August 14, 2023 | Violet Newbury

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!

Nothing feels as good as waking up on Christmas morning and tearing into the presents under the tree. After all, Santa made his list and checked it twice. Unfortunately for these Redditors, that list went up in smoke. From socks and rocks to a poop-filled box, these stories of the worst Christmas gifts ever will make anyone think, “What was Santa thinking?!"

1. Christmas Was In The Bag

My grandmother was a piece of work. One year, my two cousins and I were at her house for Christmas morning. All the family was there, and there was a big, gorgeous pile of presents wrapped in the corner. But it was all a ruse. We were promptly told that those gifts were for the “other” grandchildren. When we gave our grandma the blank stare of confused children, she hurried back into her room, threw an old Ziplock bag full of half-used nail polish and broken jewelry down on the ground between us, and told us Merry Christmas.

christmas gift grandma child

2. Not Impressed

It was the first Christmas my father and current stepmother had together. Earlier that year, my previous stepmom—Dad's wife number three—my mother was number two—put my dad into debt. He wanted to impress her by giving nice presents to her kids. He didn't have enough money to treat us all to nice stuff, so we three were just an afterthought. My step-siblings each got a new laptop computer, while I got a $20 gift card to McDonald's.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

3. Raked Over The Coals

Growing up, my mom was either amazing at holidays, birthdays, etc., or scary. One year, when I was about 13, she was particularly scary. We didn't have a tree, and there were no decorations up—nothing. We were all too afraid to say anything in case one of us set her off. Then, my dad got mad at her, went and bought a tree, and told us to decorate it however we wanted.

He helped us with the lights and the star while my mom sulked in her room. Christmas Eve came, and these large, bulky-looking presents were under the tree. We were all excited to open them because we got one gift to open on Christmas Eve, and we knew there was no way those were pajamas!! We all opened them excitedly, only to find huge lumps of coal.

My youngest siblings began to cry, and my dad sent all of us downstairs to watch Christmas movies and locked himself and my mom in their bedroom. We sat outside the room too stunned to speak. It was muffled, but that was honestly the only time I remember my dad ever screaming at my mother. Afterward, he came downstairs and calmed my younger siblings down, reassuring them that they had been good and that Santa would still come.

After the kids had gone to bed, my dad called me upstairs and asked me to help him wrap all the presents except for mine. The next morning, my mom was up early, made us cinnamon rolls, and acted as if nothing had happened. I don't know what my dad said precisely, but she was never that bad again. Years later, she finally agreed to see someone about it, and they diagnosed her as manic depressive. The doctor said that stress had triggered her.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

4. I Was Down The River

In my family, the "big" present for each kid and grandkid "comes from Santa". It's wrapped differently and such. Basically, my brother, sisters, and I grew up knowing the best present—the one thing we wanted more than anything—would be that one. Also, when said present wouldn't fit under the tree, my parents would take a picture or the like, place it in a small box, and wrap that.

The only time I got one of those small-boxed Santa gifts was when I was 19. To say it went poorly would be an understatement. I was opening the handful of other gifts. About half of them were car stuff—floor mats, a steering wheel cover, stuff like that. I didn't have a car. My parents had bought my younger sister a car, but they had me driving their old van around when they didn't need it.

So, between the car stuff and having a small-box Santa gift under the tree and having not asked for much of anything that year, I, of course, drew the conclusion I was getting a car. When I opened up the Santa gift, my stomach dropped: It was a $50 gift certificate to a hobby store I really liked. There were no keys and no picture of a car.

Apparently, I looked confused because my parents said, "Is that okay? You didn't ask for anything this year, so we didn't know what to get you." I replied, "Yeah, it's great", and I meant that, and asked, "But what's with all this car stuff then"? They told me, "Oh, that's so the van feels more like it's yours"! I asked, "Is it"?

That's when my parents realized what they'd done. They had no intention of buying me a car or giving me the van, and neither one of those things ever happened. Not only that, but the hobby store I got the gift certificate for was in another city. One of the rules of the van was that I was not allowed to drive it to that city without one of them with me.

They never found the time to make the trip with me, so I never got to use that gift certificate either.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels


5. Show Me The Money!

The worst gift I've received was from my mother's parents. They were extremely critical people. If you told them the sky was blue, they'd tell you you were wrong and horrible for thinking that. They had a way of making you feel like you were only an inch tall without ever raising their voices. My sister and I would actively hide when they came to visit.

