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Wednesday, July 24

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Andrew / December 19, 2005 2:32 PM

Not just Chrismukkah -- birthdays and other gift-receiving occasions, too.

Mine? My dad gave me a three-pack of bright red underwear sets (t-shirts and briefs) for Christmas when I was 12. Not just underwear but hideous underwear that just barely fit. Even my mom was embarrassed.

Needless to say, they didn't get worn much.

Y A J / December 19, 2005 2:46 PM

Best gift ever: my beau gave me the Oxford English Dictionary. I was so happy I got tears in my eyes. My family was mystified by my pleasure…”it’s a big, fat reference book, right?” Reader, I married him.

Worst: Back when I was still a jock, my mother bought me a silk sweat suit. Silk??

karen / December 19, 2005 2:52 PM

My friend Katy got an "Epilady" hair remover one year.
We're talkin' the old school version that tore the hair off your legs in a gristly twisting manner.

sky / December 19, 2005 2:55 PM

I was oober excited for my first holiday with my first real long term boyfriend and I went all out on him...I was 17, in love, and spending all my cash to find him the perfect present. I went to his house on xmas where all his extended family was gathered around. He opened my presents and everyone ooo'd and ahhh'd. He then presented me with a huge box....what could this be? What did my first love give me? A rotating lamp from Gadzooks. Seriously. I was purple pearly substance in this tube and it made an obnoxious noise. I almost died. This was also the same boyfriend that spent about $500 on pot to sell on my birthday and showed up with flowers freshly bought from White Hen. Do i even need to say we aren't dating anymore?

Best gift was from my mom...i lived with my grandma all my life and she died my senior year of mom and sister brought me aside and had me close my eyes and gave me a ring of her's and had put my birth stone in it.

brit. / December 19, 2005 3:01 PM

Best gift? My best friend gave me The Might Ducks trilogy box set. Everyone that knows me knows how obsessed I am with the movies and I was nearly in tears. Yes, I am a big kids sports movie dork. I'm still waiting for Rookie of the Year and The Sandlot.

amyc / December 19, 2005 3:04 PM

Xmas 1977: I got my first Beatle record (the "red" album) AND a puppy!

Man, that was a good year.

Erica / December 19, 2005 3:23 PM

The wost gift I gave was on purpose.

My great-grandma was always trying to send me and my sisters home with her old hand-made outfits. Why, I don't know, but once around the holidays, I visited her and decided to go ahead and take something to make her happy. I took this bad 70s pinkish/purpleish plaid skirt (which is probably in style now!).

I wrapped it for my sister for Christmas as a joke. She almost cried when she opened it. Then I gave her the real gift (probably a hair dryer or a Caboodles -- some standard big sister gift).

Fake gifts rock.

emily / December 19, 2005 3:29 PM

worst - a kilt 3 sizes too small. i was 13. it scarred me for life, that one.

best - my mother gave me an antique art deco armoir for a wedding present. it is absolutely beautiful. it was an instant heirloom.

matty / December 19, 2005 3:39 PM

a chia pet

Xan / December 19, 2005 3:42 PM

(not a holiday gift, but january birthday)

my sister's birthday is a few days before mine. one year my mom threw a surprise birthday party (a huge one - a COOL one) on my birthday.

that's right. the worst birthday.

Xan / December 19, 2005 3:43 PM


birthday party for my SISTER on my birthday.

matt / December 19, 2005 3:52 PM

Two years in a row, I received boxed pancake mix from my grandparents for Christmas. Nothing gourmet, really, just some standard supermarket stuff.

Not that it would have mattered: I'm vegan, and I couldn't have eaten the results anyway.

aj / December 19, 2005 3:58 PM

A couple years ago a relative gave me an ornament. It was a frog with a little crown on its head and a tag reading "You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince!"

We still refer to it as the "Why are you still single?" worst gift ever.

Spence / December 19, 2005 4:08 PM

A boyfriend of a friend of my girlfriend has given the following gifts on those special occassions:

"he has got her weight lifting gloves, a nazi prisoner camp
book, a gift certificate to a hardware store that was
on the way to work from their apartment, a certificate
to a hair place but for some reason they would not do
her hair so she had to buy 100 dollars in shampoo,
etc. the list goes on."

that was in an email from my girlfriend.

LEEBEY / December 19, 2005 4:14 PM

Best Gift: A Miami Vice sweatshirt in December 1984.

