Opening presents is one of the most iconic fixtures of the holidays, and a highly-anticipated Christmas tradition. But, what happens when you open a present that seems more like a punishment than a gift? Like when your grandma forgets how old you are and buys you Polly Pockets, or your kooky aunt tries to make DIY gifts for everybody?
Sure, these snafus aren’t necessarily a hindrance to the joy of the holiday season (in some cases, they actually become a running joke for years to come). But, that doesn’t make them any less hilarious and cringe-worthy.
A priceless AskReddit thread posed the juicy question, “What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received?” and the answers were so good that you almost feel bad for laughing about them.
When you’re tempted to roll your eyes after unwrapping a pair of socks this Christmas, just remember some of these stories and count your lucky stars:
1. 12INCHVOICES was actually disappointed twice:
At Christmas I once unwrapped a box of yellow #2 pencils. I must have looked a little disappointed because my mom told me to just wait and I’d see why Santa had brought them.
…It was because he also got me an electric pencil sharpener.
2. The_Brain_Fuckler couldn’t even be that mad about their terrible gift:
A rubber Hulk Hogan figurine (it looked like it was a Christmas ornament with the loop snipped off) glued to a very effeminate toy horse. An elderly friend of the family gave it to me and wouldn’t stop mentioning how “they are supposed to look like that; that’s how it came from the store” even though I didn’t voice any doubts.
It’s also kind of the best gift I ever got.
3. lonelybitch got a gift that kept on giving:
A pinecone from a family member. It now gets passed between me and my friends as a gag gift.
4. Tarsala3791 unfortunately had a friend who dabbled in taxidermy:
A taxidermied deer hoof with a candle holder stuck in where the ankle would be. Only it’s bad taxidermy so it is constantly shedding a fine white powder on the table.
5. bonniejane1699’s Grandma was apparently the Queen of Terrible Presents:
My husband got 2 rolls of pennies from my Grandma for Christmas. That same year she gave my mom, a non smoker, a tin of tobacco. When my mom complained she gave her a calendar that was 3 years old. My son got a hair brush wrapped in a Pringles can, he was 2 and cried because he really wanted the chips…haha. I hit the Jack pot, I got a bottle of vodka. She always gave us weird gifts it was her thing. Now that she’s gone I miss seeing what Christmas gifts she would be bringing. It was a good laugh.
6. BloodChicken is still bitter to this day:
The only present I got for a christmas was a little light-up ball. You put your finger on the two metal tabs (or you and someone else, while holding other hands) and the ball lights up.
It wasn’t awful but it was underwhelming. After I had figured out what it was and how it worked and trying it with a few people, dad asks me if he can have a try and so I say sure. I pass him the ball and he immediately throws it on the ground, hard enough to break it.
“I thought it was a bouncy ball!”
7. Wienerwrld got the gift of mortality:
For my husband’s 50th birthday, his parents gifted him the deed to his own cemetery plot (one for me, too!). An expensive, but poorly timed gift.
8. everyone1hatesme is still baffled by this canine hand-me-down gift:
MIL gave my 1 year old daughter her dead dog’s bed as a Christmas present. She said it was for my daughter’s naps.
9. Whoever gave simplisti this gift wasn’t even trying:
I got a used gift card once…
10. Waffletits83’s gift was … highly practical?:
My mom is from Thailand and doesn’t really get the whole Christmas thing… last year she got me sore throat medicine… I didn’t have a sore throat.
11. pixierambling was the victim of a blatant re-gifting scheme:
My aunt tried to re-gift a bracelet and earrings I had bought for her a few months earlier to me. It was insulting to hear “Oh Pixie! I got these ESPECIALLY for you!” in a saccharine voice. Funny part is that she forgot we even gave it to her considering my brother and I were the only people in the family that remembered her birthday and even bothered to do anything about it. Bitch.
12. At least Picklefingers69 didn’t have to pick out a gift for the next Christmas:
My brother gave me a hand turkey that he drew minutes earlier for Christmas.
This would have been ok if he was 5 or something… He was 21 years old.
I framed it and gifted it back to him the next year.
13. Inferisrhiakath got literal trash:
My grandma used to be the worst gift-giver. She’s gotten better. Some gems:
A brick from a building that was torn down.
1 Drumstick (for my dad, who had never played drums).
A Harry Potter sign for the release of the first movie. Not a nice one, and again for my dad, who hates Harry Potter.
A bunch of Twilight stuff for my husband and I after the movie came out, including a shirt with Edward’s face on it for my husband.
14. Grandma_Is_Satan is now prepared if they ever own a hamster:
I actually have 3 of these and I can’t pick just one so I’ll list them all: once I got a used pair of pants with what I think was a poo stain in the butt area.
I’ve also received Hamster treats (great grampa thought they were trail bars, which still would have been a sucky gift)
And lastly I received “stress ball” from my baby cousin, that was actually just a ziploc bag full of his prescribed itch cream that was duct taped shut. It blew up.
15. At least SquatChick315 got revenge:
Expired chocolate, on Christmas, from an aunt who was a chronic regifter, yet always expected expensive, top notch gifts for her children on Christmas and their birthdays.
Not only was the chocolate expired, but it was also evident that it had melted completely and resolidified. When I noticed, I went up to her with “OMG this chocolate is soooo good, you have to try it!” Infront of the whole family. I watched her unwrap a piece of chocolate and when she noticed how it looked, she was hesitant to eat it. When she looked at me, I just had a smile on my face “It’s the best chocolate ever!”. And then I watched her slowly bring it to her mouth and try to eat it. She quickly walked to the kitchen immediately afterwards.
I think I’ve only seen her once since that moment almost 9 years ago.
16. hickory-smoked definitely got an object:
My friend’s wife gave me a copy of “A Night Without Armor,” the book of poetry by Jewel.
Not that I actively dislike Jewel or anything, but it was so clearly something she saw on a discount gift rack the day of my birthday and said “yes, this is an object.”
17. Thewrongbakedpotato’s gift actually sounds kind of amazing:
A ziploc bag filled with cotton balls with the words “ghost poos” written on the bag in sharpie.