For every birthday and Chanukah, my sister and I would get cards with $1 inside, and they would tell us that they "put money in our account". This wasn't a bank account my parents started, but rather an account that they started for us, which we had zero access to until we turned 18. When I finally turned 18, I was excited; I'd finally have access to this account. I don't remember the exact amount, but it was disappointingly small. They likely only put $5 in each time they sent us the $1 bill. It was definitely not worth the wait.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

6. No Turning It Around

My mom rarely cared what gift we might actually want or what our personal tastes were. She would most often select a gift based on what her own penchants were. In the late-80s, she decided to buy me a stereo as the main/large gift, and for whatever reason, she selected a Fisher Price turntable. This was after CD players were invented, and of course, nobody played records anymore.

The worst part was that she decided to treat this stereo as some sophisticated equipment that was too good for a child to play with. So, after Christmas, she stored it—in its original box—in our attic—where it has remained until this day. It was supposed to be stored there until some arbitrary time, but my mom was a huge procrastinator, and that time never came. I'm still salty that she squandered all her money on that stupid gift rather than on something I might have enjoyed and actually got to use.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Flickr, Joe Haupt

7. Called Out On Christmas

One Christmas when I was 16, my dad and stepmom bought gifts for themselves and wrote my name on them. The game I asked for, I never got, but I did get the two games that my dad wanted. I also got a hoodie that was four sizes too big. I told them it didn't fit, so they returned it and kept the money for themselves.

I also got a Warhammer 40k collection that I had no interest in (my dad is a HUGE Warhammer guy). He kept it for himself, not even letting me touch it. The only gifts I got that were for me were socks and candy. But that wasn't even the worst part.  After I called them out on it, they said that they called me ungrateful and screamed at me. My dad shoved me into the wall and said he "disowned" me. Ahh, Christmas...

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

8. Maniacal Mother-In-Law

My mother-in-law is a little nutty about Christmas and religion in general. She is like, "Bake a big pink cake and sing happy birthday to the baby Jesus on Christmas Day" crazy. Imagine singing “Happy Birthday” with your in-laws through gritted teeth while one person in the room is holding a flaming cake with a psychotic grin on her face. I felt like I had been abducted by the Joker, and we were all just waiting for Batman to show up.

She demanded a list of things I wanted for Christmas. I didn’t feel very comfortable about this since I had only started dating her daughter a few months prior, but I managed to get her a list of a few things. They were all between $10–$20 so that she could get me as much or as little as she wanted. She took one look at it and threw it right out. I didn't even know how to react to that.

The first time we met, I had been getting over a cold. She had come over unannounced, as always, and wanted to meet me. I looked terrible from not shaving and generally felt like garbage. We had an uncomfortable dinner on my Fiestaware plates, which she noticed were different colors. I told her, “Yeah, it's Fiestaware, and that they come in multiple colors”. She said nothing else for the remainder of the meal.

Christmas Day arrived, and I was excited but cautious about spending the day with my wife’s family. I opened the first box, anxious to see how this was going to play out. It was an electric razor—the cheapest one on the market. She said, "Because when I met you, you had all that beard." I was sick as a dog the week before, so needless to say, I wasn't shaving a ton. I was 29 years old and had all the shaving things I needed, and I didn’t care for electric razors AT ALL.

I said, "Oh, thank you". Oh, but we're not finished. The next present was a set of expensive dishware, or rather, it used to be. She had gotten some dishware at an estate sale or some kind of restaurant closing. Through years of use, the glaze had been scraped off the eating surface because of all the forks and knives scraping across it. She exclaimed, "I looked on eBay, and these plates are VERY expensive"!

She conveniently omitted the fact that she got them at 90% off of their retail price. She told me, "Because you have all those mismatching dishes! Now you have a full set! Oh, there's gold-leaf foil on the edges, so don't put them in the microwave or the dishwasher”. I thought, “Gosh, I sure can't wait to use these when I get home after my totally unrelated trip to Goodwill! Thanks again”!

The last gift was a bottle rack. I liked the stuff, but I never had enough of it in my own home to need an entire rack, but sure, whatever. However, my mother-in-law liked the stuff to a problematic level. She drank it like a smoothie. She got me absolutely nothing from my list, and absolutely everything she did get me was a backhanded compliment, but in gift form.

