Best present ever. Worst present Ever.

It’s Christmas-time, which means it’s time to buy a lot of stuff no one really needs.  Unless you’re buying angry bees, which is always a good idea.  But maybe you’re stuck for ideas for awesome presents for people you love, or for horrible presents for people you resent and so I thought I’d share with you two of the best and worst presents ever.

Best present ever:  Christmas at our house is sort of weird because Victor is a bit unintentionally Grinchy, and Hailey and I are the kind of people who want to dress up in Victorian clothes and go caroling every night.  It’s a strange dynamic, so two years ago I decided to buy burp guns for all three of us, which I hid under the couches for after Christmas was winding down and we were feeling a bit blah.  Then I told Hailey and Victor to look under their seats and they each found fully-loaded guns filled with ping-pong balls.  It was like I was Oprah, but instead of giving away cars I’d taped guns under their chairs like they were imprisoned mobsters.  I was slaughtered because I have very bad aim but I was comforted by the sound of Hailey and Victor both laughing and screaming hysterically as they ran all over the house in full battle-mode, with the cats all wildly skittering after dozens of bouncing ping-pong balls.  It was insane and possibly as good as Christmas gets.

Worst present ever:  During a long stretch in high school when everything I wore was black and gothy and emo, my (estranged) grandfather gave me a pink children’s sweater from K-mart.  It was a size kid’s 6X and might have fit over my left calf if I was into one-legged, pink, leg warmers with sleeves.  Luckily, he left the top of the tag attached so I was able to take it back to K-mart, where (after waiting in line for an hour) the lady at Returns told me that the original price of the sweater was 89 cents.  I took the voucher and traded it in for kitty litter, which I had to pay an extra dollar for myself to make up the difference.  So that’s my worst present ever.  Owing a dollar for kitty litter.

PS.  This present is not why we’re estranged.  We’re estranged because of an (alleged) incident so bizarre and outlandish that no one ever believes it and I have to call my mom to confirm it.  It’s sort of a long story and probably one I can’t legally tell until everyone is dead.  Look for it in book #3:  “Everyone is Dead Now.”  It’s gonna be hilarious.

Your turn:  Best present ever.  Worst present ever.  GO.

756 thoughts on “Best present ever. Worst present Ever.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Worst: lock de-icer. I live in Alabama. My parents hadn’t intended it as a gag gift.

    Best: didgeridoo. My now-husband actually had one sent from Australia for me, because I said I needed a pitch pipe (voice major) and he thought a didgeridoo would be cooler.

  2. Worst present ever, after a freshman year of college spent exploring the depth of bulimia and self-loathing, I was gifted a raincoat that was sized to fit a rhino, the body dysmorphia hysterics that ensued were unforgettable.

    Best present ever, positive pregnancy test.

    Ironically, that slicker would’ve come in handy…

  3. My kids have an estranged grandmother. I’m sure our story is NO WHERE NEAR as entertaining as yours, though. Please share. We won’t tell anyone.

  4. Best Present Ever: An autographed picture of Johnny Cash, framed with a ticket stub from the concert where he signed the picture.

    Worst Present Ever: A tray of goddamn Christmas cookies from the dollar store.

  5. I suck at Christmas. All gifts make me uncomfortable because I’m cheap and don’t feel like people should waste their money on me.

  6. Best present ever: the 4 foot tall styrofoam standing T-Rex skeleton I got around 1970 or 1971 when I was 6 or 7.

    Worst present ever: sadly, whatever it was is lost to my memory.

    BTW, the burp guns are an awesome idea. I might implement them for myself and my dad this Christmas. He’s 71 and I’m 49.

  7. Best Present Ever: A gift certificate to a book store. Seriously. I ask for that every damn year and no one ever gives me one. I mean come on, I READ FOR A LIVING. You would think I would get nothing but those. Anyway, my MIL gave me one and I about cried. Finally, someone listened to me.

    Worst Present Ever: A tube of used lipstick and 2 chipped candle holders from a former good friend. Yes, I’m shallow enough to drop a friend for giving me used lipstick.

  8. Best present ever: Kindle Fire my husband totally surprised me with 2 Christmases ago. I didn’t ask for it, but couldn’t live without it now.

    Worst present ever: God-awful teddy bear sweater my mom gave me in 8th grade. Because, what 8th grader’s life isn’t complete without a horrible boucle sweater with a teddy bear face on it?? I actually have a photo of me holding it up with a forced smile. Oh memories….

  9. I think that I was a younger child (about 8) and I got a tiny skateboard. When you’re 8, any skateboard is awesome. A couple years later we ended up moving to Germany and where we lived had this fabulously steep and long-ish road with the obligatory curb at the end. Let’s just say I didn’t quite make it to the curb. It’s amazing how much speed you can pick up on a 3 year old skateboard that measures 13 inches. I think the 13 inch measurement should have been a clue. It’s amazing how much damage is caused when said skateboard at rocket speeds decides to hit a rock and suddenly decelerates while my body continues to move forward. Lots and lots of scabs….so that would be the best present.

    Worst…two of the most awful ties I have ever seen. Their only redeeming value came in their ability to become a tourniquet for my ex-wife when she was dealing with migraines. She used them to apply proper pressure to her head in hopes of alleviating the pain.

  10. Best present …Atari hands down Worst..acid washed rust color jeans and matching sweater that I jokingly said I loved while shopping with my mom…:)

  11. My grandmother gave me a pencil and a tube of Brylcreem for Christmas one year. I was probably in 5th grade at the time. To be fair, she got presents for *all* of her many grandchildren.

  12. Best: Getting a hard cover version of The Lost World from my father and step-mother. Worst: My step-mother wanted to borrow and read the book she just gave me after I was done. I read it gave it to her and all was good. Until I asked for it back and my step-mother claimed it was her book. I said I got it from you for Christmas and she said no you didn’t. I stopped the conversation I mean what are you supposed to say?

  13. worst present ever: I got a scale on my 16th birthday. Thanks Mom. I feel so much better about myself.

    best present ever: was planning to go to Vegas for New Year’s Eve and my father-in-law gave me a box of money for Christmas.

  14. Best Present Ever: A CD player Walkman that my grandmother gave me. It worked for YEARS until one day I dropped it on her cement basement floor and it finally stopped working. Another great present, also from my grandmother was an interchangeable knitting needle set which I still use pretty much daily.

    Worst Present Ever: A pair of jeans that didn’t fit and were decidedly “not cool” which I also received in my goth/angsty stage. Highwaisted jeans should never be worn by anyone outside of moms in the 1980s.

  15. Best Present: the earrings my boyfriend got me last year. I developed an allergy to cheap metals, and I LOVED wearing all sorts of crazy earrings every day, and then suddenly I couldn’t without my ears bleeding. He knew I was upset about this and went and got me white gold studs. This was the first present to make me cry from happiness.
    Worst Present: every year my grandmother complains about having to get the rest of family presents, even though she is probably the main reason why the QVC channel is still up and running. The presents? Spare change taped to a card.

  16. Best present: age 14 – waterbed from otherwise clueless stepfather.
    Worst present: age 15 – multi-colored bikini underwear from completely clueless stepmother. So ew.

  17. Not quite a present, but every year I make my brother deal with something tricksy before he gets his gift which includes things such as finding a series of cards that eventually lead him out to the barn and my mom’s horse trailer where the gift is located, completely covering his gift in packing tape (he chewed that one open), hiding his gift in a full and resealed box of dog bones, or sending him on a World of Warcraft style quest called “It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Fish Sticks” where he had to collect “Red Snapper” hidden around the house before he could receive his “Strange Sounding Bag.”

  18. Best ever: Trip to Machu Picchu with my family.
    Worst: the Chipmunks’ Christmas Album. I later used it for target practice with my BB gun I also got that year. I was eight, I think.

  19. Best present ever: The tiny closet full of handmade underwear for my Barbies when I was 5. It was all made by my mom’s friend, our neighbor, who was a seamstress. I didn’t have a Barbie car or house or horse or even a Ken; but my Barbies had quite the trousseau. In retrospect, I guess that’s weird in many ways. But at the time, I was thrilled.

    Worst present ever: Frogs. Yep, that’s “frogs,” plural. People keep giving me live frogs. And I keep killing them. Please, no one ever give me a frog again. I’m tired of burying frogs. (Evidence of frog death: http://imissyouwheniblink.com/2013/10/25/a-tale-of-three-frogs/)

    Ho ho ho.

  20. Well, I must be goddamn Pollyanna because I can’t think of a worst gift.Weird, maybe. (This weird rubbery owl that still gives me the creeps to think about.)

    Best, my youngest. He was a month old but exactly a month old!

  21. worst present: Red Live strong type bracelet with the words “Think Thin” across its front from my mother… I was like 130 lbs.

    best present: watching my kids tear through their gifts every year.. we have a 3 and 5 year old.. this year is going to be great

  22. My worst gift was the gift I didn’t get. One year, my younger (read: spoiled) brother got a gift that was at the top of my wish list.

    That hurt in a weird, ambiguous way.

    As for the best, I couldn’t say. Lots of good things and good times along the way.

  23. They are one and the same thing and for you to understand I need to set the scene for you.

    My MIL and her late 2nd husband are what one might call old fashioned. My MIL seems to be oblivious to a lot of the world, or at least the bit where slang terms originate from. I can not say I possess that quality myself and I have taken much delight in the past from being very naughty whilst in her home and using some phrases that may or may not have a double meaning… so far I haven’t been caught by anyone other than my BIL who quietly smirked whilst sitting on the sofa and indeed joined in with this new game.

    Now the year before last we went round to her home early on Christmas morning, (she goes to Church for the Christmas Day Morning Service and so we need to be there pre 8:30am). It isn’t a pretty sight. I need breakfast and some time to wake up so I can be on top form mentally to think up my double entendres and the such and at 8:30am on Christmas Day I am still thinking about sugar plums dancing because I normally end up staying up to 2am on Christmas Eve trying to catch Santa/wrap the last of the gifts that Santa leaves.

    So we were handing out gifts and I was sitting on the sofa in the corner trying to smile away the hangover “without-having-drunk-any-alcohol” feeling I had. My MIL then handed me my gift and I unwrapped it whilst wondering what delights were in store for me this year.

    Inside was an apron. The apron had a picture of a topiary tree on it and the phrase “Keep your bush neat and tidy” and it was positioned in such a way that the Double entendre of the phrase was quite obvious.

    I laughed. I thought that it was funny. Although I did want to know why my garden was being questioned by my MIL and an apron.

    My MIL looked at me with a look of relief.

    “I’m glad that you think it is funny, I was worried you would be offended!” she offered
    “No I think it is funny!” I said passing the apron to Daddy and thinking my little game would have to stop.

    It was two days later that Daddy got a text message from his Mother, asking him to apologise to me on her behalf. She had just found out what the apron meant from her husband. She had given the aprons to about twenty people including most the old ladies at Church ROFL.

  24. Best present ever: Dad built me a sled and we went to visit the Grandparents where they have actual *snow* (like feets of it). They lived on a giant wheat farm so in the winter it was just acres and acres of snow filled playground goodness. To top it off, they had an ATV (one of the original unsafe 3wheeler kinds) and my dad hooked the sled up to that. ZOOM! We’d go flying down the field with me hanging on for DEAR LIFE on the sled, laughing insanely, of course, until I’d inevitably fall off. He’d come back to get me and we’d do it again until we froze.

    Worst present: Also involving clothes and Grandparents. When I was in about 8th grade my grandmother bought me a lime green bell-bottomed polyester suit. OMFG. I said my polite thanks and tried to squirrel it away, but Dad *insisted* (with threats) I try it on. I wish I could have just died. THANKFULLY it was too small but they didn’t believe me until I came out to show them(and see through, GREAT, just want a 13 year old wants to model in front of her family). The good that came out of that is Dad told the grandparents to never buy me clothes again. WHEW.

  25. Worst? I was 16. I had asked for a skateboard when I was 11. My mom finally got around to getting it for me, 5 years later. WTF, Mom? It was LONG after I wasn’t into the idea of skateboards anymore, and it was this hideous cheap thing made of greyish multicolored swirly plastic, as if the skateboard manufacturer had a bunch of plastic left over at 5 pm and just mixed it all together to squeeze one last skateboard from the batch.

    My mom also got me a singing clown with a balloon bouquet on my 21st. She should really just stick to gift cards.

    Best? My sweet BF Curt took me shopping at a little local boutique store and I got some outfits I felt gorgeous in. It was so thoughtful and kind.

  26. Best: the bike I got as a kid. I had so many hours of adventures on that thing!
    Worst: a fist-sized lump of clay painted white.

  27. Best present ever? My beloved Cabbage Patch Doll from 1980-whatever, when everyone went nuts trying to find one.
    Worst present ever? A kids sized tank top, with one of the straps cut (likely from wrapping) from my great aunt who, not thanks to the gift, also ended up estranged from my family.

  28. Best ever: a box of children’s books from England, being discarded by my mom’s friend’s kids who had out grown them. An entire box of fabulous, with odd spellings.

    Worst ever…shall not pass my lips because if I revealed it the giver would suddenly discover your blog, read this comment, and KNOW if was me..

  29. Best present ever – a coupon book from my husband for things like “earth-shattering orgasm.” And he delivered.

    Worst present ever? I asked for a camera and got a blender. From my mother. And I am NOT someone who would ever use a blender. (Actually have the thing virtually brand new in my kitchen cabinets and it’s nearly 40 years old.)

  30. My grandmother is the queen of bad presents. Last week she gave my 5 year son a computer disc of “Babe – the game”. The requirements are Windows 3.1 and at least 8K of RAM..We don’t have any computers that are old enough to play it. She bought it at a church garage sale for 21 cents and thought she was getting a good deal.

    My best present was a trip from my kids to the BC coast alone. It was the most relaxing 3 days I’ve ever had.

