Christmas is often dubbed the most wonderful time of the year. While it is a time for spending with your loved ones, let’s be real, you’d be a liar if you said you didn’t look forward to receiving presents – whether it’s a new gadget or concert tickets you’ve been eyeing up for months.
Families and friends typically put a lot of effort and money into getting each other the perfect gifts. But, as we all know, sometimes we receive shoddy presents that make us, quite literally, wish and say “Aww, you shouldn’t have!” as we force our lips into a big, fake, festive smile.
We might all be able to relate to the experience of receiving a bizarre present, but the good people of Reddit have recently revealed their Christmas gift horror stories that will make your worst present look truly glorious. Even the snow shovel my 88-year-old grandma bought me…
1. Grandmas really know how to get it wrong
“It was from my Grandmother. I unwrapped it and it was a little tin box. I opened the box and there was a fake gift card there, like an indication of this is where you put the gift card. And I just looked at her like… ‘What is it or whats going on?’ And she goes ‘It’s a gift card holder. You can put all your gift cards in there.’ And I just started laughing saying ‘Noooo, you are supposed to put a gift card in here to give to someone!’ It was really cute though. Bless her heart.”
2. This is why Christmas gifts should always be personalized
“This wasn’t my gift, but it was the most awkward situation ever. So a few years ago my grandma had her legs amputated. Don’t feel bad. Since then, her health has improved a ton. Anyway, last Christmas my Aunt bought her socks. It was so awful.”
3. Coal would have been more useful
“A fairly distant relative once gave me three promotional (freebie) vouchers for a clothes shop I didn’t really like. Each gave £5 ($6) off a purchase, per £50 ($66) spent. Fifteen-year-old me didn’t have enough money to be spending £50 ($66) on clothes in one go, and the vouchers had actually expired on December the 23rd.”
4. Oh well, I guess he got something he liked!
“I had left some video games in my mom’s room, she found them and assumed my dad had bought them as Christmas gifts for me. So for Christmas, I got… my own games.”
I’m sure most of us can remember the first time we got a shoddy Christmas gift. I’ll never forget being given a “beauty set” that was made for girls aged six to eight when I was 13 from an elderly relative. All of the makeup was plastic and it included a non-functional hairdryer. I’d never feigned so much enthusiasm before in my life.
5. This would turn anyone into a Grinch…
“Every year, my family does a secret Santa on Christmas. When I was about 10 my aunt had to buy me a gift. So [on] Christmas morning I open my gift, and I find a Christmas sweater along with a pair of my aunt’s stained underwear. Apparently, she was doing laundry and wrapping gifts at the same time and got the two mixed up.”
6. There are some things you just don’t want from family members…
“A gift card to a lingerie store from my grandma. The f***ed up part wasn’t the gift itself, but the fact that she made my poor 19-year-old brother go in and buy it. As he told it, the conversation went something like this: Cashier: ‘shopping for your girlfriend?’ Brother: ‘no, my sister…well my grandma…’ Awkward silence…”
7. A gift shouldn’t be just for Christmas
“My worst gift was getting my favorite Nintendo game, The Little Mermaid. I was overjoyed! I played that game every day for a week. Then it mysteriously disappeared! I looked everywhere for it. Distraught, I told my mom that I couldn’t find the game and that I hadn’t lost it because I hadn’t moved it from the living room at all. She told me I wouldn’t have lost it if I took better care of my things. Flash forward to me at 21. I find out I hadn’t lost the game but that the game was a seven day rental from a video store and was returned.”
– Reddit user
8. I think this grandma needs her eyes testing
“My grandma gave me bright red undies with google eyes on them and an extra piece of black cloth to put your dick inside as the ‘nose’… I’m a girl.”
On the flip side of the coin, a lot of us know what it’s like to get someone a present that we assume they’re going to love and be asked if we kept the receipt. Admittedly, this level of brazenness is something that only close family members are willing to do, but it’s pretty awkward for everyone involved, especially if you’d assumed that the gift was going to make their day. That’s why it’s so important to fake a festive smile!
9. So close and yet so far
“One year when I was a kid, my parents bought me a computer mouse. What makes it [worse] is that I didn’t have a computer, and had been asking for one for years.”
10. Well, that’s one way to save on presents…
“A few years ago my aunt gave me a rock. She gave presents to me and my two older cousins and said ‘It’s time for the big girls to open their gifts!’ She made my cousins go first and they got scarves and I opened my present and pulled a rock out of the package and looked up waiting for her to laugh and she said ‘Isn’t it wonderful?’ So I had to be like yeah, ‘I loooove it!!’ She then told me that she had dug it out of her garden the previous summer and she knew that I would think it is so cool. The following year she gave me acorn tops because ‘Some people know how to use them to whistle and I don’t know how to show you or explain, but I’m sure you can figure it out.’ She is a tad eccentric. Both were pretty terrible presents.”
11. Not the worst, but hardly a surprise
“This year I got a pair of pajamas that were identical to the pair I was wearing when I unwrapped them.”
12. How bizarre…
“A hedgehog exercise wheel. I do not own a hedgehog.”
13. Proof that not all shoddy gifts are what they appear to be
“One Christmas, I got 18 pairs of socks. I was probably 12 and I tried really hard to look grateful and thank my parents, but with each pair I opened, I got progressively more upset. It didn’t help my brother was tearing through his toys and video games. I ended up excusing myself to go to the bathroom and started crying. My mom came to get me and asked me what was wrong. She said to stop crying and come back to the living room. She then gave me my real gift – a laptop. The reason I got socks was my mom just wanted me to have something to unwrap because my brother had a lot of cheaper stuff, where I had one bigger thing. I felt incredibly spoiled and embarrassed. Definitely a happy ending!”
So there you have it, 13 of Reddit’s worst Christmas gift horror stories. How do your shoddy presents measure up? While this might be an awkward part of the holiday season, at least we can laugh at these shoddy gifts in retrospect. After all, it’s better than being a total Grinch!
But if you’d like to indulge in a little more festive meanness, check out this hilarious video of parents deliberately giving their kids terrible Christmas presents. Needless to say, they weren’t quite as polite as us grown-ups when it came to their reactions!