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Thanks for the memory

December 04, 2009

Dear Readers: Recently I called upon you to send in your "worst ever" gift stories in response to a letter about a Christmas gift gone wrong.

I have been so inspired by these stories that I've set up a page on Twitter to share all of them. Check out to see what not to do this holiday season or to contribute your own tale of good intentions gone awry.

Dear Amy: My husband of 28 years gave me an expensive diamond heart necklace accompanied by a tearful admission of his years of affairs and intent to divorce.

No Gifts Please in L.A.

Dear Amy: When our three girls were very young, I received a large plastic garbage can wrapped in newspaper!

The girls thought it was the best thing ever, because it was so large.

Every year since the whole family laughs about that "gift."


Dear Amy: During the 1980s, while I was working and having kids, my mother gave me a ThighMaster -- she thought she was doing me a favor.

Appalled in Arkansas

Dear Amy: My worst gift came from a boyfriend who was Portuguese. He knew (or so I thought) about my severe allergy to kiwis.

He went to Portugal and came back with two Christmas gifts for me. They were a "gold" cross (I'm Jewish) and a box of chocolate-covered kiwis.

I guess he wanted to convert me before I died from eating the fruit.

Still Here

Dear Amy: My sister-in-law Linda remembers she and her sister were asked what they wanted for Christmas. Her sister asked for a TV, but Linda asked to be surprised.

On Christmas morning, her sister got the TV. My sister-in-law got a pair of used wooden hand-shaped bookends.


Dear Amy: I once received a pump-action 20-gauge shotgun from my ex-husband as a gift.

I couldn't even reach the handle to pump it because he got it to fit his arm length.

Hunter's ex-wife

Send questions to Amy Dickinson by e-mail to or by mail to Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.

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