for. For three years.

Of the 100 pieces I have 98 left. They sit in the box they came in. I have used them many times for sorting small things when needed. Again I can’t use them for food as the lids never really stay on very well.


I have a story within a story. In my family, large/ exciting gifts get bespoke riddles/ clues leading on a hunt culminating in the gift. One year, I drew a sister of mine in the exchange who HATES frogs. So I purchased her a pair of well made, stylish scarves as she was about to move to a colder part of the nation.

I also bought her perhaps the most grotesque frog shaped coffee mug I have ever seen in my life. And then I wrote out a 5 step scavenger hunt to the mug.

As I was setting everything up on Christmas Eve, I was telling my dad about what I was doing. He laughed, but then he got a little somber. He then told me about the gift he gave his youngest sister for her 5th Christmas.

It was a gigantic box, beautifully wrapped. In it, he carefully layered pastel tissue paper. As she peeled back layer after layer, her excitement became palpable. The tension was building. WHAT COULD IT BE?

It was a single piece of nickel gum. "She was absolutely crushed. I'll never forget how badly I hurt her. So just keep that in mind."

In spite of his warning, I didn't feel too bad--I'd gotten her a real gift too, after all.

So Christmas morning arrived. And, as fate would have it, this same sister drew MY name for the gift. It was a decent sized box, maybe 8x10x4 inches. It was heavy, but not noisy. There were many things on my list that would have been a good fit in that box.

So I opened it. It was an Amazon box. Within it?

Another, wrapped, box. I opened it. Another slightly smaller wrapped box.

Inside that one? Several rocks embedded in a tissue nest, and another. WRAPPED. BOX.

I opened that one to find a packet of duct tape. At that point, I just looked at my dad. He starting laughing and finally choked out "forget about that story!"

My gift ended up being a gift card, which was plenty and appreciated. And she got a kick out of her frog mug, even if it only gets used by her husband to creep her out.


A 1000 piece Nightmare Before Christmas puzzle

Now at first glance that sounds pretty sweet, but the completed picture was that of the final scene of the movie where Jack and Sally hold each other’s hands on Spiral Hill. Still sounds nice? Yea, well do you know how much of that shot is just black background??? I must’ve spent 3 weeks putting together that puzzle which was 80% colorless and featureless black pieces before ultimately giving up on it.


A pogo stick. I was 14 years old. I wanted a BB gun and when I picked up the box I was like YES! Same size and weight. When I opened my Dad says “A pogo stick?”. My mom swore I said I wanted one. We returned it and I got the green light for a BB gun. It became a family joke. I guess the memory made it a good gift after all.


When I was 5 years old I got a belt, a comb, a frisbee, and a piggy bank as presents from my relatives for Christmas.

[Here is a video](https://youtu.be/LkLYEqq7c4s) of me opening them and slowly breaking down into tears because I just wanted a toy.


A notebook made out of elephant poop


When I was 5, I had gotten a sephora gift card from my grandma. My mom ended up using it.


I was getting into photography and there was a very specific lens I wanted. A close friend of mine mentioned that she knew someone who sold lenses super cheap and she might be able to get in contact with them. Christmas comes and she got me a gift. It was an exact replica of the lens, but a coffee mug. The only problem is that nowhere on the box did it say it was a coffee mug.

I was thrilled and didn’t realize what it was and she had to awkwardly explain that it was not actually the lens.


I was 8 or 9, I really wanted one of those Furbies who were really popular back in the days. Come Christmas, my aunt is all proud to give me my present, hyping me it's something I really wanted. Then I open it and it's a... plushies furby keychain. I don't remember much but I was told my face fell when I saw it. Though I was raised to not complain about receiving gifts so when she asked me "you don't like it?", I forcefully (and badly) smiled, reassuring her that yes, I liked it and I was just surprised. I even put it on my jacket zipper to prove my point.

Turned out it was a joke and she did get me a real furby that she gifted me after, but still, the immediate disappointment was something hard to hide!