I’m a former bouncer. I have had people insult me, try and fight me, and a few of them even tried to end me, but backhanded gifts were a new one for me. I guess it was a huge shock because my side of the family is actually pretty great about the holidays. It would never even occur to any of us to DEMAND a list and then completely ignore it, but I guess that's how Christmas at my wife's house is.

We don't talk to her mother anymore for a variety of reasons, but this still stands out in my mind as one of, if not the worst "gifts" anyone has ever gotten me. It wasn't that they were bad presents, per se, but there was just a little bit of “suck it” in there to make me wonder how someone who claims to love Christmas so much became the way that she is. I'll never forget it.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

9. Sad Puppy

When I was 15, I really wanted a dog, and my mom knew this. On Christmas morning, after we had opened all the other presents, my mom came back with one last one. It was a wrapped box with holes in the sides. It was bouncing and moving, and there were puppy barks of cuteness. I got so excited to open it and meet my new best friend. When I opened it, my heart sank, and I just sat there and cried. It was a stuffed animal puppy, a bumble ball toy, and a small tape recorder with puppy barks.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Flickr, Marco Verch Professional Photographer


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10. Strumming The Wrong Tune

My parents got me an acoustic guitar one Christmas. The problem was that my brother was the one who asked for a guitar, not me. So, essentially, my Christmas present was seeing my brother absolutely gutted. In the meantime, I had to pretend I was happy. It was awkward. I shared the guitar with my brother while I pretended to enjoy learning to play it.

That lasted for about a month before I let my brother completely take over the guitar. He got his own electric guitar that same year for his birthday, took guitar lessons, joined a band, the whole deal, and still plays to this day. Meanwhile, I hate playing guitar. It hurts my fingers.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels


11. Freebie Flub

A couple of years ago, my dad registered me to see a few of my favorite shows taped in NYC. I got really excited about it but then realized that he wouldn’t be paying for anything, and he expected me to stay with my narcissistic grandma in New Jersey, who I avoided as much as possible. Then, I found out that not only were the tickets to see the tapings free, but he had already told my grandma I’d be staying with her. She had all sorts of yard work and stuff ready for me to do for her once I arrived. I didn’t go, and my dad is still bitter that I didn’t appreciate his gift.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

12. It Wasn’t Written In The Stars

One Christmas when I was about 10 years old, I received piles and piles and piles of Star Trek paraphernalia. I received Star Trek action figures, Star Trek micro machines, diecast Star Trek ships, Star Trek puzzles, Star Trek toys, and just Star Trek everything. The only problem was that I had asked for Star Wars toys. Oops.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Flickr, JD Hancock

13. Get The Lead Out

We had a secret Santa with the whole family, and everyone would go a bit overboard even though it was supposed to be a relaxed thing. One year, my aunt and uncle from California were able to make it, and we included them. His wife wanted all her kids to be added as well so they would receive something. One of her kids ended up drawing my name, and when she gave me my gift on behalf of them, it was a $5 lead pencil and pen.

Then, another one of her kids drew my mom's name, and she said, "Oops, I didn't get you anything yet. I thought it was supposed to be done on New Year's Eve". Meanwhile, her kids got giant doll houses and trikes!

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

14. She Showed Her True Colors

A relative who is now estranged thought my interest in art as a high schooler was juvenile. But what she pulled that one year was NOT okay. She and her husband got me a giant pack of Prismacolor pencil crayons, which was awesome. He had looked up what an artist could use and sought them out for me, which was super sweet. However, she didn’t like that, so she made me open a package of children’s crayons first as a “joke gift”.

She took a bunch of photos, saying, “Little kids who like to color get little kid presents”. Despite being embarrassed in front of a ton of people, I loved both my fancy Prismacolors and my Crayolas.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Flickr, m01229

15. Treated Like Dirt

My little brother was the baby of the family. The dude could've gotten away with anything when we were growing up, and they gave him anything and everything he ever asked for. During my freshman year of high school, I made a new group of friends, and they all had dirt bikes. They went out to the woods and desert and rode almost every weekend.

