A gift is a gift and you should be happy with whatever you get, right? Wrong. But it’s the thought that counts, right? Absolutely not. These stories are proof.
If you don’t put a lot of thought into a gift and you don’t even know the person very well, you’re basically just making someone throw something away for you. Don’t do that.
1. Sexual themes
“When I was like 12 my mom’s boyfriend gave me a holiday card with sexual themes in the text. My mom pulled me aside later and told me that he was almost illiterate and hadn’t read it before giving it to me and to never talk about it again.” – u/hypo-osmotic
2. Sweet 16
“16th birthday, then-girlfriend’s dad gifted me a pair of sexy red lacy thong panties. I still don’t know if he was suggesting that I sleep with his daughter, his wife, or him.” – u/FunkTurkey
3. Little bro
“When I was about 10 my little brother (only 3 or so) was very sweet and told my parents he had a present for me but didn’t want anyone to see and wanted to wrap it himself. Christmas morning comes and I’m very moved by the shoebox sized gift my little brother taped up as best he could and made my Mom wrap for him. He excitedly brought it over and I noticed it was pretty light but his eyes were giddy with excitement for me to open it. I figured it was a hand drawn picture or something and so I made a big show about being excited to see what was inside. As I started to remove the tape from the box I noticed a little odd smell but figured it was just because the old box was in the basement. When I finally got the lid open and my brother excitedly exclaimed “Merry Christmas” I got to see what he was so excited about for the past two weeks. The box contained a dead hummingbird that had run into the window, an earthworm, and a few scattered saltines in case the worm and bird got hungry. Best present ever, but definitely WTF.” – u/Jelz
“For my bridal shower, my mother in law gave me an old bikini. How do I know it was old? The elastic was crusty.” – u/Lalina13
5. Wholesome heater
“I had one of these with my Nana that turned into a fucking Hallmark life lesson.
High School, 1998 or so. At some point in October or so I mentioned casually during a visit that my bedroom was chilly at night. Come Christmas, I open my gift from Nana. A space heater.
As a teenager who was hoping for video games or CDs or other such things, I put on the forced-smile rictus and thanked her for the gift while internally bemoaning all the loot that could have been. I must have been grossly unconvincing because she got a bit anxiously-defensive, “You said your room was cold! I thought it’d help out!”
Later that night we head home, I plug the space heater in when I go to bed because why not?
My god. My god, you all. The DIFFERENCE that space heater made. Actual fucking comfortable sleep for once. No waking up halfway through the night shivering, or getting shocked awake by my foot straying too far from out of the covers.
The next time I went to her house I gave Nana a giant hug, and told her how much better my room was at night with that space heater, and gave her an actual genuine thank you. I didn’t even mind the following “I told you it’d help!”
Ever since that Christmas, when I get something practical for Christmas from Nana, I thank her sincerely, because it WILL be useful. I still use that space heater twenty years after the fact, too.” – u/Strawberrycocoa
6. Honest mom
“A book called “This Is Why You’re Single.” Thanks Mom.” – u/GlassApricot9
7. Jews rule
“This wasn’t me but it’s a great story anyway. My very materialistic sister dated (and eventually married) a pretty rich guy. They met on New Year’s Eve so by the first Christmas they shared they were together for a year. The whole first year he showered her with gifts and trips and all kinds of stuff, even paying for her education. He seemed like a great guy but because he was a little weird and shy my parents didn’t meet him until that first Christmas. Well he showed up with gifts for all, really nice and thoughtful things. My sister opened hers last. It was huge box, inside was another box, and another, that old gag with maybe 10 or 12 boxes. Well we were all thinking “At the bottom there is a ring, he’s going to propose!”. When she got to the final box it was a single roll of toilet paper and a can of Campbell’s soup. I just about pissed myself with laughter looking at my sister’s dumb fucking face. One of the top 10 moments in my life if I’m being honest. We never got an explanation as to why, it wasn’t an inside joke or anything, just a weird fucking thing from a weird fucking guy. I like him (maybe even more than my sister does) but my parents definitely think he’s a weirdo.
Forgot to mention about 8 years after this I moved across the country and my first Christmas without the family he sent me a half eaten box of stale triscuits and a ziplock bag of hair that had fallen off their cat. There was no card but he wrote “jews rule” on the wrapping paper with sharpie. My reward for being the only member of my family to not shun him for his weird behavior over the years.” – u/everyoneiknowistrash
8. Thanks, I hate it
“Christmas, 1993. I was eleven. My grandma gave me one half of a pool cue. She gifted the other half to my then-8-year-old brother.
Grandma: “See? You can only use it if you two cooperate and share!”
We did not own a pool table.” – u/CaptainWisconsin
9. In a bucket
“A guinea pig. Just the guinea pig, no cage or anything. They gave it to me in a bucket.” – u/Kckc321
10. Donald Suck
“When I was in college my sister gave me a Donald Duck cement lawn ornament for Christmas. It weighed at least 40 pounds. I didn’t have a lawn, and I didn’t like Donald Duck. She has an excessive amount of lawn ornaments in her yard. I suspect that she realized that she hadn’t gotten me anything as she was getting into her car and just grabbed the closest thing.” – u/SpendLessLiveMore
11. Big idea
“I was given a large industrial lightbulb (think of a cylinder the circumference of a soccer ball and about 15” tall) by my uncle. He told me it was worth a lot of money and would be hard to find another one if I ever needed one.” – u/iconoclastic_idiot
12. I’ll take it
“A cheese and champagne gift set that had the champagne and most of the other goodies taken out of it. So cheese in a mostly empty box.” – u/haggisforthesoul