  31. Worst Present Ever: My MIL has given me so many bad presents that it’s hard to pick just one. But I’ll go with the time she gave me a gift certificate to a men’s clothing store. Uh???

    Best Present Ever: Bacon of the Month Club from Zingerman’s. Enough said.

  32. Worst present ever: I actually don’t have a specific present… just 1 christmas where I figured my mom knew me enough that I didn’t have to write up a list. I ended up with 0 things I liked that year, and a bunch of stuff that went to the back of the closet.

    Best present ever: I don’t think I have one for this either! I think I’m better at getting other people presents, then getting stuff for myself. Got my mom a bathrobe once when she was going through a hard time, and it was super soft & warm, became her security blanket and helped her through that bad time.

  33. Worse Present Ever: A bright red laundry bucket shaped like an old-fashioned trash can. I was around 8, it was from my grandmother, and I almost cried.

    Best Present Ever: Inside the laundry bucket was a doll she’d hand made for me. I still have it. It was dressed like a bride, and lives in a nice box with the little ring pillow and sprig of lavender she included with it. (I’m 31 now, and that doll has gone with me everywhere.)

    Yes, my family likes to troll people. Even the kids.

  34. Best Present:
    When I was 15, I had bought the entire collection of The Crow graphic novels (yeah, I was that girl in high school). I then lent them to some guy, probably because I thought he was cute. Of COURSE I never saw him again, and with him went my precious novels. 10 years later, I would tell that story to my boyfriend (now husband). Lo and behold, Christmas Eve comes along and this wonderful man had found the entire collection (not mine, mind you, but another set) of the graphic novels. I already knew I would spend the rest of my life with him, this just confirmed it even more.

    Worst Present:
    When I was 17, we spent Christmas with my mom’s side of the family. My aunt gave my sister and I… beach towels. Now, it’s summer for Christmas in Chile so we were like, “Well, I guess it’s gonna come in handy for vacation, thanks…” Cut to my grandma’s present and it was, you guessed it, beach towels. “Gee… thanks, grandma…” Now, it wouldn’t have been SO bad if my cousin wouldn’t have come running in saying “You guys! Look at the silver bracelet grandma gave me!” My sister and I were livid and from that day on, it was dubbed “The Beach Towel Christmas.”

  35. I can’t remember a worst gift or best gift ever… I guess my best “gift” would be dating my husband started on the 26th of December because I wrapped up a garbage can he have to his mom for Christmas (honestly she wanted that!).

    I don’t like opening gifts, I only like to see people open them. Ooh, maybe I can’t think of a worst gift because my mother repeatedly gives me bad gifts every year. Tacky clothes, the furry vibrating foot “massager” that really just makes your ties curl from tickling, the Chewbaca coffee mug, etc.

  36. Best present ever: handmade scarves and also a blanket from my aunt. She’s gifted.

    Worst present – not for Xmas, but for Halloween – a Nutrigrain bar.

  37. Worst gift ever: A .22 rifle given to me by a boyfriend who had a penchant for cheating. And being a moron.
    Best gift ever: An angel for the Christmas tree made with paper and a toilet paper tube, drawn by my son when he was about 13. Because he was 13, and he knew I would love it, even though he felt stupid as hell doing it.

  38. Worse present: My new husband bought me a giant TV, when I don’t really watch TV and he is obsessed with it. He still doesn’t understand…….
    Best present: beer of the month club. Pretty much universally agreed that this would be the best present for anyone on your shopping list (no financial interest, just like to drink a lot).

  39. Worst present ever: When I was 16 my spinster aunt gave me a paint by number jungle animals fanny pack. So it was also kind of the best present ever, now that I think about it.

  40. Best Present: As a child, I always opened my presents smallest to biggest. So when I was 6, I was really really really wanting a Barbie Mansion. I got to the last box, the biggest box, expecting this mansion, and inside of it was a purple fluppy dog. I have no idea why my mom stuck the small stuffed animal in such a big box, but whatever. Disappointment for Christmas. That dog went into the closet of toys for a few months, and then one night I was scared to go to sleep, so I reached in the closet for any stuffed animal, grabbed that dog, and I slept with it every night since then up until I joined the military and had kids. I still have that dog, and the kids make it talk and sing like I used to.

    Worst Present: I can’t think of a good story like your pink sweater, but I can tell you it’s a cross between getting one of those dollar barbie dolls that looked abnormal from the Uncle I never see except on Christmas, or last year, after having our Christmas gift stash stolen from twice, I got the stomach flu and spent Christmas Eve vomiting into dehydration, early Christmas morning in the ER followed by putting gifts under the tree sick as a dog, and then Christmas day sleeping while the kids opened every box and lost parts and ruined all the toys before actually playing with them correctly. I just threw away an easy bake oven and a sewing machine that was never used, but was full of pennies.

  41. Worst present: pajamas from my stepmother that were simultaneously too short (I’m tall) and too large.
    Best present: my husband had sacrificed getting any presents from my dad’s family for Christmas or his birthday so that I could get a contact lens exam & contacts. I was pretty damn blind, plus had an astigmatism so the exam itself was almost $200 & the contacts were $300. We were a military family and broke as hell. It was like the Gift of the Magi, only I hadn’t given anything up.

  42. Best: Scuba Diving Lessons.

    Worst: My grandmother (who’s eyesight was failing) knitted me a scarf. It was 8 feet long started out about a foot and a half wide and ended in some bizarre point. It was pink and brown and blue and yellow and and and …. She used all her yarn scraps. She’s gone, but I still have the scarf. Someday someone cleaning out my house after I am gone is going to say WTF????

  43. Best present ever: Probably the Barbie RV when I was about 8.
    Worst present ever: the year my mother forgot to get me a present.

  44. Best present ever: I was roughly 8 years old and received those ‘Quints’ toys from years ago. I almost died from joy.

    worst present ever: my mom got me a metal dress form for some reason 2 years ago. I don’t make clothes, I don’t know how to sew and I am the opposite of crafty. She SWEARS i asked for it (i have no recollection of this, I think she was dreaming) and so I said ‘Well, I will just attach a taxidermied raven head to the top of it and call it a day’. She doesn’t think I’m right in the head. Actually, now I don’t know if that was the worst present after all.

  45. Best: Age 40 – Gift certificate from my daughter for us to have professional photos taken together. It was since I lost weight. 🙂 She paid $100, borrowing some of my money and the rest in $1 bills crunched up. I didn’t know what it was for until I opened it. Cried…..I love those photos. She made me feel loved and beautiful (still had/have 25 lbs to lose).

    Worst: No memory…..I probably regifted it.

  46. Best present (for you): I heard on the radio that there is a person making and selling chess sets where the pieces are all taxidermied mice! You TOTALLY NEED ONE! VICTOR! Pay attention! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/10/taxidermied-mice-chess-set_n_4419838.html

    Best present (for me): the really nice set of kitchen knives. I never realized how nice it is to have decent knives when cooking or how terrible mine were before!

    Worst present: the ill-fitting, ugly sweaters my grandmother used to always buy me for Christmas. It was a relief when she switched to gift cards.

  47. Best present ever: A little sock monkey my husband bought for me two Christmases ago that I hold when I’m anxious or loney. So, like, all the time.

    Worst present ever: Earrings from my sister-in-law with my husband’s initials on them in VERY LARGE LETTERS on one side, and blue and pink kittens on the other.

  48. Worst gift – My step-father, when I was 8, bought me a .22 rifle, with scope. Yea, for an 8 year old little girl who just wanted a new bike or some of those awesome sneaker skates.

    Best gift – The last Christmas my mom was alive she bought me these great boots I’d been wanting since the boots hit the shelves in September.

  49. Maybe both?
    My daughter was born a few days before Christmas, so while everyone went to family and exchanged gifts and ate too much i stayed home and stared at my sleeping baby. All day.

  50. Best Present Ever: A PONY! An honest-to-God, stocky and hairy (but adorable) liver chestnut and white Shetland pony gelding named “Jethro.” He was as curmudgeonly as it was possible to be, and had a whinny like a goat due to partially paralyzed vocal cords, but I adored him.

    Worst Present Ever: A PONY! Only in the terms that it started me on a lifelong love affair with horses that has consumed me and cost more than a small fortune. But they’re worth it.

  51. Best – A horse. Seriously – HOW WILL YOU EVER TOP A HORSE?

    Worst – Terracotta duck with cheap potpourri. Thanks, former sister-in-law.

  52. Best: Husband bought us kayaks a few years ago. We went from being sit-at-homers to being adventurers. Changed our lives. Improved our marriage. Renewed other interests, like travel and photography. I highly recommend it of you live near any body of water.

    Worst: My brother found an old Disney Aladdin figurine in my grandmother’s garage, and for some reason decises to wrap it up and give it to me. I have no idea why. This wasn’t during childhood. This was last year. We’re in our 30s. (He got me a ‘real’ present, too.)

  53. Best present ever: my darling pug, Brutus. My husband got him for me our first Christmas married. Worst: a library book, taken out on my card, that was overdue when I got it.

  54. Worst present: My wonderful Nana gave me a training bra and underwear when I was around 11 or 12 (I was mortified and it was awful). What really made it the worst present was that at that time, my family would tell you to “show everyone” what you got. It was my grandparents, my parents, my aunt and uncle, my brother, and my male cousin. I wanted to crawl into the floor and die.

    Best present: In 1988, my parents got me the My Little Pony “Pony Paradise”. Not only that, they stayed up until 4 AM putting together my Pony Paradise, my full-length mirror, and my brother’s race-car track. We got up at 4:30. When I went downstairs to get our stockings, I stood in the doorway for a good 5 minutes with my mouth open, staring at the wonderland underneath the tree that Santa had brought.

  55. Worst present: My mom gave me a vacuum cleaner – a commentary on my house-cleaning skills.

    Best present: A little somethin’ somethin’ Christmas morning and Bam! Nine months later a baby girl.

  56. Worst: A member of my ex husbands family decided to take a bunch of stuff (candles, stones, little figures etc) and hot glue it to a large blue plastic plate and call it a candle holder.

    Best: The marshmallow guns were pretty fantastic — then again I got not one, but two sonic screw drivers this year.

  57. Best Present Ever AND Worst All in One- a standing globe. I was 10 or 11 and my father decided that I needed a globe. So I could be all geographically smart and stuff. Problem is that it comes in a box about the size of a small 10 or 11 year old. So, giant box all wrapped up with my name on it. My imagination runs wild with incomplete awesomeness. Christmas morning, I go to open my presents and I don’t even wake up my parents. I never did that- I always waited or slept in so they were up but not that year! And the deflation on opening that fucker…
    It’s still the best because it was a story I got to retell a gazillion (and now a gazillion and one) and later I returned the favor when I bought my dad a light up globe.

  58. Best present ever:
    All my best presents happened when I believed in Santa… I was naive enough to ask for simple things like: a red book one year..seriously just a red book.. but what got me every time was how meticulously Santa had listened to my every request…until I started whispering them in my head. Things got tricky and downhill after that.

    Worst present ever:
    Okay I didn’t get this. But I was a witness to it. This man recycled his son’s previous year’s birthday card, changed the date and gifted to him again next year. Hey, I’m all for environment friendliness but did I mention that was the only thing he gave his son for his birthday?

  59. Best gift: I’ve had a lot, but I’d have to say a four-wheel ATV. I was twelve. What 12-year-old wouldn’t love that?
    Worst gift: I actually can’t think of one. It’s probably an ugly sweater that some older relative bought me.
    Thank goodness I have a terrible memory.

  60. Best present ever… our dad bought us an air hockey table.
    Worst present ever… boyfriend (now ex) let me use his tub to take a bath because I only had a shower in my apartment. Ass.

  61. Worst – pretty much anything my husband has bought me over the past 33 years. He is truly gift-giving impaired and our adult sons inherited the gene. They have all been asked kindly to stop. If it’s the thought that counts, what the ~hell~ are they thinking?

    Best – truthfully I was just thinking of this the other day. The Christmas gift that made me the happiest was a clock radio I received when I was 17. So very unexpected and so appreciated. I had it with me for at least 20 years.

  62. Best: Well, maybe not the best, but my favorite in recent memory is my stand mixer. I was doing everything by hand with a whisk or spoon, and that thing is amazing when I want to get my bake on.

    Worst: An industrial sized can of baked beans.

  63. Worst present ever: dengue fever. Thanks mosquito.
    Runner up: pair of jeans and a sweater in a garbage bag. People get divorced for a reason.
    Best present ever: Horse skull that my husband found. People also get remarried for a reason.

  64. Best Gift: I was 10 and ALL I wanted was a Cabbage Patch kid (this was the year they took the world by storm!) They were unavailable in New England and both my Gram & my favorite Uncle had friends in Florida get them and send them up for them (not knowing the other had done it!) So on Christmas day I opened not one but TWO cabbage patch kids! I was THRILLED!!! & I was the only one of my friends who had managed to get one! (SCORE against the catty girls who thought they were better than me cause I was the only kid in my grade with divorced parents)

    Worst Gift: When I was about 20 my family decided to do a “pick a name” gift exchange for the adults since there were so many of us. The thought was each person would get a really good gift instead of a bunch of cheap things since we couldn’t really afford it. So, being a poor college student, I scrimped and saved to get my person a really good gift and my gift was a USED purse (that I had seen my aunt using for the past year) & 3 pairs of socks. Needless to say I was PISSED! This went on for about 10 years and everyone hated when that specific person go their name. I struck out 2 more times and got a $10 gift card for a book store (which was awesome because YAY bookstore! but shitty cause really $10??? mind you most of the gifts exchanged were about $100) and then the last year and what finally BROKE the whole system was a regifted sweater (size SMALL – I am & was always a plus sized woman so this would NEVER have fit me) that my Mom had given my cousin (the Aunt’s daughter) for her birthday the month before.
    I LOVE your gun idea- we go crazy with nerf in our house during stressful times! 🙂

  65. Best present was probably my grandpa covering the price of my airline tickets for a trip I had been saving up for all year. I literally only spent money on my medicine each month and bus tickets, everything else went into saving for that trip. I was still running short, so him paying for my flight was the only reason I could afford to go in the end.