Worst gift: Bottle of Pierre Cardin cologne in 1987. P.U.

robin.. / December 19, 2005 4:19 PM

best gift ever given: the Settlers of Catan game, one each to my bro and to my cousins.
worst gift ever given: one zodiac taper candle each to my both-sagittarius cousins. (i could go on and on with other bad gifts--bad as in thought- and useless--but the candles really sum it up, i think: pointless, same as someone else's gift, no love at all involved, and given to people i really do care about.)

best gift ever received: the 14-eye, steel toed, soft-as-EarthBalance vegan boots i got last year. babies are a year of hard wear old and they still look as fine as the day i bought them. for myself. with money from my family. which makes them a legitimate gift.
worst gift ever received: hmm. oh, how about 'this crappy president'? did anyone say that yet?


the worst gift i ever got for xmas actually turned into one of the best. i got a big wheel when i was 5-ish. my family had me close my eyes as they wheeled it in and when i opened my eyes i said "that wasn't on my list." it was the gift of "doubt in santa." but the big wheel RULED and gave me much joy.

Ann VanMoxie / December 19, 2005 4:29 PM

These were pajamas from my mother. That was the design on the top, which was repeated over and over again on the bottoms. She said when she saw them she thought of me.

But she also gave me my grandmother's engagement ring, so she's not always that far off.

Veronica / December 19, 2005 8:02 PM

The best present was the only present my dad has single-handedly picked out for me. My dad can be sensitive about these kinds of things, so my mother warned me beforehand, telling me to at least pretend I liked it. It turned out to be the hardcover, expensive Beatles Anthology book, first edition, which I coveted but would have never, even today, bought for myself. I didn't have to pretend.

Sarah / December 19, 2005 8:46 PM

Uh, I had an aunt that used to give me wind up musical dolls for Christmas every year. When you wound them up their heads would spin.

Best present ever? I had a really great birthday this year. My best friend gave me a subscription to McSweeney's, which I totally wasn't expecting, and my parents sent my brother, who's currently a senior in college, out for a visit. With spending money. He'd never been out to visit me before and we had a great time.

hench / December 19, 2005 9:38 PM

worst gifts are from my alzheimer's afflicted grandmother -- gifts meant for the 8 year old me, not the 29 year old me...

best gifts include black suede, cashmere-lined gloves, gift certificates to dusty groove, and a crushing hangover from spending christmas evening at delilah's...

Emerson Dameron / December 20, 2005 2:34 AM

For #1, I'd go with the New Year's kiss last year. The best gifts I've gotten were the unexpected ones. The worst are always the minor luxury items I spent all that time longing, sweating, begging for. Stuff is not enough, kids.

slb / December 20, 2005 8:22 AM

In the great cabbage patch kids frenzy of 80-whatever my dad pulled some strings with an acquaintance of his that owned a toy store to get them for me and my sister. The problem was that I didn't like cabbage patch kids and didn't want one. What made it the worst was the look on his face when my excitement at opening the (much-hyped) present turned into disappointment when I got the wrapping off.

i've had a lot of great presents, but last's year's digital camera was really good (and unexpected). and my mom gave me my late grandma's beautiful antique ring for my 15th birthday, as sort of an entree into womanhood i guess. i'm still wearing it.

Shermann / December 20, 2005 8:58 AM

I always get crap gifts:
A glass head, a cutting board (2-years in a row) and a giant 2-foot tall tin rooster.

but the worst...a friend received an engraved butcher knife. Then the person who gave it to him, broke up with him, in the breath right after "Merry Christmas". Some people are asking to get stabbed.

anne / December 20, 2005 9:44 AM

Worst gift: about 5 years ago, a hideous cardigan sweater from Lands End. Think pastels and ornate metal buttons. The look on my face was apparently too telling, and my dad went and found the receipt shortly there after. I ended up getting the sweater exchanged for some new hiking boots, so it ended up being a good present. Ever since then, my dad just sends a check.

Best gift: a pink walking robot and some cool beach rocks given just because.

jgs / December 20, 2005 10:15 AM

My 21st birthday was november 7th 2000. over 40 million people got together to get me a president that I wanted. Apparently they misunderstood me, because it was the wrong one and the supreme court wouldn't let me exchange it because the receipt from florida was incomplete. bastids.
this was the worst birthday ever as no-one was in the mood to allow my birthday feast to continue so long as the election dragged on. we ran out of wine after the first two weeks and the hectatombs were spent shortly after.

jen / December 20, 2005 10:15 AM

last year, an aunt who i hadn't seen in years gave me a christmas ornament with "baby's first christmas" emblazoned on it.

the best scenario i can conceive (pun intended) is that with all the talk of shaun (my dog) being new to the family, she mistook him for an actual person, and thought the ornament to be an appropriate gift.

