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Worst * Gift - EVER!

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xianjiro
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Worst * Gift - EVER!

#1

Post by xianjiro » December 18th, 2019, 8:26 am

* Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanzaa, New Year, whatever

So, what's the worst gift you ever got, gave, or saw someone else suffer with unwrapping?

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#2

Post by mightysparks » December 18th, 2019, 9:04 am

I've never had a bad gift, but my parents told some horror stories of gifts from an extended family member known for being a stinge (this was in the early 90s); one was a store-bought cake that was moldy, another was some hideous, musty bedding and when they went to return/exchange it, they realised it was so old that it had actually been bought before barcodes had been fully implemented/commercial/whatever (probably like 20 years old)
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#3

Post by Onderhond » December 18th, 2019, 9:55 am

Nobody in my immediate environment really gets the stuff I like, so I usually get money. I'm fine with that.

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#4

Post by peeptoad » December 18th, 2019, 12:57 pm

As far as past gifts nothing truly terrible is sticking in my brain, but a couple of years ago one of my aunts found a stack of Donald Duck comic books from around 1943 that she wrapped and sent to me. The sentiment was there because I avidly read comics when I was younger and these were nostalgic relics from her childhood. Problem was, when I opened the wrapped gift, it sent a barrage of mold spores and dust cascading out into the atmosphere, which prompted me to seal the box back up and deliver it to the thrift store as a donation.
Hopefully someone without a mold allergy is enjoying those books now.

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#5

Post by joachimt » December 18th, 2019, 6:11 pm

A few years ago my mother-in-law still tried to give me birthday-presents. She once gave me an beautifully illustrated edition of Alice in Wonderland. That was before I had kids and I never (hardly ever) read. So I was looking at it like "why are you giving me this?" The reason was simple. She loved it. If you give a present not because you think the receiver likes it, but because you like it yourself, just don't buy a present. Since then she stopped giving me birthday presents and that's fine. For many years now, I only get a present from my wife and kids and I'm fine with that. I don't want presents. When I want something, I buy it.
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#6

Post by Lammetje » December 18th, 2019, 6:20 pm

joachimt wrote: ↑
December 18th, 2019, 6:11 pm
I don't want presents. When I want something, I buy it.
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#7

Post by blocho » December 18th, 2019, 8:45 pm

Sometimes people give gifts based on what they like rather than what they think the person they're giving it to will like. I once had a girlfriend who gave me a bright red sweater that made me look like a giant strawberry and could only be described as effeminate. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's very, very much not my style.

Now that's nothing compared to what my father once did. He was visiting a girlfriend's family in another part of the country, and on the way he bought a live goat to give to his girlfriend's younger brother. The family was not happy. I tend to think my father is a wise fellow, but I also get the sense that in his younger years that wisdom was intermittent. Everyone knows that pets are the worst present.

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#8

Post by Onderhond » December 18th, 2019, 9:26 pm

joachimt wrote: ↑
December 18th, 2019, 6:11 pm
When I want something, I buy it.
I agree for the most part, but it's fun for luxury items you appreciate and don't mind owning, but are a little too expensive to buy yourself. I have a 150$ bottle of whisky and a 200$ bottle of perfume I never would've bought myself, but I sure appreciated them as presents.

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#9

Post by maxwelldeux » December 18th, 2019, 11:00 pm

Somewhat related, back in the day, I used to coach Odyssey of the Mind - a creative problem solving sport. Our team motto was "think what others think, then think something different." Each year, we'd do a creative gift exchange. Depending on your point of view, I was either really good or really bad at it.

One year, I drew a member of the team named Ann (~16yo). So part of my story was "Well, first I tried to think of an appropriate gift for Ann. But then I figured that everyone would think that, so I thought something different - what would be an inappropriate gift for Ann?" So her 'gift' was all sorts of terrible small things. Baggies full of nondescript white powder, a needle/syringe, empty beer bottles, etc. Got lots of laughs, but she had to hide everything/throw it away before going home.

[Note - no actual illicit substances. Just things that looked like illicit substances.]

I also used to give gifts wrapped in duct tape. Like it would be a CD or game or something at the middle, but they'd receive this amorphous blob the size of a beach ball with weird bits of trash wrapped up in the duct tape. A good gift was 20+ minutes to unwrap.

And this year, I got my father, who is ~2 weeks removed from a hip replacement, a "Learn to Hip Hop" dance DVD collection.

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#10

Post by TraverseTown » December 19th, 2019, 12:31 am

Once when I was a kid my aunt gave me a giant inflatable blimp, at least 6 feet long. It could only be used indoors and she knew that I lived in the tiniest mobile home ever with my mom and sister.