    Worst gift? Some weird bouncy ball that flashed lights super fast. I’m epileptic, I think you can see my problem here. Received this from my step dad’s parents.

  66. Best present ever: My boyfriend (now husband) bought me a necklace he had seen me tear a picture of out of a magazine. Several years prior. He’d been looking for it ever since and finally found it. Not a coincidence I married him.

    Worst. Present. Ever.: This isn’t a Christmas gift, but the worst present I ever got, period, was a rusty used kaliedescope from my aunt. When I was a child in the hospital recovering from EYE SURGERY.

  67. Ah…. Christmas that magical time of the year where the house is filled with cigarette smoke and anger and everyone screams and bickers until dishes get broken and doors get slammed. That’s the first thing that comes to my mind when people mention Christmas. So take that, Norman Rockwell!

    Best Christmas evah: I was 4 or 5 and deathly ill (asthmatic living in a house of smokers) so people actually were nice around me and I didn’t have to participate in family doings. I got a jewelry music box with a ballerina that twirled. I was so tickled with it. As a bonus I got a large white stuffed kitty too (stuffed animal, not the kind your parents would give you). As a young adult Santa bought me new tires for my car one year. That was a darn good present too. As an adult my best present would have to be this year when I bought the bookshelves I have coveted for years and years and replaced the bookshelves I inherited from the aforementioned family that made me think of them every time I saw them.

    Worse present ever: two wadded up twenty dollar bills and a note “go buy it yourself.” This was after how I explained the international ordering of said product was really difficult, you had to figure out the exchange rate and mail in some payment thing from the post office and call them the same day that it was wired and I didn’t want to do all that but it would be awesome gift is someone else were to do it for me. Pfft!

  68. Best: Hoodie from my favorite concert venue. My previous one was stolen and they never had them in stock. My husband watched, badgered and pleaded with them all year until finally they brought them back in stock. It was wonderful.

    Wost: Pedometer from my husbands rotten great aunt. Because I was “way too heavy, dear.” Yeah, we don’t see her anymore.

  69. Best: I started to learn to sew as a child and my Mother picked out and hand stocked a sewing basket – with all of the trimmings, thread of all colors, new fabric, scissors, ribbon, etc. The irony is that she HATED sewing – but did not want me to suffer because of it. I still remember how wonderful it was she took the time to make that for me.

    Worst: A Bible (fine) from my estranged grandparents. Addressed to one of my other cousins. That they liked better.

  70. Best present ever: My mom knows I love Harry Potter even though she hates it because WITCHES but she heard on the radio randomly one day that this new book was going to be “the new harry potter” so she bought it for me. Of course it wasn’t, the book was terrible, but it’s one of my favorite things in the entire world because it was just a random present she bought for me because she was thinking about things that I liked.

    Worst present ever: My grandmother announced she would no longer be giving me presents for anything because I had not sent her a thank you card the previous year. I was seven.

  71. Best Christmas present ever: A Mustang. Thanks, Dad.

    Worst Christmas present ever: A half-used bottle of Windsong perfume probably stolen from Walmart when I was in 4th grade.

  72. Best. Present. Ever. My uncle (an incredibly funny and talented writer) wrote and published a novel chronicling my grandmother’s 100 years on this earth. It was a beautiful, informative and hilarious piece of work that I cherish to this day.

    Worst. Present. Ever. MIL gave me a Céline Dion perfume gift pack because she “remembered” how much I love Céline Dion (we’d had MULTIPLE discussions about how it would be a very cold day in hell before I’d see CD’s show when in Vegas) and how much I enjoyed wearing perfume (I’ve been HORRIBLY allergic since before I even knew MIL and have NEVER worn it in the twenty years we’ve known each other). She was thrilled with how I “loved” the gift, and gave me the same thing the very next Christmas. :/

  73. Worst would be an alarm clock that was a skunk that vaguely resembled elvis and sang in a robot-y voice to wake you up Have a I mentioned I am not a morning person ?

    Best was a visit from my dad or my dog I love my dog

    (FYI pets are not presents and should not be given as such)

  74. Best: A dog that came tumbling out of my parents bedroom when I stormed in at 5am.

    Worst: The mechanical dog that (walked and barked just like a real dog) I’d received the previous year.

  75. Best – plane ticket to visit a friend in Austin. Or my childhood dog. Toss up

    Worst – the Christmas presents I got from my now ex-husband. Nada. Not a one. (no, not why we’re divorced)

  76. Best: A little ugly bunny statue. She is wearing a hat, has a lovely purple scarf, and has a place of honor on the mantle. It was the first gift my daughter bought for me, with no one else knowing. She was 6 and kept it a secret until Christmas.
    Worst: My new boyfriend bought me a George Forman knock off grill. It was our first Christmas together. We’ve been married 7 years now. He’s a lucky boy!

  77. Worst Present Ever: A bouncy ball from my grandmother. She had forgotten to get me a Christmas present and stopped at the gas station and bought a bouncy ball from one of those coin machines. Not only was I 16 at the time, but she only had one child and two grandchildren and she forgot about me.

    Best Present Ever: A sewing machine. It was kind of random (my dad bought it because I had taken sewing as an elective twice that year in HS so he thought I was “into” sewing) but I ended up taking up sewing and quilting because of it. It still works perfectly 15 years later!

  78. Best present EVER – Molasses. I know that sounds strange but there is an old lady in Crabtree Arkansas that makes her own molasses every year. She sells the extras from her front yard. First come first serve. She makes the best molasses I have ever eaten. Last year my husband managed to snag two quart size jars for me. He wrapped them and put them under the Christmas tree. The contents of that box boggled my mind as you probably know, two quarts of molasses is quite heavy.
    Worst present EVER – AS a child my mother sewed most of our clothes. One year she had a brilliant idea. She made my brother and I matching outfits with 3″ red, white and blue polka dots. Yes, I looked like my brother while little old ladies proclaimed “How Cute!” whilst pinching my cheeks. Thanks Mom.

  79. They are the same gift. The year my husband and I moved in together, he got me an electric dartboard. I had never played darts in my life, nor had I expressed any interest in learning. And it was a really expensive gift, so I didn’t get anything else. We had just moved in together and I was pretty sure we were going to get married, and clearly he was the worst gift-giver on the planet. Insert existential crisis.

    It also turned out to be the best gift ever because when our nine-year-old was a baby, there was a bar across the street with a bunch of dartboards. We were so tired and so broke that when my parents came to visit, we’d walk across the street for a few hours and play darts and drink cheap drinks. I actually am now not bad at darts and realize it’s fun to throw sharp things. Except I lost the cord to the electronic dartboard, which I still have, so it doesn’t work.

    Again, making it the worst goddamn gift ever.

  80. Best Present Ever: Snow on the first Christmas after my daddy died. I am convinced he sent us a white Christmas. We cried a lot that year, but there was a foot of snow on the ground, and the thought of Daddy smiling at us while we threw snowballs and made a snowman and tried to “be of good cheer” made it a little more bearable.

    Worst Present Ever: No present. Not a single gift that I didn’t plan for, purchase, and wrap for myself – my ex was a bit of a douchecanoe when it came to gift giving at the holidays.

  81. Best-The entire Little House series, hidden all through the living room, including in the basket of a brand-new 3 speed bicycle. Yay, Mom!
    Worst- A badminton game. We had just moved. To the country. The nearest house was two miles away and there were no kids my age. I had no friends. My life was spiraling into hell (that will be in book #3, too) and I kept that badminton set for years, unopened, unopened and felt bad every time I saw it. Mom said, “But you loved playing badminton with the girls next door.” “Yes, but there are no girls next door now, and I don’t think I can train deer and squirrels to play.” That was a fail, Mom.

  82. Worst: A Jesus penis (please don’t ask) as a gag gift. I hid it in a closet for months (like Jesus didn’t really know) before I finally sent it to the ol’ dumpster in the sky.
    Best: A trip to the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Conference.

    I’m a nerd with funny friends…..

  83. Best present: Trip to Paris with Mom and Sis

    Worst present: I met a girlfriend at the mall for my birthday surprise, it was new highlight for HER hair 🙁

  84. Best: Last year my husband bought me an antique Remington portable typewriter (still in its case) exactly like the one my grandmother taught me to type on when I was a kid.

    Worst: Pastel blue crew-neck sweater with an “L” encircled in a wreath of flowers embroidered right between the boobs. My sister got a matching one one with an “S” in pastel pink. We were 16 and 22 years old, respectively. My father was clueless. At least he got our initials right.

  85. Best? Maybe this one. We’re headed to London for 11 days. The hubs and me. All his idea. I dig him.

    Worst? Maybe not a gift. Maybe it was when I walked out on Christmas morning and there was NO SANTA. My dad was sitting in his recliner, shirt off, smoking a cigarette. He asked what I was doing as I sat on the ottoman, staring at the abyss that was the NO SANTA. “Oh, just admiring the tree,” was my teary reply. “OH SHIT – go to bed!” was his beautiful reaction.

  86. Best present: An ugly little bunny statue. She is wearing a big sun hat, has a lovely purple scarf, and has a place of honor on our mantle. It as the fist gift my daughter ever bought me with no one knowing. She was 6, and kept it a surprise until Christmas.

    Worst gift: my new boyfriend, on our first Christmas, bought me a George foreman knock off grill. We’ve been married now nearly 8 years. He’s a lucky boy!

  87. Best present Ever – the most gorgeous green leather Coach purse as a gift from my parents.
    Wors present ever – one year, my sister gave me soap.

  88. Best present ever: a blue unicycle (I was *that* kid)

    Worst present ever: full sized footy pajamas with a trap door. I was 18

  89. Best present ever: An oil lamp my mother in law made for me out of a wine bottle my husband fished out of the trash when he was a kid.

    I broke it a few years ago and she’s dead now.

    Worst present ever: Hubs got me a wet/dry shaver for our anniversary. I made him take it back.

  90. Best present ever: My boyfriend gave me a first addition of a book of poetry by my favorite author once. That was lovely.

    Worst present ever: Three Christmases/Birthdays ago (my B-day is 3 days after Christmas) my childhood dog passed. He was very old and sick, and it was his time. However, having it happen two weeks before Christmas was pretty hard. On top of that, my folks were in some dire financial straights, so we decided not to do presents that year. …Except that three days later–on my birthday–they got themselves a new dog. So…they got themselves a dog for my birthday.

    It just stung with the recent death, and the decision that gifts couldn’t happen for either events that year. 🙁

  91. Best Gift: Anything my grandmother gave me, ever. But mostly the old “Heidi” book, complete with pictures from the Shirley Temple movie. (She taught me to read before Kindergarten. The woman is awesome personified.)

    Worst Gift: My MIL makes everyone open their gifts one at a time so everyone can admire. She invites my husband ex-wife to Christmas every year. She got us the same outfits. Hers was a 4. Mine was a 14.
    *Note: My husband was married to the ex for 6 months at the age of 18. We’ve been together 22 years now.
    p.s. We no longer go to Christmas at his mother’s.
    p.p.s. I’m a 14 now. Back then I was an 8. (Bitch)

  92. Best: My husband bought me tickets to see Disney on Ice during our first Christmas as a married couple! He’s been great over the years when it comes to Christmas. Some of his top ones have been a Buffy replica stake, a terabyte external hard drive, and one year he bought me 12 books in a series I was reading.

    Worst: My aunts are awesome women, but they suck at presents. One of my aunts found out that I hated Barney the Dinosaur as a kid, so she proceeded to send me Barney related gifts for like seven years, ending in a giant fucking portrait of herself standing next to Barney. My other aunt bought me a watch every single year for about five years (despite me constantly saying how I hated wearing watches and bracelets) but she really topped out one year when she bought me my first bra and had me open it as a Christmas gift when I was eleven, in front of the whole family, and on camera.

    It’s not on the internet: http://youtu.be/S53ggGZrDaw (I’m kinda over it)

  93. Ugh. My husband’s worst present (given to him)..a bracelet. Made of embroidery thread. By an adult woman who said it was maid during the full moon so it had good stuff in it. Yeah, we are a bunch of heathens, but ack-I don’t really think she even tried on that one.

  94. Best present – Super Nintendo. We weren’t the type of family who got trendy things often, so this was huge. What was funny was that our dad played it more than my sister and I did; he was addicted to Paperboy.

    Worst gift – Can’t think off too many that stand out, although my mom has a friend that gave us pyjamas, sweaters, and earrings with fluffy kittens on it every single year. Not so cute when you’re 18.

  95. Worst present: I was 15 or 16 and my grandmother sent me pink footie jammies with a butt flap; no rabbit ears, thank God. And my mother insisted I try them on.

    Best present: beautiful earrings inside the trunk of a Matchbox car – and the blister pack had been re-sealed so it looked like I was just getting a Matchbox car.

  96. Worst – I am a big animal lover, so one year my mother in law bought in an ornament in the shape of dog poop. It was covered in glitter to, I guess, make it classier. Yes, she literally gave me shit.

    Best – anything that wasn’t shit.

  97. Best: A trip to London when I was 11. Seriously, my aunt took me, my brother, and my cousin. It’s the first and only time I’ve been out of the country.

    Worst: A vacuum. When I was still in school and living at home.

  98. Best/Worst present: A case of microwave popcorn. I was 10-ish, we didn’t have a lot of money for treats like this so my mom thought it would be a nice surprise. I thought it was a joke and was literally throwing popcorn bags out of the box looking for the “real” present,” and was surprised and a little angry when I realized that was it. I still feel guilty for being such an ungrateful little shit. Now that I’m an adult (and more aware of how hard she worked to hold it all together), I realize it’s one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever gotten.

  99. Worst: Gift cards that were stolen from Wal-mart and never loaded with money from my estranged father. I now check all gift cards before heading to the store with them after the embarrassment of not being able to use them in the store…thanks Dick!