Mark P / December 20, 2005 10:16 AM

Best present ever: this year for my birthday, my mom sprang for a season ticket for me to the Lyric Opera.

Worst present ever: same mom, a few years earlier, sprang for some Rogaine. Thanks, Mom.

Annie / December 20, 2005 10:38 AM

My old man gave me a iPod a few years back. That was pretty sweet. My mom gave me carving fork. Problem is, I already had one. That she had given me. What does she think I'm eating that needs to be carved?

matty / December 20, 2005 10:42 AM

As a joke I gave a friend who was a girl a certificate that read "This Certificate Entitles you to One 1 Free Breast Augmentation on a Breast of your Choice"

She didn't think it was very funny.

Paula / December 20, 2005 10:48 AM

Worst? My clueless aunt gave me some Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers perfume ($100 says it was a re-gift) that gave me migrane level headaches. The gift that kept giving.

Best gift was when my now husband, then boyfriend gave me a new faucet for my bathroom AND installed it for Valentine's Day a few years ago (he even put in new shut-off valves under the sink). Everyone thought I'd be upset at getting an unromantic gift like a faucet but I really needed it. Sometimes a faucet really is better than a piece of jewelry.

appopt / December 20, 2005 11:27 AM

The worst thing anyone ever gave me was the link to The Daley Show, an annoying new Chicago political/humor blog. For unexplained reasons, I can't stop reading the darn thing. If you want to annoy that special someone in your life, do the same to them.

Leelah / December 20, 2005 11:37 AM

One Valentine's Day, my dad made a slideshow cd for me. It played the Beatles "In My Life" and he went to the trouble of scanning tons of old photographs of me throughout my life interwoven with recent ones (the best being 7 year old me digging in the backyard and 33 year old me in a dirt square on an archeological dig in Spain.) That's love.

I've had bad gifts, but who wants to remember those.

Dino / December 20, 2005 11:37 AM

The best gift I ever got was a Green Machine. I had been asking and asking for it all summer and I never got it and suddenly it was under the tree. I drove it back and forth in the basement until spring.

The worst gift is actually a chain of gifts. I had an elderly aunt who would give me a pair of itchy, green socks every year for at least a decade. When she died a bunch of us went to clean out her apartment and I found a JC Penney bag full of the itchy, green socks. It was about five packages of six pairs and there was already one pair wrapped and addressed to me (this was June). To top it all off there was a ten year old receipt in the bag.

steven / December 20, 2005 1:22 PM

Hands down, the best gift I've ever received was from my wife for my birthday a few years back. I get home from work and there's an envelope with my name on it. Inside was the 1st clue to a treasure hunt. 10 clues later, I'm staring @ 2 tickets to New Orleans. For the next day. And the kicker? She had already arranged with my boss to give me the days off. Now THAT is love. I'm still planning my revenge...

Benjy / December 20, 2005 2:17 PM

The worst was when I was, oh 8 or so, and my parents got my brother and me He-Man's Castle as our big, combined present in addition to our smaller individual gifts. I hated He-Man! Only my brother played with it, so in effect he got a really cool gift while I got nothing. Then she bought Skeletor's Castle (with the microphone thing) the next year. Shafted again!

The best? Well for the past 10 years, my family has all gone down to Puerto Vallarta for 2 weeks. Dad still picks up the tab and this year is even picking up the tab for our girlfriends. Only 4 more days...

amanda / December 20, 2005 3:19 PM

I've had several best gifts:
--I got a cat for my seventh birthday. She lived for about 16 years, and was exceedingly crabby, but I loved her so much.
--In 1995 or so, my brothers gave me a turntable that they had bought at salvation army or goodwill. That was AWESOME. i think it must have driven my college roommate nuts, because i'd play some of the same songs over and over again--southern cross by CSN, danny's song by loggins and messina, bartender's blues by james taylor.
--Last year we got a coat rack made by my parents' friend. He made one for my parents out of scrapwood from when they built their house, and I liked it so much, they asked him to make one for me.

Katie / December 20, 2005 4:02 PM

Worst gift: one of my late grandmothers was a QVC/HSC addict and had a maniacal obsession with anything that she was sure would become a "priceless collectible" some day. As a result, my sister and cousins and I feared gift-giving holidays.