They always invited me along. One guy had an old one that he would let me ride, so I asked for a dirt bike that year. I knew it was a crazy expensive gift, but my parents were very well off, and it wouldn’t have been much of an expense for them. My little brother got wind of me asking for a dirt bike, so he asked for one, too, even though he didn't really have an interest in it.

When Christmas came around, I came out to the living room, and there sat a brand new Kawasaki KX65. It was way too small of a bike for me, so I looked around the house, in the backyard, and in the garage, thinking maybe mine was just too big to wheel inside. Nope, they got my little brother one, and they got me a remote control dirt bike.

I had never been so heartbroken in my life, seeing my little brother get the gift I asked for. Not only that, but I could count on one hand the number of times he rode that dirt bike in the several years we owned it before my dad sold it for pennies on the dollar.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Flickr, Eje Gustafsson

16. Rank And Vile

My mom used Christmas presents to tell us where she thinks we rank in the family. One year she got me a woman's coat—I'm a middle-aged man. Another year, she got all the grandkids pajamas, and she got me the same thing—kid's pajamas in a size small. Meanwhile, I'm 6’1” and almost 200 pounds.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels


17. Stewing Mad

Every year, my mom would take us all to Dollar Tree to buy one gift for each member of the family. At the time, there were five of us kids plus my mom and dad, so we would get 5–6 presents, all worth a dollar each. On Christmas, we would sit around and take turns opening them. Eventually, this would turn into gags as we got older.

One year, I thought it would be a funny idea to give my brother and brother-in-law a can of beef stew. My brother-in-law was so mad. At first, I didn’t know why and I was in shock. I didn’t think a can of soup was that bad. It turned out I bought him Gravy Train—a can of dog food. All of our gifts could have been perceived to be the worst, and it did suck sometimes seeing kids at school with iPods, but it did create fun memories.

The Worst Christmas The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Gift Ever!Flickr, Marco Verch Professional Photographer

18. The Unfavored Child

One Christmas, all of my mom’s six siblings opened up presents under the tree, but there was nothing for her. When she asked about it, her parents told her that they had just gotten her a new coat, but the coat was bought months before. The next year there were a ton of presents for her under the tree. However, as she started unwrapping them, she realized that they had just wrapped random things from around the house and again did not get her a present. I still don’t understand how they could have been so mean.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

19. Double Dissatisfaction

My mom had this thing when I was growing up where she had to prove she treated us absolutely equally, so she would buy my sister and me the exact same things. It took a lot of joy out of Christmas when halfway through, you know what all your presents are because your sister had opened hers. She would also pick and choose from each list and would exclusively buy from my sister’s.

My sister had really curly hair, so one year, we got matching hair straighteners. My hair was naturally stick-straight. Every year my sister wanted nice soaps, only I'm allergic to most soaps due to sensitive skin. So instead of being perfectly equal, she ended up just proving me right and favoring my sister even more.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

20. Self-Serving Sectarian

My mother is terrible at gift-giving. She shops for others with herself in mind, not them. So, everyone gets stuff she likes, or she buys it in March and then can't find it come December, and your gift is her telling you that's what happened. She would also buy, say, a book trilogy in an art box, and she would give each book to you, one holiday at a time, with the final gift being the box.

As I grew older, I started seeing this. I never got anything that I specifically asked for, possibly a close approximation at best. I figured it was because nothing I had asked for interested her, so I tried something. I asked for something that she would be into—a Bible. I specified the brand, the translation, hardback/paperback, and the book cover, including the color scheme. I got exactly what I asked for, down to the last detail. I kept it as a reminder of what not to do to my kids.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

21. A Time For Change

Christmas came four months after my mother took her life. My father was addicted to meds in his depression from his loss, in addition to having a history of drinking. He was an avid coin collector. As very young children, we would enthusiastically help sort his pocket change and look for rare coins or dates that we knew could have flaws that would be worth money.

I suppose he thought that as teenagers, we still had a passion for coin collecting like he did, even though we didn’t. As children, it was about spending time with him, not about the coins.