    Best: The following year my mother gave me several (at least 5) gift cards for new tires…all wrapped separately and with distractions planted so I couldn’t figure out I was getting gift cards…5 grains of rick in a jewelry sized box will fuck with you.

  100. Worst present was actually given to me EVERY YEAR FOR 7 YEARS!!! My grandmother would buy all the other grandkids tvs, boom boxes, jewelry, computers, but our family got the dollar store version of the life savers book. You know that thing tat has like 8 packs of live savers, but not life savers. I HATE THOSE DAMN THINGS NOW!

    Best – a new ipad (bought it for myself) but i ended up not liking it, so i guess that does not count, i guess it would be a new set of pots and pans. i dont often have good gift mojo. i am not hard to buy for, i just never have gotten like the best gift ever, lots were good, but… i sound like an ungrateful biatch! wow

  101. Worst- My former mother in law gave me cinnamon scented things every year for SIX years. Not so bad you’d say until you count the fact that I am incredibly allergic to cinnamon, especially artificial cinnamon. I’m still convinced the woman was trying to kill me.

    Best- About 4 years ago my grandma gave me “the family spoon” Sounds ridiculous but it is a fantastic spoon and the oldest heirloom in our family. It dates back to 1770 London and it was one of the only things great x 5 grandpa Smith brought it with him when he came to America. The spoon is my favorite non living thing in my entire house.

  102. Worst Present Ever: My soon-to-be mother-in-law bought me men’s underwear for Christmas one year because I didn’t strike her as the feminine type. (And I married this woman’s son anyway–and remain happily married at that. Go figure.)

    Best Present Ever: An awesome trip planned entirely by my husband that swept us away for a two night stay in Pittsburgh to see MY FAVORITE HOCKEY TEAM’S ARCH-RIVALS PLAY. I didn’t have the heart to tell him of the mistake, so I rooted for the Penguins and even let him buy me a foam finger with their emblem on it. When we got home and he realized the mistake he had made (I didn’t tell him), he planned a bonfire to roast the foam finger. Best Christmas present ever.

  103. Worst gift: It wasn’t mine, but one year my spouse’s family forgot his birthday and he got soap on a rope for a gift.

    Best: I have a tie between getting my first bike at the age of 8 and this gorgeous painting my parents bought me when I was in college.

  104. Worst- a 24″ talking Rocky Balboa bobble head. All it ever said was “Adrian!!”

    Best- I received a porcelain doll from my parents when I was 10. The first time I saw it I wanted it so bad and when I went to show my dad it was gone. I cried and cried. I received it a few months later for Christmas!! I still have it.

  105. Best present ever: My friends pooled their money to buy me a half-hour drive in a Lamborghini. Plus a large model Countach, which was wrapped in black with yellow ‘lane lines.’ Even though the deal turned out to be a scam (the guys selling rides didn’t have any cars), the thought still made it the best present ever.

    Worst presents: My ditzy MIL walked around Target to fill my stocking with stuff like little yellow post-it notes, a dish scrubber, etc. Also, every year she asked, “What do you want for Christmas?” and we’d say, “A large warm blanket.” We’d get a spice rack. Or a puzzle. (No, she wasn’t poor.)

  106. Best present ever- being utterly certain (and I was correct, too) that we had just conceived our dreamed of and hoped for child at about 2 A.M. Christmas morning. (We had been inventing mixed drinks and playing Uno all night and my husband and I wound up under the Christmas tree, really blitzed, uh… enjoying each other’s company in a marital fashion… and I was getting poked in the nose by low branches and then I said to myself “Oh, holy crap! I’m PREGNANT!”. It was AWESOME. XD

    Worst- I think it was the electric leg razor from my MIL that came with the statement, “I like this, so if you don’t want it you can give it to ME hahahah… then she wanted to “borrow” it 2 days later. I said she could keep it and she was all like “Oh, if you’re SURE… hehehe”. I should have smashed it with a brick instead, but I didn’t have the spine back then.

  107. I’m kind of a Christmas lover and hater, one of the parts that makes me hate it is the gifting. I love to give but I feel profoundly uncomfortable receiving gifts, especially considering most of my “loved ones” really don’t have a clue when it comes to gift giving. “Emergency candles, and a pair of orange fuzzy socks…thanks but I’m a massage therapist and have a million candles in my house, I hate the color orange, and fuzzy socks make my feet smell funky…but really thanks.” I also have three sisters, so to save time my parents would usually just find out if there was one thing that cropped up on all 4 lists and get that, which meant that they’d give me (the doll hater) a cabbage patch kid 2 of my sisters asked for, etc. So picking a worst gift is difficult.

    The best gift ever was last Christmas, and it is a three way tie. When I was in college a million, trillion years ago I was an art major with an emphasis in photography. I dropped out of college, gave up photography, travelled, then became a boring responsible adult with boring responsible jobs, bought a house, got married, then my husband left me with a huge mountain of debt, and then I wrecked my car and the insurance wouldn’t pay anything on it because it was a worthless POS. I took to calling 2012 “The Big Suck”, it was a horrible, horrible year. I gave up all my hobbies and entertainment that cost money and have been working my ass off to get out of debt, I turned into angry frumpy girl who was known for being miserable and unfun.

    My oldest brother bought his wife a new car and gave me her used car. My next brother bought himself a new high end Nikon DSLR camera and gave me his old Canon DSLR and lenses so I could take up photography again. Then the youngest brother paid to have the roof on my crappy house re-done. My sisters got together and put together a payment towards one of my debts, then my parents paid the remainder on it. I was touched because my family knows I am almost physically incapable of asking for help, they didn’t ask they just stepped in and did it and they got it right. I still get a little weepy when I think about it.

  108. Best gift ever. A beautiful pair of “diamond” earrings that came in a flocked plastic long stemmed rose that my daughter purchased all by herself for me at the secret santa shop when she was in Kindergarten. I stiill break them out for extra special occassions (when I only have to wear them for about an hour–which is about how long it takes before my ears start to turn green and ooze)

    worst gift ever. my (now ex) husband bought me a new blue ray DVD player (my old DVD player was fine) and a set of DVD’s to a show I dont watch. All I had asked for was a Kindle paperwhite (which I didnt get). one year later–we are no longer together. (not a surprise)

  109. Can it be BOTH best and worst? A 9 lb baby girl, whom I liked much better on the Outside, because while she was on the Inside she liked to stand up and stretch, not caring a bit if I was able to breathe. She turned out to be bipolar and I can’t say I was that surprised.

  110. I completely understand. If I outlive at least two more people, I have a book to write myself. It might have to be fictionalized because, like your story, some people close to me actually think (or thought) I made stuff up because it’s all so bizarre–the ones who no longer think it’s false only now believe me because they happened to, unluckily, either be around in person or on the phone with me when some poop hit the fan.

  111. Best Ever – being in NY City at Christmas. The in-laws were there – but eh…. the city is MAGICAL.

    Worst Ever – getting a .22 rifle from my soon to be husband – who ended up being an ex-husband. It was a really crappy gun – and he was SO proud of it. Thought I would LOVE it – never give a woman you argue with A LOT – a GUN. He wasn’t the smartest person.

  112. Worst: My mom is the Queen of bad gifts. One year, when I was in High School, she gave me a cigarette case for Christmas. I have never smoked. Another year, when I was about 30, she gave me a pink night shirt, appropriate for a 10 year old girl. (Shades of your grandfather.) It was unreturnable, but I was able to give it to a 10 year old girl.

    Best: My best friend and I take a day off work a week or so before Christmas each year and bake cookies. That’s what we give each other. It’s therapeutic. Especially since we drink while we bake.

  113. Worst present ever: We were somewhat poor when I was younger and lived in a trailer park. My mom thought it would be funny on my 16th birthday to give me a matchbox car and a yard sign for my birthday. They all thought it was hilarious. I waited for an hour or two thinking there would be a party or something… nothing happened. I cried in my room all night (this was my only gift).

    Best Present Ever: My soon-to-be hubby has never been very good at saying the right thing or giving the right gifts. I am not very materialistic so I don’t really mind.. but sometimes a woman needs to know she is appreciated. So one day, I told him that he never brings me gifts or tells me how much he loves me. A week later, I was home cleaning house and sweating my butt off and he walks in with a gift. I open it… it wasn’t a flower, it wasn’t a card… it wasn’t candies or chocolates… it was a pocket vibrator. My man gave me the gift of sex. This is why I am marrying him!

  114. Best present ever- probably my niece being born two years ago?

    worst ever- my dad bought my SIL and I matching Hello Kitty watches. We were sooo confused and he told us the lady at the store said “all the 20 yr old girls were wearing them”. wtf?! haha we went to return them. turns out he paid $90 each for them. for hot pink hello kitty watches. haha oh dad… 🙂 i cant blame the guy for trying!

  115. Best present ever: When we first started dating, my husband gave me a stepladder, because he had seen me climbing on a chair to get something from a high cabinet. When he expressed concern, I had to tell him I was too irresponsible (and poor) to own an actual stepladder. He brought me one the next day, telling me he wanted me to be safe.

    Worst present ever: Our first Christmas together, he gave me a pair of platform sandals with lucite heels. They were white and strappy and 4 inches high. TOTAL HOOKER SHOES. I laughed, because I thought they were a joke.

    They were not.

    It is just now that I see the dichotomy in those gifts.

  116. Best present ever (in recent history): Hubby got me a massage table a few years ago. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, and is a great boost for marriage ruts! Except that now we bicker over who’s turn it is to receive the massage.

    Worst present ever: My son’s father – now my ex – gave me a membership to the gym to get my body back in shape because I was flabby and disgusting (his words) after having the baby… 2 months prior.
    all this, while himself was at least 60 pounds overweight. yeah.

  117. not so much a best present for me, but similar to your burp guns, I bought marshmallow guns for my (ADULT) siblings on the other coast for christmas a few years ago. my mom still bitches about finding marshmallows in her house. This year, they’re getting Airzookas (thinkgeek.com = best store ever!).

  118. Best Present — (2 or 3 Christmas ago, the wine makes it foggy) I received a “Soft Kitty” stuffed animal from TBBT that sings the song. I curl up in bed and play it when I’ve had a bad day.

    Worst Present — My boyfriend at the time sent me the ugliest flower arrangement for valentine’s day. It was worse when I received my CC Stmt and found out that I actually paid for it.

  119. best present ever: A trip to Alaska to look at the college I wanted to go to (and eventually did go to! Thanks mom!)

    Worst present ever: Pants that were two sizes too small and a note attached that said “IF you keep on your diet, you’ll fit in them in a few months!”

  120. Worst present ever…a pregnant “barbie” doll (generic as all) that you removed the belly and there was a baby in there. She wore a flower moo-moo and came with an extra belly cover, it was flat so she didn’t always have to be pregnant. But that’s not the worst part, the baby was a BOY!! And yes, you could tell. I really need to have my mom find that because no one ever believes me…

  121. Also, my middle husband had a sister in law who owned a thrift shop. She used to give us gifts from her thrift shop. Once, I got a bottle of perfume called ‘Jingle’. It smelled like floor cleaner and made me break out in hives just from smelling it. I think she was trying to kill me.

  122. Worst gift: my first Christmas married to my EX husband. He taped an initial “D” charm (with a diamond, he wasn’t cheaping out) to the lid of the box, so that when I opened it there was nothing. And then laughed at me when I teared up in disappointment.

    Best gift: from my now husband. Diamond hoop earrings. And pretty much anything he ever gives me because he listens to what I want/like and isn’t in it for his own amusement.

  123. Worst: The year I got a photo album that came as a door prize when you lose so much money at the casino. I’ve never been to the casino. My h’s grandma goes to the casino. His dad gave me the photo album. Regifted, of course. Wondered why we left so quickly (because I was trying not to cry)

    Best:The year santa brought us a swingset. We were little redneck children, so we didn’t use it according to the directions or anything (don’t think you’re supposed to swing from the top bar? HMM) but it was so much fun.

  124. Here is where I’ll get all lame and tell you that my oldest daughter was born two weeks before Christmas so she was my best present ever. Hey, she was a month early, so it works right? The second best was a Molly American Girl doll when I was ten. I know how freaking hard that must have been for my mom to come up with the money and knowing that made me love it even more than I already would have.

    Worst…my step-mother had this habit of buying me the best most prettiest twirly dresses from Nordstrom for Christmas for a few years in a row. The problem? She didn’t care for me much back then and she’d buy them two sizes two small. Even though my mom would take them back and buy me new dresses, the exact ones were always way sold out. Seems silly now, but from six – nine years old it was pretty fucking uncool. The whole thing was really to show my mother up money wise…she’d always leave the price tags on.

  125. My best present is something I think this crowd will especially appreciate! One Christmas my mom and I were out shopping and kept seeing ceramic roosters for sale all over the place. We joked about giant ceramic cocks everywhere, as you do, and laughed hysterically about it every time. So that year for Christmas she got one for me and made me explain to my entire family (including my ultra-prudish grandparents) why I was laughing so hard that I was crying. She passed away the next year and that was the worst present, but that rooster is still in my kitchen.

  126. Best Present Ever: Finding out I was — surprise! — pregnant with my daughter. I was only 21, but I’d probably still be a selfish twat if I hadn’t had her, and I think I learned more from her in the first 10 years than she did from me.

    Worst Present Ever: Bless their little hearts, my MIL and SIL are nine times out of 10 terrible gift givers, mainly because they like to shop at this chain of stores that sells distressed merchandise (imagine bottled marinades three months past their best before date and stale Jelly Bellies and awkwardly coloured bedding sets missing a pillowcase). Mr. ReignbowGirl and I have been completely digital for photos for a number of years now, yet nearly every Christmas and birthday I get at least one photo album from my MIL and/or SIL. I recently took an entire box full of albums to Value Village (Savers, for you US folks) to donate. My husband accused me of inflicting misery on others for doing so. Hmph.