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#11

Post by mightysparks » December 19th, 2019, 12:32 am

maxwelldeux wrote: ↑
December 18th, 2019, 11:00 pm
Somewhat related, back in the day, I used to coach Odyssey of the Mind - a creative problem solving sport. Our team motto was "think what others think, then think something different." Each year, we'd do a creative gift exchange. Depending on your point of view, I was either really good or really bad at it.

One year, I drew a member of the team named Ann (~16yo). So part of my story was "Well, first I tried to think of an appropriate gift for Ann. But then I figured that everyone would think that, so I thought something different - what would be an inappropriate gift for Ann?" So her 'gift' was all sorts of terrible small things. Baggies full of nondescript white powder, a needle/syringe, empty beer bottles, etc. Got lots of laughs, but she had to hide everything/throw it away before going home.

[Note - no actual illicit substances. Just things that looked like illicit substances.]

I also used to give gifts wrapped in duct tape. Like it would be a CD or game or something at the middle, but they'd receive this amorphous blob the size of a beach ball with weird bits of trash wrapped up in the duct tape. A good gift was 20+ minutes to unwrap.

And this year, I got my father, who is ~2 weeks removed from a hip replacement, a "Learn to Hip Hop" dance DVD collection.
I really like this actually. I don't buy gifts because I find the whole thing weird and uncomfortable, and I find it hard to pick a gift for someone when I don't know enough about them and the little things they might need/want. And I don't like the whole forced fun/buying gifts just because you have to, the whole thing is so impersonal and fake. But buying something completely inappropriate for them means the gift is still really personal and thoughtful, even though it might not actually be useful. If I ever have enough money to buy people presents/have people in my life to buy presents for, I'll definitely go down this route.
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#12

Post by blocho » December 19th, 2019, 3:13 am

I've had a really difficult time receiving gifts over the past couple of years. My mother always wants to give me something big for my birthday. The problem is that there's nothing I really want. I'm just not attuned to consumer goods. And I don't want her to pick something and get it for me because inevitably I'll feel disappointed and then I'll feel guilty about being disappointed. So this year, I tried to ask her to just skip a present, but she wouldn't have it and kept pushing me, and eventually I asked her to get tickets to a concert for me.

There's a lot going on here, underneath, including my general anti-consumer beliefs and my uneasiness with my relationship with my mother. It all feels so fraught.

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#13

Post by xianjiro » December 19th, 2019, 5:00 am

concert tickets! that's a great idea - and some can be pretty $$$

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#14

Post by joachimt » December 19th, 2019, 5:57 am

Just remembered the first birthday gift I got from my grandfather. My grandparents never gave gifts when I was young. I only received the grace of God. After my grandmother died, my grandfather started giving gifts to his grandchildren for the first time. The first thing he gave me was a bus ticket. I was 10 years old. I was so disappointed. My mother bought the ticket for me, so I had money then. Better than the grace of God. :lol:
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#15

Post by Tim2460 » December 19th, 2019, 6:46 am

I had a travel book about new Zealand 2 years ago..from my wife

It turned out she wanted to visit here...

I'm still pissed off about this Christmas ;(

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#16

Post by xianjiro » December 19th, 2019, 9:02 am

By the grace of God ... I take the bus, too.

I'll protect the identities of those involved, and please keep in mind that both these stories are second-hand and remembered from years past.

Imagine being given a broom for Christmas. I was told they were handmade by Amish virgins using only the light of a blue moon or some such nonsense. Not sure that the gifts were appreciated or even used.

The other is stranger still and something of a legend in a club of which I frequent. Years ago, before I became involved, the group had legendary Christmas parties - I, being of scrooged mind, did my best to humbug these affairs into something more akin to a mere early-winter gathering, aided in this effort by others of like mind. Anyway, some years a member's relation, who was known for eccentricities to say the least, joined the festivities. After the requisite feasting and other merry making - glug, glug, glug, if you know what I mean - they had one of those gift exchange, grab-bag and steal affairs (that I simply detest). Anyway, the said interloper brought some sort of artistic head that might have been described as the work of deranged head shrinker, and no, I don't mean trick cyclist - think voodoo, cannibals, headhunters - that kind of shrunken head. Well, the story is this gift was constantly traded during the stealing, but alas, the poor giver thought it was because everyone wanted the abomination. I believe it was sacrificed in some sort of religious ritual meant to cleanse budding artists of bad juju that blocks creativity.

BTW, I provided the second most fabled gift that was madly traded - the infamous hamster mini-puzzle. Can't find an image of the actual puzzle, so you'll have to suffer settle with
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