He bought us some commemorative and collectible coins and not much else for Christmas that year. I tried to be excited for his sake, but I'm not sure he was convinced. That was the last year we got gifts for Christmas. After that, it was just a card with money until we came of age, and then we got no gifts at all.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Flickr, Mark Mathosian

22. Junk Food Jam

When I was 8 years old, my mom and dad split up, and my mom had custody of my sisters and me. We were really poor, so all she could afford to buy us was what she could buy with food stamps. She got us stuff that we normally couldn't get, like sugary cereals and other junk food, and wrapped them up so that we'd have presents to open. At the time, it was great because it was all stuff we never really got as kids but looking back, it sort of makes me cringe at just how poor and struggling we were.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels


23. What A Sham!

Once, I was asking my son his opinion on the Roomba vacuum cleaner. He told me that they were great but to make sure not to get a knockoff as he had gotten one a few years before, and it was garbage. A couple of years later, Christmas came, and I got a used knockoff Roomba from him. I burst into laughter and he was so confused. I had to remind him of our previous conversation, which he had forgotten.

The Worst Christmas The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Gift Ever!Flickr, Mike Mozart

24. Tool Time Travesty

I have an uncle who has never been good at getting gifts for me. At one point, I was really into "cool tools". They were just toy tools that were fun to play with. At the age of 7, he gave me an actual tool set because he thought toy tools were stupid. It would be a great gift now, but at the age of 7, I had no use for them, and I'm not sure whatever happened to them.

The worst one was when I was about nine. For Christmas, they gave me a couple of pocket knives. They weren't even meant to be used. They came in a wooden box that you were supposed to display them in. I had no use for them and one time sliced my finger pretty good messing around with them.


25. Down The Drain

A few years back, we were celebrating at my in-laws, and my wife's sister had been on a sewing kick. She made nice fleece blankets, each with different designs. Everyone was extremely happy with theirs, and then it came to me. She handed me a plastic shopping bag and inside were two little plastic funnels. Grinning, she looked at me and said, "You like cooking, right"? I would have preferred nothing at all. Being forgotten is better than having to swallow that in front of the family.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Flickr,

26. This Gift Didn’t Cut It

When I was 16, I was doing my Art GCSE, and I kept taking the scissors from the kitchen because it involved a lot of cutting and sticking; my mom got super annoyed with me. I have two older brothers. One had recently moved into university, so he got some sheets with a world map on them, something he was very interested in at the time, and an expensive rucksack for school.

The other brother had recently landed a new job, so he got some posh shoes and merino wool jumpers. In total, their presents probably cost about £100–£200 ($120–$245) each, and all of them were beautifully wrapped. I got handed a plastic bag. Inside was a pair of £3 ($3.60) scissors. I received nothing else that Christmas.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pxhere

27. Grow Up, Grandma!

Every year, my grandma would send me clothing for a 6-year-old. It seemed as if the concept of my brother and I actually growing completely escaped her. After a few years of this, my mom got tired of her wasting her money. She told my grandma to send my mom the money, and she would buy the gifts for us and just send a card.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

28. A Hair-Brained Idea

When I was about five and my sister was nine, our uncle’s family asked me what my sister liked. I had no idea. All I knew was that she liked to yell at me. So, I dumbly replied that she liked hair ties. For Christmas that year, my sister received an insanely high number—like two hundred—assorted hair ties, scrunchies, etc. She didn't let me live that down for a very long time.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Flickr, Elizabeth Thomsen

29. Doily Disaster

When I was about ten, my grandma sent presents from overseas for us to open. My brother opened his first, and it was a really cool old-school toy. I opened mine, and it was a bunch of doilies. I literally cried I was so disappointed. What on earth a 10-year-old was supposed to do with doilies is beyond me. It's still a family joke—"at least it's better than doilies".

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Flickr, Bunches and Bits {Karina}

30. Bad Move

I got a chessboard, which was okay, except that I was just about to go backpacking for more than six months and had given up my apartment. It was an unusually large chess board made of glass, with all glass pieces. It didn't come with any kind of storage or carrying case, just cardboard and styrofoam packaging. I also don't play chess. I was like, “Wow, thanks for the burden, I have less than a week to regift this, or it's going in the trash”!

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

31. It Was A Big Fumble

One Christmas, my mom took me to her boyfriend’s family Christmas party in rural Michigan. While I was there, someone gave me The Year in Clemson Football: 1993. It was very nice that someone thought enough to give me a gift, but 9-year-old me really struggled with the logic behind the purchase.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Freepik, asier_relampagoes

32. Pouring Salt On The Wound

I've always butted heads with my mother over her type-A personality that tended to center around having an immaculate home. I have ADHD, am not a homemaker or planning to have kids, and was unmedicated until after I moved out so that sore spot never really resolved. I often felt like a failure because of the way she treated my forgetfulness and severe executive dysfunction as laziness.