  127. Best present: From my husband – I tell everyone it was the gift that said I love and trust you… it was a new Glock!!

    Worst present: I can’t think of one for me, but once my husband received a jar of mustard from his brother and sister-in-law. Not a special mustard that was rare and cost a fortune. Just a regular small jar of mustard. That was probably 25 years ago and we still laugh about it!

  128. My best present ever is tied to my worst Christmas shopping expedition ever, so I’ll use it as representative of the best and worst.

    Best: a scrapbook my mother made for me not long after my beloved dog, Flannery, died. It featured Flan and a lot of other furry babies that had predeceased her as well as those still alive, along with human friends and family, too. It was just so touching and so perfect.

    Worst experience: in order to make this scrapbook and my brother’s as well, my mother sent us both out shopping in not quite 20F weather when we were both sick with sinusitis. After shopping listlessly for about half an hour, we called her and told her it was too cold and we wanted to come back to her house. She tried to talk us into going to a restaurant instead and having a few drinks, which should have been a warning bell for us since she usually doesn’t want us to even sniff brandy and drive afterwards. We insisted and went back to her house anyway, so she had to double-time it on the scrapbook making, but still managed to present us both with gifts that we adored.

  129. Best: a seaplane ride that went over some of my favourite childhood places.

    Worst: the year I was so proud of my contact lenses, I was given a case for my glasses

  130. Best gift: A positive pregnancy test after a miscarriage that was really emotionally draining.

    Worst gift: Ex-husband gave me a box of cheap perfume that I had picked out for him to GIVE TO HIS OWN MOTHER. OLD LADY PERFUME. SO TERRIBLE.

  131. Best present ever:

    Got my kids Duck Dynasty Chia Pets this year. It’s the greatest thing because (a) they love Duck Dynasty and (b) who doesn’t like to grow plant beards on clay heads? IT’S THE AMERICAN WAY.

    Worst present ever:

    Please see “Best Present Ever” because after Christmas I’ll have 2 Duck Dynasty Chia Pets in my house.

  132. worst – bf and i had been together about 6 months. i was 21 and college life was typical – fun, busy, awesome, fast, and so not “tied-down”. …he got me a bread maker. to make HIM homemade bread.

    best – a pair of earrings from a very special person.

  133. Best present: My titanium chain mail bracelet my fiance made for me when he proposed. He made himself one to match, and there was a big romantic proposal, which I was totally not expecting.

    Worst present: A pair of yellow Mickey Mouse panties that were three sizes too small. My paternal grandmother and I weren’t really close, let’s just say.

  134. Best present ever – so hard to say…but my friend Pamela got me a real, live, professional tambourine in my Christmas grab bag this year. I loved it so much that they insisted on taking it away from me when we were all watching a movie. Perhaps because they were jealous about my impressive rhythm.

    Worst present ever – my sister in law gave me a used potty seat for my child. I had asked for something useful when my oldest was about 15 months. And since they will have no memories *of this Christmas, I asked for a potty training chair. She found one…at a thrift shop. So yeah, I got a present that people actually shit in.

    *that are admissible in court

  135. Worst, a store bought quilt, when my mom hand-made quilts for all of my sisters, Best, ironically 10 yrs later a handmade quilt from my mom.

  136. When I was 12 I got a hot pink Holly Hobby bedroom set, complete with canopy bed. I hate pink. I had wanted a canopy bed for years, but it wasn’t until I was 12 going on 20 that my parents could afford one. I really tried to make the best of it, never inviting my friends over to witness the horror. I was so thankful when it was time for my baby sister to get her own big girl bed a year later.

  137. Worst: The year I begged and begged my mom for a leather jacket. I was thinking a short trench style and was certain I had explained that. I never actually expected to get one because that was way above the spending limit my parents set on Christmas. When I unwrapped it and saw the box with the name of a local store that sold all leather goods I was so excited I almost started crying. When I pulled it out I realized I was now the proud owner of a mens jacket two sizes too big. It didn’t even have the advantage of being a cool biker jacket or something. It barely fit over my hips and was saggy everywhere else and the sleeves were too long.

    Best: The giant Erector Set my dad got me completely out of the blue. I didn’t even know something like that existed and I don’t remember ever expressing any interest in something of that nature, so I have no idea what made him think to get it. I played with that thing for years.

  138. Best Present – Having my little girl on Christmas Day.

    Worst Present – Being in labor on Christmas Day for 22 hours.

    It’s kinda a give and take. 🙂 I’m pretty sure the Best present part of that wins out.

  139. Best present – a Lego watch my brother brought me from Belgium (that was the same year he and my SIL told us they were expecting a baby. The watch wins because the baby is now 14 with the attitude. Haha.)

    Worst present – a suction cup sunglasses holder. Yeah.

  140. They weren’t the worst gifts, because they totally made me laugh and make for a great story now. But my grandmother used to give us Oil of Olay every year. From, like, the age of 9.
    One year she also gave us every dime ever minted. We got to keep the money but she also gave us those paper rolls. We had to roll them all ourselves. I don’t remember how much it was, but too bad Coinstar hadn’t been invented yet.

  141. Worst present ever: I wanted a phone for my bedroom. My dad gave a chocolate phone. It wasn’t even good chocolate.
    Best present ever: Last year my best friend sent me a bag of the potato chips of been looking for everywhere and hadn’t been able to find.

  142. Best: the year my parents got me gifts without me having to giving them a list. I was 20 and married. It was about time they figured out who I was and what I liked. (I know, waa, waa, waa)

    2nd Best: every Christmas our adult, married kids insist on coming to our house at 6:00am to open gifts, like when they were kids. It’s a special tradition, that now includes mimosas!

  143. I have two best presents:
    #1 age 3-4. Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas. I figured out that I could hand it to adults or my big brother and say read this to me and they would and that story would come alive! I loved that book so much I slept with it snuggled in my arms every night. And that started my lifelong love of books and reading.
    #2 After being disappointed with my gifts on Christmas (we were in the UK visiting his family who give me lightweight things like calendars I can put in the suitcase…like I need 3-4 of them!..but whatever) the next morning when we got up my then boyfriend asked if I felt like going ring shopping! He’s not a romantic man so that was his way of asking me to marry him. I did!
    Worst: age 23. My mom gave me a set of 3 pairs of ankle socks with hearts all over them (one pink, one purple and one blue) and when I looked disappointed and said-Mom, wth? I’m 23! she answered: but all the kids are wearing them! (what kids?! The ones who are 8?!) grr!

  144. Worst: my grandmother wrapped up a hotel sewing kit and put it in the family Christmas parcel when I was 11. “I thought you’d like the little scissors, dear!”

    Best: A fancy new sewing and quilting machine with embroidery stitches on it.

  145. I would have to say my worst present ever was as a kid and there were 5 kids and we were in severe poverty. Dad had left all of us when diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia & couldn’t stand to be around us kids plus he just picked up and left my mom with all kinds .of debt. So at x-mas (she worked two jobs to feed us. ) One job was in nursing home so old people knitted and sewed five small dachshunds weiner dogs out of scrap material. Of course we snooped and saw them before xmas so we were really down. Only other present was orange, apple, & some nuts. My best xmas gift was a big diamond wedding ring to replace lost one he gave me 24 yrs ago. He pampers me all the time! Best husband ever!

  146. That reminds me of the New Years my husband and I woke our sleeping boys at the stroke of midnight with a Nerf gun attack. Good times!

  147. Worst birthday present ever: My grandmother gave a book, wrapped in a plastic grocery bag, and told me to give it back as soon as I was done because she hadn’t read it yet.

  148. One of my best presents is working for Victor! But also-Thank you for always giving me a time to smile and laugh. When I am having a hard day, I open your book and read a chapter and I am good to go! Thank you for that gift!

  149. Best: Our entire 4-person family leaving on a trip to New Hampshire immediately after Christmas , watching 2 kids learn to snowboard (very well) there, and oohing and ahing at the New Year’s Eve fireworks show over the snow-covered landscape around the Mt. Washington resort.

    Worst: 2 FUGLY neckties received at Christmas which came 11 months after I finished my transition and vowed to never wear a tie again. These came from a relative who knew better but disapproved of my deciding to live the rest of my life as a woman.

  150. Worst #1: When I was 25 my new mother-in-law gave me 15″ tall ceramic angel statues. One was a soap dispenser that you press on her head to get the soap. The other was a candle holder and you put the tea light candle in her butt. (Seriously. W.T.H.)

    Worst #2: Same person (2 years prior) gave me a plastic comb/mirror combo set. You know, the kind that isn’t actually a mirror but it’s a little reflective sticker they put on the plastic circle. The little dollar store item you give a 3 year old.

    Most memorable (best) are all from childhood: my pink Barbie house, my new shiny 10-speed bike and the boombox that I could carry on my shoulder (pads).

  151. Worst: we draw names in my extended family, and a few years ago the…odd…aunt got me (“odd” has now officially been diagnosed, but that’s neither here nor there). She got me an assortment of horse things, because I’m a horse lover. Used, old brushes, hoof picks, a broken halter, and an old lead rope. I hadn’t owned a horse for over five years.

    Best: Someone gave me an autographed 8×10 glossy still of Russell Crowe as Gladiator. To this day I don’t know who gave it to me: the un-stamped envelope (marked NSW Australia) was left in my mailbox with the pic inside. Awesome. If that person could get me the real Gerard Butler this year, I can be single…

  152. Worst present ever: 1/2 bottle of hand lotion that (now ex-) mother-in-law bought for 25 cents at a yard sale, then bragged to me what a good haggler she is because they were asking 50 cents.

    Best present ever: A marriage proposal (from *current* husband) on bended knee at midnight on christmas eve under a clear, starry sky on the shore of a lake in the poconos. He gave me a huge, plastic heart-shaped ring that had a flip-top – when you opened it there was sparkly lip gloss inside. Evidently there was quite a commotion at his company; 1/2 the people polled said he absolutely could NOT propose without a ring…the other 1/2 said I should pick out my own. So the 5-year-old daughter of one of his employees offered up the solution.

  153. Worst Present Ever: Step-grandmother used to get me sheets for Christmas. How unexciting for me (my sister used to get them, too) and insulting to my mother. Payback years later when she was in a nursing home, my sister and I bought her sheets.

    Best Christmas present ever: A round trip ticket from my best friend so I could go see my Mom for Christmas. He is the best-est friend anyone could ever ask for!!! Love him!

  154. Best–a stuffed mouse from my parents the year my dad had a heart attack and couldn’t work. It was super soft like a pillow and I wasn’t expecting anything.

    Worst–a toss-up between the roses from Pathmark that still had the $4.99 tag on the plastic wrap or the frying pan (3rd cookware gift in a row). Both came from my now ex-husband.

  155. One Christmas, my then boyfriend gave me panty hose (size 2x), bras (size 42 B) and some size 10panties. I’m a medium for hose, 34 C bra and 6 in underwear. I found during the ensuing argument that he had raided his own stash — he enjoyed cross dressing. Worst ever Christmas gift in so many ways.

    Best is something I didn’t realize was a gift at the time… the incredibly wonderful memories of happy Christmases with my parents and sister — the love and laughter that filled our home and seemed to spill out on Christmas like no other time of the year. I think the best gifts are the ones that money can’t buy…

  156. Best Present Ever: This MST3K necklace my Dad got me last year. http://www.picapicapress.com/product/mst3k-locket-necklace
    It’s not the necklace itself. It’s the fact that I posted it on my FB wall in February. I loved it. It was awesome. It was sold out and no date for more was listed. He kept checking until he could buy one for me for Christmas because he knew how much I would enjoy it. I have a tumblr dedicated to it.

    Worst present ever – Baked goods and candy last year at work. I couldn’t eat any of it because it all had wheat or barley. I have Celiac disease and couldn’t eat any of it. Not even the chocolate. My own doctor who knows I’m gluten free gave me stuff I couldn’t eat.

  157. Worst Present Ever: I was 15 and I got the “HORIZON” name plate for my at the time 12 year old 1982 Plymouth Horizon that I was driving. I also got the Beatles Anthology which I already had. Yeah… my dad was kinda clueless that year.

    Best Present Ever: (which TOTALLY made up for the name plate, even if it was 15 years after the fact) A BMW Z3 Roadster. Got it last year not for Christmas but for my birthday. My dad has gotten a LOT better at the whole present thing.

  158. Best Christmas present ever: a Zippy the monkey doll when I was 8. Not the weird one with the banana but the fantastically realistic one with the cute overalls and hat. He was my best friend until I was 12.

    Worst gift ever: I was 25 and my stepmom gave me a sweater two sizes too small. Her comment, “It will motivate you to lose weight.” It didn’t.

  159. Best: Olive oil soap from Greece. My dad and stepmom came back, and my dad had insisted that, no, I would not rather have a piece of jewelry, I would rather have olive oil soap.

    Worst: The same lime-green-on-acid sweater I’d been given the year before. Which is to say that I returned the newer one to JC Penney, came home, and discovered that the other had been stashed away in the closet for an entire year. Clearly I wasn’t the only one who’d forgotten about it.

  160. When a “worst” turned into a “best”: I was snooping in my parents’ closet during the holidays when I was about 13 years old, and found a little stuffed pony that made galloping noises when you squeezed it. I couldn’t believe they would get me such lame gift (I was 13, after all, so anything childish was “lame”). When I opened it Christmas morning, I half-heartedly feigned enthusiasm. My mom then told me to read the gift tag hanging from it. They had bought me horse riding lessons! Best present ever! It also taught me a lesson a) about snooping, and b) being snotty about gifts.

  161. The best: Being able to see my then 2 year old
    Grandson 2 years ago at Christmas (he lives in Alaska and I don’t)
    The worst: every Christmas that I am alone without family (which is every other Christmas including this year)
    Merry Christmas Jenny. You make me smile. Thank you.