Musty old-lady perfumes when we were little kids, matching outfits (there's a seven-year age difference between the youngest and the oldest of us...), dolls with outfits buried in their dissolve-able diapers when we were teenagers (I'm not making this up!), a Furby when I was 19, more Beanie Babies than I could imagine what to do with, horrific post-9/11 patriotic outfits (including American flag socks and red/white/blue canvas shoes), plastic battery-powered bracelets that lit up and flashed very very quickly when I was in my early 20s (note that my sister is epileptic).

Best gift: my dad gave me a Swiss Army knife years and years ago, which I always kept on me and probably used at least once a day for random things. Dad died last spring, so it became even more precious to me. Sadly, it was confiscated at a concert this fall (I'm an idiot and should have left it home... I was so used to having it on me that I didn't think twice before leaving the house with it). Security promised me that I could retrieve it afterwards. After the show, I hunted down the security guard who had pocketed it, but she claimed that she had no idea what I was talking about.


Kate / December 20, 2005 4:11 PM

Toss up... From my ex-boyfriend's grandmother I received three pairs of hi-cut victoria's secret underwear that was re-gifted from her granddaughter.

A foos-ball hockey table. Although I'm guessing a lot of people who want this gift, it was not for me.

Steve / December 20, 2005 4:12 PM

The best bet I ever got was also the worst: TiVo, from my soon-to-be-wife, two years ago. Damn thing has taken over my life -- never give a weak-willed, lazy man a time-wasting device....

MikeH / December 20, 2005 6:08 PM

The worst ever given in my family was from my cousin to our grandmother. It was the Remco ("Makes a great gift under the tree!!") Aroma Disk Player. I believe my Grandma's response was something along the lines of, "What the hell am I gonna do with that?!" 25 years later and we still make fun of cousin Tony for that one. I periodically scour eBay looking for one, and when I find it, guess what Tony will be getting for Christmas?

Cinnamon / December 20, 2005 6:12 PM

One of the worst was an ex-boyfriend's mother who gave me a sweater from Lane Bryant in a size 24 that was a hideous melange of pastels, mostly light purples and pinks with sparkly bits. Now keep in mind that I am 5'2" and I weighed about 105 at the time. I actually tried it on just to see how ridiculous it looked. The sleeves were several inches too long and the hem of the sweater came below my knees. As I was standing there looking at myself and trying not to cry because I'd just decided that this was just how much she disliked me, her youngest daughter walked by and said "What are you doing with Mom's sweater?"
"That's mom's sweater that she wears when she feels really fat, what are you doing with it?"
Solidified that she hated me.

On a good note, the first gift Andrew got me when we moved in together was The Joy of Cooking. I was annoyed that it was a practical gift because I wanted a "me" gift. But the book is falling apart at the seams, has enough splatters on the page to make a meal, and when he suggested getting a newer copy, I changed the subject cause I like it despite the fact that it is falling apart and the pages with pictures pepper types are floating around the book instead of staying in numerical order.

And two years ago he bought me the sexiest iron ever for my birthday. My friends laughed, but my sewing life has changed dramatically just because I have an awesome iron.

Vanessa / December 20, 2005 10:37 PM

My great-aunt smokes and used to smoke excessively (2+ packs a day). Now picture this: you're between the ages of 10-14 and it's Christmas. Yay! Your aunt bought you the usual: underwear and shirts with every label cut off and everything smelling like it sat in front of a fire for 3 years. Boo!

waleeta / December 21, 2005 10:20 AM

Best Present: This year, my parents are helping finance a 3 week trip to South Africa (countdown to Cape Town: 6 days!!)

Worst Present: Can't think of one... it's the thought that counts......right??

mae / February 4, 2006 2:51 PM

#1 My brainy older sister went to UM. My younger sister had to antagonize the family by going to East Lansing. Picture Football season, the late 60's early 70's, the height of the Big Ten rivalry between Bo and Woody, between Michigan and Ohio State.
Christmas morning the UM sister opens her gift from the MSU sister. Revealing an antique floral dish, a scrap of paper lays inside which reads simply, "MICHIGAN'.
The puzzled UM sister asks, "What's this?' MSU sister says, 'That's the only way you're gonna see MICHIGAN in the Rose Bowl this year!'

#2- My 19 yr old daughter has got to be the catch of the year as a potential wife. Believe it or not, for Christmas she asked for her own vacuum cleaner, to keep her bedroom clean.

Jill Beloud / October 21, 2006 7:44 AM

I win. My lover of 8 years gave me long underwear for Christmas. Mens, Black, Long Underwear. That's it. So, I bought a pearl necklace and made him pay for it. He did. :)

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