This last Christmas was my first out of the house after I moved in with my significant other. I told my mom she didn't need to send anything, but she still did—a book, How to Sew a Button and Other Things Your Grandmother Knew. This was after she had visited us and made snide comments to me about how my partner was just as lazy, rude, and ungrateful as I was.

I'd been trying not to let her get to me, but that was the final straw. I took that book to our room and cried. It totally destroyed the Christmas mood for me; I would've been happier not getting anything. It might sound innocuous, but it really felt like she was just emphasizing "you're useless, you don't even know how to do these simple things".

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

33. The Writing Was On The Wall

When I was 9 or 10, my aunt asked me if I wanted a calligraphy pen set. I had horrible handwriting despite arduous and extensive practice enforced by a despotic teacher who kept me in at recess to make me practice. Hence, I very adamantly said no. My aunt tried to convince me I would like one, so I more adamantly repeated that I did not want one. For Christmas, she gave me a calligraphy pen set. The next year she gave me a trash can. I preferred the trash can because at least it was useful.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Flickr, Jo Zimny Photos

34. Sound The Alarm

My dad unexpectedly picked me up for Christmas one year, and we stopped at a Walgreens to pick up a last-minute gift for my sister, who came into town unannounced. My dad gave me $10 and said to pick something out for her. I chose an alarm clock, as it was something I figured she could use, and it was kind of cool looking. I didn’t know how to wrap gifts yet, so I gave it to my stepmom so she could do it.

The next morning everyone was opening gifts. My brother got a watch, my sister got a bunch of Adidas clothes, and I got the alarm clock I picked out the night before. All my dad could say was, "You picked it out". My sister ended up putting the sweatshirt she got in a gift bag and gave it to me after she found out what happened.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

35. Use Your Egg-Noggin’

I had just started dating someone. I did not expect anything from this person’s parents other than, “Hello, here is the eggnog”. They apparently walked down the Totes aisle and bought me one of everything. They spent probably close to $75. They didn’t know me, and it was a wild misfit. I get the kindness aspect, but it was very weird. All went to charity, which wasn’t a bad thing, but I’d have settled for eggnog.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

36. No Bun In The Oven

My sister bought me prenatal vitamins, but I wasn't pregnant. I had expressed an interest in taking them because I'd heard they can make your skin glowy, nails strong, hair glossy, etc. The issue was that she knew it was the first time I was bringing a boyfriend over for Christmas. He saw them and freaked out. My whole family kept joking about it, so the guy thought I was pregnant. He made up an excuse about taking presents out to my car, then he drove off. He blocked me and everything.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Freepik, stockking

37. I Couldn’t Brush It Off

When I was 8 or 9, I was under the tree with my brother, trying to guess what the presents were based on their shapes. I got to one, and it felt distinctly like a toothbrush. I laughed and said, “This one feels like a toothbrush! Who gives a toothbrush as a Christmas gift? That’s the stupidest present ever”! My dad suddenly looked hurt, then got kind of defensive.

Sure enough, the gift was, indeed, a toothbrush, and it was from my mom and dad. Later in life, I learned that my parents had fallen on really hard times financially, and they were struggling just to stay afloat. They were trying their best to give us a good Christmas and make sure we were cared for. I still feel guilty about that.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

38. Trash Collector

In my family, I’m generally treated as a garbage dump. Anything that’s old, broken, or useless gets given to me as presents. My house was full of used kitchen supplies, teapots, a food steamer I never used, an analog TV that doesn’t work, a word processing machine from the 1980s, and a karaoke machine that my cousin’s grandmother gave her, then took it back after an argument and regifted it to me.

This same cousin would always say, “I don’t really need this” when given presents. I’ve also received a towel, a box of hot chocolate, and a ton of cat stuff. I always just threw these things out as soon as I got home since they created a lot of useless clutter in my place. What really sucked was that these were my closest relatives. Every birthday or holiday, it just becomes abundantly clear that they don’t know me at all and don’t even care to find out anything about me either.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Flickr, Marco Verch Professional Photographer

39. It Was Not Crazy Good

When I was 12, I asked for an iPod for Christmas because I loved music, and I had started saving up for one. My father kept hinting that I shouldn’t save because Santa was coming, so I spent my money on other things and decided to wait until Christmas. On Christmas morning, there was a box that was iPod-shaped. I literally screamed when I saw it, I was so happy.