  162. I really only have a worst, because I think all my presents are great, except this one – The Christmas of 1989 Incident. My sister received a beautiful winter coat and I got a box that had poker chips and ping pong balls and a pair of toddler sized Christmas socks. I was 10 years old, so the socks were useless. I hadn’t ever heard of poker and did not own a ping pong table nor paddle.

    I don’t know what thought, if any, she put into the hodgepodge of things that were put into the box with my name. I can’t blame senility because that came much later. She was fully in control of her actions and thoughts. Also, we lived with her, so I know she knew that I hadn’t played poker or ping pong and that my feet were larger than the socks she gifted. It was all at once both a complete mind fuck as to why I received them and also a giant box of disappointment because I knew then that out of all 30 of my cousins, I was #30 on the favorites list.

  163. Best: My grandma gave me a guardian angel car decoration that said “never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly” which confused me since I didn’t have a license or a car. Right after Christmas, she took me to test for my license and on the way home, she bought me a car. This was most definitely a once-in-a-lifetime kind-of gift, but damn, can’t really beat that.

    Worst: A fluffy purse from my aunt. Was weird, totally not my style, and not well thought out at all.

  164. I’ve had too many Best Gifts to choose one…but last Christmas when my boss had just closed her business and we had zero dollars – we bought NO gifts, I didn’t even buy for my kids – but one of my friends sent me a box with a coffee mug (because I collect them) and a truly hideous pair of mittens (MICHIGAN mittens, with a map!)…and she’d crumpled up $150 one dollar bills and stuffed them in the mittens, mug, and box.
    It was an excellent gift. I cried.

    Worst gift which was also cool – As I mentioned, I collect coffee mugs…and a few years ago my stepmom gave me this: http://www.funslurp.com/images/toilet-coffee-mug.JPG

  165. Best: my daughter, who was born at 11:15 PM on Christmas Day 2009.

    Worst: when I was in my mid-teens, my Mom decided I was too old for candy and put toiletry items in my stocking (Gillette lady shavers, shaving cream etc.). I was in high school and still living at home and they would still regularly buy these for me so it was a kind of mystery for me.

  166. Best Gift:
    A signed picture of one of my favourite singers. (Jim Byrnes.) My roommate knew how much I liked him and cold called his agent. The agent was just saying how sadly she didn’t expect to see Mr. Byrnes before Christmas so couldn’t help when he walked into the office. I loved it and still do today.

    Worst Gift:
    When I was 11 I decided I wanted an outdoor fish pond, surrounded with ornamental garden gnomes (the real kind just make a mess). So I dug a hole in the backyard, put a Tupperware tub in it, filled it with water and dumped in a goldfish (poor thing). I then proceeded to tell everyone who would listen that for my birthday and Christmas (forever) I wanted things to make my new pond cool. (Example: the aforementioned gnomes.)

    My father told me he thought his gift for me would look great outside at my new little pond. I was thrilled.
    Then I opened the gift to find a shirt.

    I remember it to this day. It had a shoulder pads and woman on the front in a sailor suit. Seriously? Shoulder pads? I have shoulders like a football player on my own. Anyway back to the story.

    Me: “Ha ha, where’s my real present.”
    Dad: “That’s it.”
    Me:
    Sweet Step Mother (who was totally not in on the leading me on part): “You don’t like it?”
    Me: “No. It’s really nice. Thanks.”
    Me: So my gift is a socially awkward moment and guilt for being ungrateful. And still no damn garden gnomes. You’re getting a bag of snakes next year.

  167. Best and worst Christmas for me was when I was in Junior High – my younger brother had acted in an industrial film and had a big paycheck, and he announced that we were all getting what we WANTED for Christmas! I wanted a pair of Tretorn tennis shoes (yes, I’ve just aged myself), and I got them! Great! What made it the worst was that I had peeked under my parents’ bed pre-12/25 so I had ruined my own surprise. GUILT forever.

    Another best and worst would be 2006. My mother had died in a horrific car crash in October, but before she got into that crash, she’d shown my brother a porcelain doll she’d found for my niece – the face of whom looked exactly like the niece! The car crash involved a fire, so the doll and everything else in Mommy’s possession was done for. My brother, yes, that same generous boy who’d shot the industrial film, FOUND the doll online somewhere and managed to give my niece a Christmas gift from her Grandma from the grave.

  168. I have an estranged grandfather too! It’s hard to explain to people…I lived in the same city as him for 2 years in university and never saw him…always wondered if we passed by each other in a mall and didn’t even know…

  169. The worst gift I ever got was a package of tampons. Not just tampons, but a sample pack, the kind you get in the mail. These were given to me by my husband’s dad’s fiancé, the first Christmas that we spent together. Needless to say, it was mighty awkward. (And hubby got deodorant. Lovely.) Over the years, she proceeded to get us many weird and crappy gifts, even more so when we had kids. Fortunately she seems to have stopped.

    Best gift? That’s really hard to say, although both my children were conceived over the Christmas season 😉

  170. We have nerf guns in our house… it absolutely made moving easier when we were both stressed out from packing and I all of a sudden got hit with a dart and looked up just in time to see my boyfriend toss the other gun my way. Best battle ever.

    Best gift I ever received was a necklace from my boyfriend last year. I have pretty specific taste in jewelry, and it’s hard to find a piece I would really love. My boyfriend hunted and managed to find the perfect one for me. I still wear it every single day.

    Worst gift wasn’t one of mine, but it’s too funny not to share. When my stepsister was 8, she wanted a pet hedgehog. 14 years later, she’s 22 years old, sort of a fashion queen, very neat and tidy. Her dad decides to give her a hedgehog for Christmas. She comes home to our house, and walks in with this squeaking creature that it turns out likes to poo on it’s own running wheel, then run in it. She was horrified.

    We ended up giving the hedgehog to a family with some younger kids that really wanted one. I’ll never forget the look on my sister’s face, though.

  171. My MIL gave us an envelope that had a letter saying we owed them $2,000 that my husband had borrowed while in college for room and board. She gave us this “gift” on Christmas morning while everyone was opening gifts and when the other relatives inquired what was in our envelope she proudly declared, “A letter saying they owe us $2,000.”

  172. WORST – My grandmother left me a key to her house while she traveled to Europe so that I could get my present off the counter while she was away. It was my 21st birthday, so the present was obviously going to be something meaningful, nay, amazing.

    When I walked into the kitchen, I found a scale (the kind you weigh yourself on) with a receipt to Bed Bath and Beyond taped to it. No card, no wrapping paper.

    The kicker was that it wasn’t even digital and only cost her $11 after tax.

  173. Worst present ever: ALL three of my brothers who were born on Christmas. No, they are not triplets. Yes, it is weird.

    Best present ever: The year we lived on an army base in Japan and I wished for nothing but lots of snow for Christmas Day. And lo and behold, woke up to 3 feet. This alone makes me still believe in Santa at the age of 38.

  174. Best present: Probably any of the years that my husband got me an autographed Neil Gaiman book in which Neil invariably wrote Merry/Happy Christmas and it made me as giddy as a schoolgirl.

    Worst present: Toss up. My Mother loved to try and put me in things that she thought were beautiful/cute that I would never be caught dead in. One year she bought me a purple puffer coat. Now, just saying that you wouldn’t think that it was that bad. Oh no. At first glance. But you don’t understand that I am a big, curvy girl. That puffer coat did nothing but exaggerate my overlargeness. I got made fun of from the first second on school grounds until I went home at 3:30. People called me walrus and made Erp Erp Erp noises at me. I threw the coat on the floor of my closet and vowed never to wear it again no matter how cold I was.

    Thankfully I live in South Carolina and it really isn’t a big issue.

    2nd: My Mom needed pajamas for me. She usually tried to get my sister and I the same things so that we wouldn’t fight over anything. So, high school. Full on Goth/Emo phase. I open my box to receive a pair of bright pink footie pajama with small white lambs all over it that said something like “Twinkle Twinkle LIttle Lamb” They were the most horrific pajamas anyone could ever have given goth me.

    Four years later I fished them out of the back of my dresser when we had an ice storm and had no electricity for a week. I’d have probably fished out the puffer coat too if we hadn’t given it to Goodwill! 🙂

  175. Best present ever : my hubs jumped through a whole mess of hoops to procure an autographed copy of ” To kill a mockingbird ” ( my favorite book) for me , and even had Harper lee write a little note to me ( yes she’s still slice, she’s just like 90 something ) anyway , I cried and screamed and pretty much just freaked the fuck out in the best possible way.

    Worst present ever ; after spending a year on a starvation diet and living on the treadmill/at yoga/Pilates etc and getting back down to as skinny as I was my freshman year of high school ( a185 pound weight loss that was no easy battle) my mother bought me size 4x flannel granny pajamas with pictures of food all over them .
    It was all I could do not to slap the shit out of her .

  176. Best: Tickets to see John and Hank Green on the Tour de Nerdfighting.
    Worst: Yahtzee, as a way for me to improve my math skills. I was a straight A math student, but my dad thought I need to improve my basic counting skills.

  177. Worst: Christmas’s living with my mom when we had no tree, no presents, and no food. That was back in the day before Project Night Night.
    Best: This past Halloween (my favorite day of the whole year) my husband went out on his own and came back with “Love Forever” in Norwegian tattooed on the inside of his ring finger. It was his first ever tattoo.

  178. Is it bad that I can’t think of a best but a worst immediately springs to mind?

    My grandmother on my mother’s side would give my sister and me each $1 for our birthdays and for Chanukah with a note saying she “put money in our accounts.” When we were old enough, we got access to the accounts. Eighteen years of birthdays and Chanukahs plus interest totaled about a hundred bucks. She must have given us $1 and put $2 more in our accounts. Not to sound greedy or something but this was 18 years of leadup with very little payoff.

  179. Best present: A pose-able ballerina doll when I was eight. It’s the ONLY thing I wanted that year. We gathered at my grandparents’ house, where my grandfather played Santa and handed out gifts . After all the gifts had been handed out and opened, and I was trying not to show how disappointed I was, my grandfather pulled a “Ralphie’s father”, and pointed out one last gift that had been hidden in a corner behind the tree. THE DOLL.

    Worst present: Ugliest white sweatshirt I’ve ever seen.

  180. Best present ever was my dog/chair/best friend. He was rescued from a puppy mill and at the time we were both shy, insecure, and mildly socially broken. My mom got him for me when I was very ill and lost and really just in need of a friend. I love him ore than words can ever fully express.

    Worst present ever: My father (who I suspect forgot to buy me a gift and was trying to cover his ass) did not have a present for me under the tree but told me I got to go out for a special trip with him instead. We ended up at the Auto parts shop, where he made a purchase inside then brought the change he had left over to the claw vending machine outside. He told me I had $5.00 or 5 chances to get a toy and probaby lose OR I could let him play for me and have 5 chances to win. I ended up with a pair of fuzzy dice for a car after he ost 4 0f the 5 times becease the machine “cheated him”

  181. Worst: My aunt (my only not aunt-because-she-married-my-uncle but blood aunt) gave me a portable, inflatable Resusci Annie. It basically looks like one of those doughnut things people use for hemorrhoids with a Resusci Annie plastic mask. I have no idea where she got it or why she gave it to me. It kinda looks like a cheaper version of this: http://healthysimulation.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/mini-anne.jpg

    Best: My remote start for my car since we don’t have a garage and it is currently 7 degrees here.

  182. Oh yea, and almost best, with a failed delivery- a signed copy of your book from when you were here last year. I had a family member get it signed (we had baby issues and had to leave early) and then we were going to keep it til Christmas for the recipient. The family member gave it to them early. Not a Christmas present after all…

  183. This year, my MIL wins the award for WORST PRESENTS EVER. We aren’t on speaking terms with her. Saturday, we get an odd package in the mail. From China. It’s an electronic circuit board with wires, etc. and a huge warning label: CONTAINS LEAD PAINT. A few hours later, MIL emails to make sure we “got” this gift, and to let us know that since we won’t speak to her, only 2 of the 3 kids are getting Christmas presents, and it’s up to us to decide who gets left out. We throw the gift away and delete the email. Today, the mail lady arrives and I have to sign for a package. It’s from Japan. It’s a plastic “helicopter” and all the writing on the package and instruction manual are in Japanese. Guess where this “gift” is going…

  184. Best gift was a locket with my husband and in it itvwas our firsr Christmas together.
    Worst gift was a gift card to a certain kind of toy shop from my ex ewwww

  185. Most memorable – Being the only older child in a fairly large extended family has it’s ups and downs. I’ve always been crazy about Christmas, so each year I would end up decorating trees for my mom, aunt, and grandmother, and doing any other Christmas prep. I also ended up wrapping just about every present for those three families. One year I wrapped everything under the tree for my grandmother. The entire time I was gazing with envy at the TV she had gotten for my niece. Then the countdown started. 2 weeks out, nothing new under the tree. 1 week out, nothing new. Christmas eve, I’m at the tree handing around presents to everyone. My niece gets the TV (and another present that didn’t register at the time). I get to the end and am completely crestfallen, no present for me. AFTER my niece (did I mention, she was 5 at the time) opened up the TV, they finally let me in on the joke. The TV was for me! My prim Christian grandmother was in the corner just giggling with her cleverness. Funny enough, that TV got passed on to my niece, and just got thrown out after sputtering its last bloop. She’s getting my old 42″ plasma for Christmas now LOL.

    Worst – Last year I handmade a gorgeous tote bag for my MIL. We got a tube sock stuffed with rice, with pieces of fabric and googly eyes glued to it to make a snowman…. actually, we got 4 of these monstrosities.

  186. Best Present Ever: Red Box D&D.

    Worst Present Ever: My wife has a crazy uncle. Like, legit, on disability for schizophrenia crazy. One year, he gave me a circuit tester. But the winner was the umbrella-style clothes rack. You know, like this (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Household-Essentials-Umbrella-Clothes-Dryer/10309895) only not as nice. What was always weird was that the look on his face made us think that he put actual thought into these things, and it wasn’t just something that struck his fancy at the dollar store.

