It may be the season of giving, however there are some instances where the gifts given can never be forgiven. We asked our readers to share their worst Christmas presents.
There are two types of bad presents in the world: 1) accidental thoughtlessness and 2) intentional dickery.
The Auntie who buys you cheap fluffy socks or a 6-pack of underwear may be rude, but the cruelty of giving someone a novelty toilet seat with spiders embedded into the resin is on another level. We had a chat with our readers to find the worst ever Christmas gifts one can buy …
1. Dancing Taxidermy Cat
Yes, a reader received a taxidermy cat. Not a cute plush cat toy, but an actual stuffed cat corpse. This cat had no relationship whatsoever to her or family, it was a random cat. And that’s not the worst part. The worst part was you could plug the cat into your iPod and it would dance. “I didn’t sleep for days.”
2. Camera That Turned out to Be a 3-D Fridge Magnet
The box proudly stated what it turned out NOT to be. It seemed to be a nonsensical connection, a magnetized camera, but my Uncle was a semi-serious photographer, so it seemed legit. Turns out, it wasn’t. Strangely, I still don’t know if it was a joke. I sarcastically thanked him, and he didn’t speak to me for the rest of the day. Unless it’s a protracted joke with a punchline that is yet to come, I don’t know …
3. Novelty Toilet Seat with Spiders in the Resin
No comment needed here.
4. Contribution to Church in the Name of the Person Who Had Been Kicked out 15 Years Earlier
Not one that I’ve received, but one I’ve hung on someone. An elderly relative of ours is addled with verbal diarrhea and selective amnesia. The “facts” in the stories are not always synonymous with the truth, and despite any evidence to the contrary, he is above reproach.
One of the questionable stories is his alleged expulsion from his church. The “official” version is that he left early of his own volition and that the diocese was relocating elsewhere. When the story is questioned, however, the threat of confirmation from the deacon is rolled out.
So, one Christmas, we all passed the hat. A tidy donation made to the church in the name of the relative. Of course, the church was flabbergasted by the generosity and repeatedly tried to contact a lost member of their flock.
It all came to a head with the deacon congratulating the relative on the doorstep, thanking him for his contribution, allowing them to stay in the area (all of which was performed behind a closed door) as the relative simultaneously tried to dismiss the event to us and remove the deacon from the doorstep.
When the church comes back up, they’re still relocating. Despite the kitchenette named in his honor.
5. Hipster Beanie (covers your face in crochet and gives you a beard and mustache)
I mentioned I was considering leaving my job to give barista-ing a go.
6. Full-Length Ryan Gosling Pillow
I wanted the doll, not the pillow. Sleeping next to him does nothing for me.
7. The Personalized Couple Calendar
I unwrapped the gift to find me staring at myself. Twelve months of happy memories of my boyfriend and I. The problem was, we had separated three months earlier. The justification, according to the gift giver, “Well. I liked him, he’s a nice boy,” before adding, “If you love someone, set them free.”
8. Anti-Wrinkle Cream from a Neighbor They Had Met Only Once Before
Additional problem. The jar seemed to be missing some of its contents. I subsequently suffered strange half-advances and grins from said neighbor for the remainder of the lease.
9. Personalized Steak Branding Iron
It was a gift for which I was partially responsible. I was a guest at a Christmas lunch and, frankly, it wasn’t my scene, so I repeatedly put my hand up to barbecue to give myself a break from the surroundings. The tongs were granted, so I nodded my way through two hours of short conversations bookended by, “How are they looking?” and, “Better let you get back to it!” Perfect.
That was until the following year, where I was gifted the branding iron, due to my keen artistry in cooking bovine. Worst thing was, everyone wanted a long demonstration of how my name could be branded into their steak, followed by a repeated demonstration to the stunned family member and their bored spouse, attracted by the siren call of, “Oooooh, look at that. Oi! Come look at this!”
At least it birthed the ridiculous pun, “Mmmm. That’s Brad’s brand.”
10. A Microwave for Someone Battling Food Addiction
“It’s quick, so you can zap something before you go to the gym,” was the explanation. When the morality behind the gift was questioned, the affronted response was, “Well f***, I’m not a dietitian, am I?”