I ripped it open, and it was just Pop-Tarts. My dad started laughing and said, “Maybe we can go buy an iPod in the new year”. That’s all he got me for Christmas that year. A box of Pop-Tarts. We ended up getting into an argument, and he told me none of my relatives loved me. I ended up buying an iPod the following year with babysitting money I saved.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Flickr, Mike Mozart

40. Oh Nuts, Not Again!

My aunt would always get three small things and wrap them up before giving them to my sister, my brother, and myself randomly. Those three things were always the same—a box of chocolates, a box of cookies, and a bag of pistachios. Somehow, I always ended up with the pistachios. I’m also the only one who is allergic to pistachios.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

41. This Gift Was A Real Toad

I took a lot of notes in school and saw a lot of uses for LeapFrog’s Fly Pentop Computer, so I begged my parents for it. They bought it for me for Christmas. You were supposed to be able to handwrite notes and be able to later upload them into a typed document, along with other nifty things. However, the product ended up being absolute garbage; you had to buy specific paper for it to work that was absurdly overpriced.

Then, the note-taking thing didn't work at all. Only about 60% of the handwritten notes would actually be converted successfully. You were supposed to be able to write out a math problem, and it would help you solve it, but it didn't work. It took a quarter of the time, and no special expensive paper, to just write it out normally and work it out with a calculator.

The icing on the cake was the fact that the pen was obviously massive and difficult to even write with. Your hand would cramp within 10 minutes. It was the most worthless gadget I'd ever asked for, and the darn thing was like $200. I felt terrible.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Freepik, karlyukav

42. This Present Stunk!

I never got very much for Christmas, mostly clothes and shoes, and one good present that we got last. We were a country family who grew up hunting and fishing, and I was the only kid. When I was 12, I had finished opening all the clothing gifts and was excited about my one good present. It was in a pretty small box, and when I opened it, it was a clue to a location in the house with another clue.

This led me all over the house and finally out into the garage, where there was a giant box.

My mind ran wild with what it could be. As I tore into it, I smelled what it was—a half-full box of cow manure. I was completely destroyed inside. I ran off as my parents and grandparents laughed nonstop. I got my dad's hand-me-down 30-06 the next day. Apparently, I was supposed to dig through the poop for my next clue.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Shutterstock

43. Lies, All Lies!

Around the age of 14–15, my aunt stopped getting me gifts like toys or clothes. Instead, I would receive a letter that said, "I just put $70 dollars into a savings account for you that you can access when you go to college". This was also my birthday gift, so around $140 a year for 5–6 years. You'd think there were several hundred dollars ripe for buying textbooks waiting for me.

I was fine and grateful for this. Once the time came when I needed some of that money, I brought it up to my mom, who laughed in my face and told me, "There was never any account". I also found out when my grandma passed this same aunt had been looting money from her. I don't speak to her anymore.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

44. Done With Dad

For years, my dad would text me the week before or the week of Christmas and ask what sort of tool or garage-related thing I needed or wanted. I'd tell him, and he would buy it online with expedited shipping since he couldn't care enough to plan ahead. Then, finally, this past year, he didn't ask what I wanted or needed.

Instead, he got me some cheap little drone that looked like one of those things the store stacks by the register aisles at the end. I went home, upset, not because it was some cheap thing, but because it was clearly an afterthought when he was at the store for something else. It just seemed like the final straw of him not caring about the last of his kids who still talked to him.

To top it all off, my grandmother's estate had finally been settled a few months prior, with the money intended for my sisters and me going into his account. It was around the tune of more than $50K. He used it to reupholster his car, pay off the rest of his wife's car, seal-coat the driveway, and who knows what else while my sisters and I were sitting there with debt from school loans and what have you.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pxhere

45. Knock It Off Grandma!

When I was young, I used to bring my Barbies to a friend's house to play. I had a bunch of Barbie accessories that I couldn't bring with me, like the camping RV, but I saw a commercial for the Corvette, and I thought it would be so cool to drive my Barbies to my friend's house. My mom told my grandma that I wanted it, and my grandmother was the worst gift giver, always going for the knockoff brand.