  187. Best present ever: when I was 12, I opened a box which contained a lovely terrycloth bathrobe from Victoria’s Secret. I was happy to get that, but underneath there were two little scraps of white and pink cotton. Thinking they were underwear, I picked them up, but QUICKLY put them back down again when I realized they were BRAS. I was a bit… underdeveloped… and I felt like the only kid in my grade who didn’t wear one. I was so secretly overjoyed and felt so proud and grown-up. My whole face flushed red. In the home movie, I’m grinning deliriously. Also, she got me A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which I loved and went on to read probably 30 times.

    Worst present ever: a weird rich aunt that we’d only met once sent us all Christmas gifts every year that were somehow exactly what we didn’t want and also wildly expensive. One year she got me a brown leather jacket with a CINCHED WAIST. No one can pull that off, certainly not a 13 year old girl.

  188. My best and worst are the same: Tickets to see New Kids On The Block. Best, because when I was ten I was ecstatic. Worst, because now I’m not ten and I’m ashamed.

  189. Worst: A fun fur scrunchie, which was given to me by my husband’s aunt. I couldn’t tell what it was at first, and thought she had given me a dead hamster.

  190. Best Present Ever: My Father coming to me in my dreams Christmas Eve the year he died to tell me he loved me.

    Worst Present Ever: Losing my Father six weeks before Christmas when I was 13.

  191. Best Christmas present ever:
    My promise ring from my boyfriend. <3

    Worst Christmas present ever:
    When I was maybe 5 or 6 years old, my aunt (who has 3 boys and maybe doesn't know what to get a little girl for Christmas?) gave me an ant farm. When I opened it, I jumped away and started sobbing because I thought it had ants in it already and I was terrified.

  192. Best: I was in 8th or 9th grade, and my Dad went shopping, on xmas eve, and bought me a silver unicorn ring. That Dad went shopping was about half the gift, by itself.

    Worst? There’ve been plenty of clinkers over the years, but the automatic pot stirrer (it runs on batteries) my husband gave me a few years ago was pretty bad.

  193. Worst present ever? The baby shower gifts I received from the woman we now refer to as “stalker grandma” (not actually a family member at all) when I wasn’t even pregnant.

  194. OMG you just helped me pick my family grab bag gift!!!

    Wow, best? My dad got me my sewing machine and it’s the best thing ever!

    Worst? My aunt gave me mixed nuts one year. It was the family grab bag and she insisted I should pick her gift because I’d really like it. She was sincere.

    My ex-Mother In Law got me an ugly sweater that managed to make my ass look big. But she gave me the gift receipt so I went to exchange it. I figured it was inexpensive, knowing her, so I chose a $15 sweater to replace it. Nope, that was too much…it was a $9 sweater! And it’s not like she was poor or anything, the woman was just cheep. She bought the sweater because it was a deal and she wouldn’t have to spend too much money. She had no care on whether I would actually like it. So many reasons why I’m glad I’m out of that family…so many reasons. Not a 89 cent child’s sweater, but close.

  195. I love my husband deeply. He is the worst gift giver ever. For an anniversary one year he gave me a card. with a check. For $20. From our joint checking account.

  196. Worst – a box filled with unwrapped Baby Ruth candy bars, which was intended to make me think I got a box of shit.

    Best – my son. He was born on Christmas Eve.

  197. Best present: All five seasons of a show I loved on DVD, unasked for, because hubby usually squeaks about money at Christmas. This one year, after I battled Chicken box in early December, he got me this.

    Worst present ever: Hard to pick from two different years. You chose. One year, I was pregnant with our third child, and I got ten washcloths in different colors so I could better wash the kids faces. Another year, I got nothing. Zero. he was too busy to buy anything until the 26th. Good thing I love him AND I’m not a homicidal maniac driven by greed.

  198. Best: A gift certificate for a full-body massage, wrapped along with the kitchen timer counting down to the appointment, which was already made for that afternoon.
    Worst: I asked for an newly released Ella Fitzgerald box set, and got a 3-disc John Tesh collection instead. Because, you know, they’re both “jazz”.

  199. Best : My husband wrote to loads of my favourite people asking them tomsend me a birthday message. Three did ! The historian Ronald Hutton, the explorer Benedict Allen, and best of all my most favourite author, John Crowley. Second best would be the pendant he bought me with patterns from the Newgrange tomb in Ireland that we visited on honeymoon, and “Forever” engraved on the back in Ogham script.

    Worst : From my estranged mother ( who I should mention is jolly well heeled !) a plastic bag containing several pairs of her old knickers which she thought I might like. She also tried to give me a pair of slippers in which an elderly relative had breathed their last. I don’t know if she thought of these as gifts or what the rationale was, really.

  200. Well mine is from my oldest daughter’s perspective. Couple years ago we flew to Houston. She had just received 2 months prior to that a brand new Nintendo DSi for her birthday. Well on the return flight it fell out of her bag and me being concerned with getting my wife and 4 kids off the plane neglected to do an equipment check. Calling the airlines is like asking Gholum for the ring back. If he even bothers to respond (they didnt) you wont like the answer.

    Fast forward a month to my youngest son’s birthday. He gets a brand new Nintendo DSi for his birthday. Now my daughter is upset because it brings it all back. To make matters worse her grandparents who gave it to her called to wish him a happy birthday and I made her get on the phone and tell them she lost it. Well she lost it big time when she tried to tell them. Im fairly certain she was speaking latin through all the blubbering.

    When it was all over I stressed the importance of taking responsibility and admitting when you’d made a mistake. Then I handed her a replacement for the one she lost that I bought the day after we got back.

    Worst Present: Awesome Nintendo DSi you lost literally less than month after you got it and then having to watch your brother get one for his BD less than a month later and fessing up to your grandparents that you cant keep track of 3 things. The nerve of some 7 year olds…

    Best Present: Getting a replacement after your dad tries to teach you some kind of life lesson. That guy is a total dick.

    Bonus Present: The look on my wife and her mom’s face when I gave it to her. You’d think I just acted out an entire sappy Hallmark Channel movie and Im the super cool dude who punches Douchenozzele McAnuspants in the face and proposes to the girl next door.

    I rock.

  201. Worst ever is a toss up between the year my first husband didn’t buy me one at all, not even a card..or the year he bought me a really cheap and nasty white T-shirt from a market, with some badly printed ‘humorous’ caption about Saddam on it and a bootleg CD. I’d asked for a bangle!
    Best present ever was when I was 10. I got my own little portable record player which meant I could play what I want when I wanted, in my own room.

  202. Best Present Ever. Gorgeous dark wood hand drum carved with dragons (dragons!!). I still hope to be able to play it well some day. It was a TOTAL surprise.

    Worst Present Ever is a tie between the electric shaver my mother gave me when I was 12 (seriously?? As a present?? She must have forgotten the deodorant and nail clippers. Then my personal hygeine stash (and holiday) would have been complete.) and the Hello Kitty electric toothbrush set my grandmother gave me when I was somewhere in the 11ish range. Because nothing says “awesome” for a childhood Christmas like clean teeth. I guess “tween” is the best time for embarrasing hygeine-related gifts.

  203. Best – Usually any year I buy my own – apparently I’m an enigma to my family members, and they are completely clueless as to what I would enjoy. (And no, I don’t need pricey items in the slightest…but I certainly don’t need things like – expired calendars – expired date books – expired planners …perhaps you see a trend?…lol) At this point, I would rather receive a gift card, as it breaks my heart to see them wasting money on things that they try to match up to my interests, but they know nothing about, so grab the first thing on the clearance shelf that depicts the logo.

    Worst, when I was about 7 – my cousins my age and younger all received toys, my siblings and cousins older than me all received plush blankets. I received a shirt. I think that was the year I gave up on Christmas really being for me in any way shape or form.

    Funnily enough, I love giving presents, and I pride myself on trying to find something really worthy of the individual…even if I don’t have much money to spend. That is what gifting should be…if you are just going to phone it in, why bother…after all, it is the thought that counts, and if the person isn’t worth thinking about and finding something suitable, then don’t bother – just gift card them.

  204. Best present: The 2-ft-tall homemade dollhouse lovingly crafted by my grandfathers and filled with furniture my mom made using cereal boxes and fabric. You never would’ve known unless you looked closely. Everything is still in a closet at my folks’ house.

    Worst present: My grandmother dying. That year, I had named a star after her and never got to tell her. I assume she’s up there keeping an eye on it.

  205. Best present ever was when my husband proposed to me. It wasn’t real elaborate (like yours), but it really made the day.
    Worst present ever was a extremely hideous flower printed corduroy pant suit that my maternal grandmother gave to me. She sent the same outfit to my cousin who was a year older ensuring that I would have to wear the outfit for another year. The gift that kept getting worse.

    Happy holidays!

  206. Best? Listening to my kids’ laughter on Christmas morning. Best. Gift. Ever.

    Worst? A weird assortment of regifted toiletries, some years old. That one just made me sad.

  207. Best present ever: Kind of a tie between the potters wheel I got for my birthday 10 years ago and the 7 month trip to Australia & Fiji back in 1982 when I was 11 years old from my parents (yes, they came too).
    Worst present: Kinda like yours, except the sweater did fit, but only once. After I washed it, the arms got really really long (like Orangutang long) and the body of the sweater got really really short. It became a halter top for people with really long and cold arms. I even exchanged it for a new one as I thought the first one must have been a one off kind of defective, but no, the next one did exactly the same thing. Perhaps Martha Stewart could have advised me on the proper way to block out a sweater, but I was 13, what did I know about sweater blocking?

  208. Best: My first iPod. It’s my favorite intimate object because I’m a music junkie and have been since my parents brought me into the world to Led Zeppelin. But it was the best gift because I hadn’t even thought to ask for it and it might not have been mine at all. After years of pickle prizes being gifted to my sister, I’d found that damn pickle first that year. And it was better that it was mine because she wouldn’t have needed it anyway – she already had an iPod. Truly, it was meant to be mine. 🙂

    Worst: In 2005 my mother-in-law gave me a photo box proudly celebrating the graduation class of 2005. I held the box in my hands confused and at a loss for words and she said, “What’s the matter, don’t you love it?” (Probably assuming I used those sorts of things since I am big into photography) My fiance and I just looked at her and he said, “Mom, we graduated in 2000. Why the hell would you buy her a box that said class of 2005?” MIL: “Because it was on sale. Got myself one, too.” She didn’t even realize why it was a ridiculous gift because all that mattered was the price. It was the first of many questionable gifts and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

  209. Best present ever: My first Christmas with my then boyfriend (but now future hubby). He could have gotten me nothing at all, and it wouldn’t have mattered, because he was there sharing the day with me.

    Worst present ever: When I was 11 or so, my aunt and uncle got me a sweater lint remover. I was totally baffled, and thus began years of thoughtless Christmas presents from them.

  210. Worst gift ever: Debbie Gibson “Electric Youth” cassette tape.

    Best gift ever: Hypercolor t-shirt. Yeah, I rocked that color changing son of a bitch.

  211. Worst present: My sister-in-law must have went shopping that day at Walgreens and she gave my husband and I the 6-pk KY Touch Massage oils in front of my in-laws. So awkward! How do you even respond to that?!

    Best: My mom is so thoughtful in her gifts, that I love so many of them. I always remember the year I got a Cabbage Patch doll & Cabbage Patch Big Wheel from Santa. I love that precise moment of the magical feeling that Christmas brings.

  212. Best present: A used house. A huge used house. 3000 + square feet and every single inch needing remodeling. It went down to studs. It’s the house I’ve always wanted, great for parties and I love it…although it did cause my husband to have a heart attack while cutting down a dozen trees on the property. True story. No bullshit.

    Worst present: A used house. A huge used house…. after 4 years we’re still remodeling… I’m in spackle hell.

  213. Worst ever was when I was 12ish and received not one, but TWO umbrellas with a flashlight in the handle. WTF? Never mind the fact that I had the most overprotective parents in the world and never went anywhere at night where I would need both an umbrella and flashlight, but what the heck about it made 2 separate people think that it was a great gift for me??? Sigh.

  214. Best: My mom is so thoughtful in her gifts, that I love so many of them. I always remember the year I got a Cabbage Patch doll & Cabbage Patch Big Wheel from Santa. I love that precise moment of the magical feeling that Christmas brings.

    Worst present: My sister-in-law must have went shopping that day at Walgreens and she gave my husband and I the 6-pk KY Touch Massage oils in front of my in-laws. So awkward! How do you even respond to that?!

  215. Worst present: We go to my husband’s father’s home for Christmas and his second wife’s family is usually there. When it comes time to open gifts they all sit around and open gifts from each other. Somewhere in the middle of it all my father-in-law realizes we haven’t been given out “gifts” yet, so he hands us a card with a check for $50 to $100 dollars in it.

    Best present: it’s hard because The Husband does wonderful things for me. I suppose it would be a toss up: Two years ago I got an upgraded wedding ring, this year I got a puppy.

  216. Best: Probably “Make Good Art” which my mum sent to me out of the blue just when I needed it the most.

    Worst: really ugly fuzzy cat slippers that meowed 3 days late for my 13th birthday from my dad’s father.

  217. Worst present ever- a large statue of a white hand with its fingers crossed sitting on a black pedestal from my father in law. We had to drag it out every time he came over for years. WTF?

    Best present ever- a horse! My parents were apparently completely insane and gave in to my begging for a horse. We got the actual horse just before Christmas and I woke up Christmas morning to a beautiful leather-tooled saddle. He was a black gelding quarter horse named Midnight who turned out to be an epic pain in the ass. But still…a HORSE!

  218. In my early 20’s, one of my coworkers was a retired naval engineer in his 80s. He had an artistic streak, and we often talked about our hobbies, so we knew I liked to dance. One year we exchanged gifts rather late, so I decided I’d just take mine home and open it with the rest of my gifts Christmas morning.

