Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Awful gifts, yet so memorable

December 25, 2009

Dear Readers: Scores of you have responded to my request for "worst gift" stories.

I have enjoyed these tales of duct-taped gifts, re-gifted gifts and gifts that are just plain horrible.

So here, back by popular demand, are more tales of "gifts gone bad."

For more, check out my Twitter site dedicated to the awfulness: Twitter.com/santahatesme.

::

Dear Amy: My brother has always been frugal -- "downright cheap" would probably be a better term.

One year for Christmas, I received from him six half-used containers of dental floss, all individually wrapped. (The wrapping paper was wedding paper from his wedding gifts; he and my sister-in-law had been married for 10 years at that time.)

He told me later that he had been cleaning out his medicine cabinet and thought I could use these items.

Done With

Gift Exchange

::

Dear Amy: The worst gift I've ever received was a huge, beautifully wrapped present from my husband the first year we were married. It sat in the house for several weeks before Christmas, and I was aquiver with anticipation.

The big day came, and I eagerly tore into the box, to find . . . a laundry hamper!

I have to admit it was better than one my mother received when I was little.

My dad was a practical sort and one year gifted her with three sacks of manure.

His explanation was, "You said you wanted it for the garden."

Garden Growing

::

Dear Amy: One Christmas, actually feeling he was doing me a big favor, my husband gave me a snowblower. He was to begin some heavy-duty traveling over the next few months and felt I would have an easier time handling the snow with that instead of a shovel.

I wasn't thrilled, but over time have come to appreciate that gift. But to let him know how much, on our wedding anniversary, I gave him a cappuccino machine.

Still Married!

::

Dear Amy: One year, my father gave my then-wife a case of bars of soap, but she first had to wrap it and put it under his Christmas tree.

Not Gifted

::

Dear Amy: My mother-in-law gave me white cotton "granny panties" for Christmas every year for 25 years. Worse, she gave the same thing to my teenage daughter! I was glad when she finally stopped.

Sun Prairie, Wis.

::

Dear Amy: I got a box of assorted bungee cords, the kind you use to hold the trunk lid down on your car if you have a lot of stuff in it. Nice. My husband said they would come in handy.

Then on April Fools' Day, he dragged me into the garage and showed me my new motorcycle -- with a back rack!

Those cords came in real handy with my new bike. We've been married 25 years, and I never know what to expect.

Surprised Wife

::

Dear Amy: My worst Christmas gift is the best gift. I look forward to it every year, whether I am the recipient or merely an observer.

I can't say which of my siblings started this tradition, but one of us set out to find the most obnoxious, ostentatious or ugly item to pass off as a "gift."

It is the gift recipient's burden to display this awful thing for a year, after which it's passed off to another unwitting recipient.

Some years it's been an elaborately decorated can of Spam (glitter and pretty fringe). Other years, it's a vase in the shape of a satyr -- just plain bad art.

With each passing year, the transfers become more covert to lure the recipients into complacency until . . . bam! they find they are in possession of something really stupid. It's fun! It allows us to relive all the goofiness we had as kids, and it takes the materialism out of Christmas.

Denise in Chicago

Dear Denise: That's the spirit! The thing I like the most about these "worst gift" stories is that -- at the very least -- they are uniquely memorable.

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

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|