So instead of my pink Barbie Corvette, I got a blue toy car for toddlers that had the remote wired to the car. Since I was not a toddler, I was too tall to play with it. I had to sit on the ground or hunch over. Because I wasn't a little brat, I thanked her and played with it in front of her for a bit before moving on to the other presents. Then, I packed it up, and my mom, knowing it was not in the right age group for me, took it away and ended up giving it to one of the younger kids up the street.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pxhere

46. A Little On The Late Bus

At some point in middle school, I made an Amazon wishlist of CDs and super cringy YA and MG fantasy. My mother bought me everything on it for Christmas—fifteen years later. Apparently, it was public and searchable under my name even though I no longer had access to that email account. It was really weird to unwrap one item at a time and pretend to be excited because she was really proud of how much effort she’d put in.

A lot of the books were hard to find, and this was somehow not a clue to her that the list was old. I also didn’t have a working CD player. I seriously didn't even know how to react when I opened it. I did try to read the books and only read one before giving up. Apparently, Meredith Ann Pierce decided to end her Firebringer trilogy with a plot about unicorn love.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

47. Dad Spaced Out

I got the best and worst Christmas gift at the same time. I was 8 years old and wanted a LEGO Classic Space set. I didn't care which set, just a space set. Christmas morning came, and my dad was excited as he handed me a present that said, "From Dad". My parents always put "From Mom and Dad" on their gifts, but this one was specifically Dad's doing.

I could tell he wrapped it himself. I was so excited to have a LEGO Space set I ripped open the box, and it was a Brix Blox moon buggy. Brix Blox was a Sears-brand LEGO rip-off. I felt two immediate and strong emotions at 8 years old. The first was unmitigated grief. I was so absolutely crushed I didn't even try to hide my disappointment. I wanted a LEGO Space set badly.

The second emotion was pride. I knew that my dad took the time to go shopping for the gift himself. Had he delegated it to my mom, this wouldn't have happened, and I would have gotten either the Space Commander or the Galaxy Explorer. However, I knew at age 8 my dad tried to do this on his own. It made me feel really good that he took the time to care and pick it out himself.

The local Sears put all the building bricks in the same aisle, so I understood the confusion he must have felt at that moment. It was still a cool set, and he helped me build it, but it was not at all compatible with my existing LEGOs. I was still heartbroken about not having a LEGO Space set. A few weeks later, my mom "found" a small LEGO Space set that she had "forgotten" to send my cousins. She was great.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Flickr, Scarlet Sappho

48. Nothing Could Make Up For This

I used to be a huge tomboy as a kid. I didn't like makeup or jewelry and just wore band shirts and hoodies all the time. I also had a male cousin who was the same age as me and who was into the same stuff—Nerf guns, video games, etc. Whenever the whole family was together for holidays we were known for running off to the basement to play PC games together.

My cousin and I would always sit next to each other during Christmas and open our presents together. One Christmas, we opened cards from my aunt, who knew us well. While my cousin's was a GameStop gift card, mine was for makeup. It was a massive hit to my self-esteem. It made me feel like I wasn't good enough and she was trying to change me into something I wasn't.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

49. A Season Full Of Glee

One year, my former best friend and I agreed to get each other really nice Christmas gifts. At the time, she was obsessed with Glee and video games and had a Wii. So, I got her the new Glee game for the Wii, along with some jewelry, some candy, and some body wash. Meanwhile, she got me a mug. She couldn't think of what to get me, so my sister told her to get me fancy hot chocolate, amongst other things.

The only other thing she got me, besides the mug, was one of those $3 cones of hot chocolate mix with marshmallows that they sell at CVS. The mug can't be used because it has a snowman with a hat sitting on the edge. If you attempt to drink from the other side, the snowman's hat hits you in the face. I also already had a ton of mugs and was very clear about how much it annoyed me that every holiday, people got me mugs.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Pexels

50. The Easy Way Out

Many years ago, I visited my biological mother for Christmas with my two half-siblings. The younger half-sibling got a GameCube, and the older got a Playstation, while I was given the Staples Easy button. They got other gifts on top of that, too, while I got Mega Blocks that I was told I had no choice but to share with my younger half-brother. It was definitely the worst Christmas I ever had.

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever!Flickr, slgckgc


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