    I was a bit horrified when I opened the small box and found myself pulling out a belly dancing hip scarf positively covered with jingly coins. In front of my rather conservative parents. Fortunately my mother started laughing so hard that I thought for a moment she was going to make herself sick. I wore the thing all day, making a merry noise wherever I went.

    I never opened work gifts in front of my family again.

    This was actually my best gift. Worst gift was a clear plastic ruler with a cable company logo on it that an aunt mailed to me.

  219. Best – my hubby got me a pool cover pump to get all the stanky pond-scum water off the top of the pool winter cover in the spring. He said he had my gift that year narrowed down to that or a divorce. Worked like a charm! Pool is so much easier to uncover in the spring and we’re still happily married!

    Worst – actually, it’s not the gift itself that is the problem. And it’s one I gave. Last year I went to my grandma’s very most favorite store (one which I LOATHE) and put up with snotty salespeople insulting me while I searched and searched for something my grandma would love. I put more time and effort into that one gift than I did for anyone else on my whole list. Gave it to her on 12/25. Next month, my credit card statement came in, and on 12/26 she had returned the blouse to the store and had the money put back on my own credit card! WTF? Although I guess, really, yay… money for me. Still a bit of an insult though. Also that same grandma gave me, my mom, and my (now ex) SIL perfume called “Sensual” or some weird shit like that. Umm, thanks grandma?

  220. Best: A trip to see my dad for the first time in 5 years. Even got to bring a friend. He lives in Hawaii.

    Worst: My mom sent me a package of sunflower seeds with the big 99 cent sticker still on it. It was worse than getting nothing.

  221. Best? My son, who was born in December, and had the grace to arrive early, BEFORE my 40th birthday, so I can say I was in my 30’s when he was born.

    Worst? A douche bag, given to me by my (now) ex-husband. He said he thought it was a hot water bottle, because my feet were always cold. Hello, electric blanket maybe? Heating pad? Warm freaking socks?? I think it just reminded him of himself.

  222. Worst gift ever – My step-mom gave my sister and I both these horrible plastic watches. We later found out from my brother that she got them free when she bought something nice for herself.

    This has resulted in my buying her a gift each year becoming kind of an art form. It has to be super cheap but not anything she can obviously complain about to my father. Last year I topped it all when I bought her a gift made by a double murderer from the Angola Prison Rodeo hobby-craft fair.

  223. Best: I was 10, and my parents gave me a book called Earrings – and on the last page they wrote I could get my ears pierced. I was SO EXCITED I just started crying.
    Worst: I’ve got 2 weird ones, 1) My ex-MIL kept all the price tags on everything she gave me… only to me. She took them when she gave anything to other family members. The gifts were fine (fancy soap or candles or bathrobes or something), but always so weird with all the price tags on it. It happened EVERY Christmas. 2) A friend regifted a set of cheap wine glasses to me that she had recently gotten when she got married. Problem – the original gift giver had put the card to the newlyweds INSIDE the box, and my friend never opened them, so when I opened I saw this random card addressed “to the happy couple.” Also, while she knows I like wine, she also knows I already have multiple nice sets of wine glasses. So obviously just cleaning out the gifts.

  224. worst, my grandma was a frequent shopper of the dollar store. we got old toothpaste, shoe bags (?????) and ceramic statues of puppies. i also got a scroll saw ( a power tool ) one year from my parents when i was about 16. a used one. you should have saw my face when i opened the box thinking it was a boom box. epic fail.

    best gifts: flying home for christmas with my newborn son to introduce him to my family. best christmas ever.

    merry christmas!!!

  225. Worst: A red “sexy” nightie given to me by my grandmother in front of my entire family when I was about 12. While I was opening it, my grandmother said that I was turning into a woman now and it was about time for me to own my very own red sexy nightie. I was mortified. Grandma drank.

    Best: One of our first years together (out of 15) my husband and I were beyond broke and couldn’t really afford to get each other gifts. So, every week leading up to Christmas he went to a friend’s house and she taught him how to knit and he made me a scarf. It is the oddest, most jacked up scarf you’ve ever seen, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  226. My best and worst are kind of mixed too. It was the 70s and Evel Knievel was really popular. I got this cool motorcycle stunt doll. A girl. Everything was purple. It was fabulous. You put her on something and she would take off and do tricks.

    My little brother broke his big Christmas gift within hours and my Mom insisted that I let him play with my gift. I told her I didn’t want to because he would break it but she made me anyway. It was broken within an hour. I was so upset that it was broken but mostly I was upset that no one else cared. Just shit out of luck kid. Too bad. That’s what you get for doing what your Mom tells you to do.

    I’m 46 and I’m still bitter about this.

  227. Worst Present Ever: Its a toss up! My story is slightly different but similiar to the delusional grandparents theme. My bithday is the 21st so most of my presents were combined gifts, which is another story for another time that I should have seen a counsilor for probably. Anyway, my grandmother, who was a total bitch to me all my life, also sent my a sized 6X jogging suit, along with a lovely pair of fish net stockings for my 14th birthday (and a five dollar bill for Christmas…to which my sister and brother both recieved 10). Keep in mind you could not buy anything for 5 bucks even in 1992. The second candidate would be a lovely homemade candle from my sister-in-law for Christmas in 2005ish…the crappy twist is that she made it in a Y2K champagne flute!

    Best Present Ever: My engagement ring…Christmas 2008 or my Popple when I was 8…both were pretty cool!

  228. Best: Beautiful soft scarf my mom crocheted for me while I was living in a very cold place. I still use it today (30 years later).

    Worst: Huh. I can’t come up with one. They’re gifts, given to each person’s ability.

  229. Worst: Makeup remover wipes from my mother, who threw a massive drunken tantrum because I didn’t weep with gratitude when I opened it. She is also notorious for buying me clothes in the size she prefers me to be, which is about four sizes bigger than I am. And they are always Easter Bunny Vomit pink.

    Best: Anything from my husband. You can’t pick your mom, so I’m fucked there, but I picked my spouse carefully. Perhaps he is the best gift ever? Just don’t tell him that.

  230. Best – I get weird about clothes shopping. I just don’t do it much, it makes me uncomfortable for reasons that are too long to go into. I will wear something into the ground and I have to be almost-naked from needing clothes to go shopping for myself. My first Christmas after meeting him, my now-husband went and bought me about ten random pairs of shoes in my size – all different sizes and styles. It was extravagant and silly and it was wonderful.

    Worst – Years ago I worked in a room with several cubicles in it at a university. A coworker at Christmas got very personal, very thoughtful gifts for everyone else around me. I didn’t know her very well, we didn’t work on the same project. It wasn’t even remotely weird or strange that she was giving gifts to everybody else the last day before break. I didn’t even notice, until she abruptly came up to me, told me she’d ‘left my gift in her car’ and she’d get it for me after lunch. She came back with a gift-wrapped travel package of Kleenex with Christmas trees on it. And it was opened and several were missing. It was pretty uncomfortable.

  231. Best gift was my husband and I buying the tacky 1979 pinball game that was in the local laundromat when I was little and my Dad and I would play for a few hours every Sunday when we did the laundry (to give my Mom a break but really so we could just go and hang out).

    Worst gift was when I was 16 and dating a guy in college who was 2 states away. I told him that I didn’t want anything… he said “Tell me what you want or you are going to get a stupid gift.” I ended-up getting a Styrofoam “worm farm” (kind of like a Styrofoam cooler with holes in it) to raise my own worms for fishing. Ok… it was the worst gift ever… and also one of the best **smile** It also taught me to speak-up (and have others do the same) else they end-up with stupid gifts!!

  232. Best present ever: a night of sleep. My older son was born at Thanksgiving, so he was only a month old for his first Christmas. We stayed at my parents house while visiting them for Chrustmas, and my mom took care of night feedings so I could get a full night’s sleep.

    I can’t think of a worst Christmas present.

  233. Best presents came from Grandma- Taxidermied Billy goat, Cross bow, Sword cane, Schnapps…. Worst- No worst, only opportunities for abstract art..

  234. Best present ever.. a bike. We were a poor family of 5 kids. One Christmas morning my mom set up a scavenger hunt to find our present. We found all the clues and finally ended up on our front porch with 5 bikes with bows on them. We were all really excited. I think I was like 7 at the time.

    Worst present ever…probably the first Christmas being married. My husband tried to buy me makeup, it all turned bad when I opened up my PURPLE mascara… I wear very light makeup to begin with so that was quite a shock. Then I found out that he spent 70 dollars on this thing. I took it back to the store the next day and bought some clothes.

  235. The best present wasn’t for xmas but Valentine’s day. I was always very anti-hallmark but my ex wanted to get me something so he found this completely ridiculous singing hamster with a cane and top hat that sang “puttin’ on the ritz”. I loved that thing until the kids we eventually had destroyed him.

    Worst? Probably my very sweet and well-meaning MIL getting us an “our first christmas together” ornament the year we got married. She didn’t notice that the year printed on it was 2 years before… We didn’t have the heart to tell her so we hung the dang thing up on our tree every year anyway 🙂

  236. Worst: A giant hive-shaped, hard plastic, free-standing, salon style hairdryer when I was 15 or so and totally committed to having long, flat, straightish hair.

    Best: A family story with post script. My Dad had a heart attack in his early 60s and was stuck in the hospital at Christmas time. He was upset that he hadn’t gotten my Mom a gift, so he drafted a couple of candy-stripers to canvass the local jewelry stores for him. He wanted earrings to match an emerald and diamond ring he’d gotten her a year or so before to replace the long gone zircon “engagement ring” that was all he could afford at the end of WWII. One of the local jewelers was kind enough to visit Dad in the hospital with an array of earrings from which he selected a beautiful pair with a cluster of small emeralds and diamonds set against a small gold starburst shape. Ironically, they were pierced, and Mom only wore screwbacks, but she never said a word and corrected that pierced ear situation PDQ. Dad was so delighted to be able to surprise my mother that Christmas, and my mother, so touched by trouble he’d gone to in order to please her.

    The post script–poignant for me–came a few years later on my birthday. My Mom had died of cancer the year before, and my Dad gave me this small box wrapped in used Christmas paper. Inside I found those earrings, and a permanent reminder of my parents’ abiding love for one another.

  237. So looking forward to book #3 – Everyone is Dead Now. I just hope I’m not one of the ones who is, in fact, dead.

  238. Best Christmas Present: Animatronic bust of Elvis
    Worst Christmas Present: Computer cord (“That’s what you said you wanted!”)

  239. Best present ever – a trip to Canada (’nuff said!).

    Worst present ever – Bomfunk Mc’s album….could swear they only had one hit song! Also, not sure it quite matched the rest of my CDs (Placebo, HIM, Pantera).

  240. Oh, good ones, you guys!
    Best Present Ever–When I was 16 our house burned down and we lost every.thing. The next Christmas my dad and my (now husband) boyfriend went in together and bought me a replica pair of large hand-made solid gold earrings made by our jeweler neighbor. I started crying, of course. It wasn’t until much later that my husband told me that they weren’t solid gold, they were gold plated (which made them worth MUCH LESS) but my dad had cheerfully allowed me to believe they had spent a small fortune instead. Still–it was a great moment.. at the time.

    Worst Present Ever–Possibly same one. Or the board with a nail sticking out of it, but if you have in-laws who love stupid White Elephant parties, you understand that.

  241. Worst gift ever… Fart machine 2. Stay out of Spencer’s, really.
    Best gift ever… Fart machine 2. We have had sooooo many laughs with this toy. Especially at Thanksgiving.

  242. Best: a family vacation to the Bahamas. We’re not rich and I’d only ever been on one vacation.

    Worst: I was 12 andy stepmom got me a hot pink sweatshirt that had Jesus’ face engulfing the entire front side. He had sun beams shooting out of his face and it was two sizes too big. I hated pink.

  243. Best: Gorgeous wooden cradle handmade by my grandfather with a mattress and pillow sewn by my grandmother, when I was about 5 and at the height of my doll-baby phase.

    Worst: An oddly-shaped purple lump of glass from my boss that was finally determined by popular vote to be paperweight intended to represent a hedgehog. With leprosy. And a flat-top haircut.

  244. Worst? Easily has to be the desk chair I got from my mom one year. Just what every 12 year old girl wants. But it matched the lovely oak roll top desk she had gotten me earlier in the year. So it was perfect in her logic.

    Best? Probably the fact that I’ve always had someone wanting to give me something every year. So far. Can’t beat that.

  245. Best: 3rd grade, I got ice skates and a real hockey stick. I had no idea the skates were 2nd hand, but they were all my folks could manage, at the time. I was thrilled beyond belief, just happy to have skates.

    Worst: there are two… First, my dear grandma got me a “Disco Around the World” LP, around 1980, when I was clearly into tougher stuff.
    The other one was not so long ago. After I spent about $250 on gifts for my brother, SIL and two nephews, they (meaning the SIL) got me 3 flavors of popcorn in a large can (with my football team’s logo on it). Sure, I ate the popcorn, but I hope the $20 didn’t break them.

  246. Best present ever: Getting to spend Christmas with my grandmother a few weeks before she passed.
    Worst present ever: It’s a toss-up between the rotten coconut from my parents or the tank top that was big enough for three of me.

  247. One year, worst present, I got a box of poop colored tights. It was bizarre. Like, light, orange-y brown poop and there was something like four pairs in this box.

    I think the best present was one year my parents bought themselves new stacking laundry machines and we made a fort out of the box. My mums a decorator so she sewed little curtains and made a rug and everything. Best ever.

  248. Worst: A regular gray sweatshirt with three big fake sunflowers hot glued to the front. One on each nipple and one over the belly button. It was from my Grandmothers strange friend. I had to open it in front of her and then be grateful. A gift AND punishment.

    Best: Probably the year I got a bike. That was pretty cool.

  249. Best present ever: whatever my husband gets me. One year it was a snake bite kit. One year it was DNA earrings and another year it was earrings made from gemstones by CADDISFLY LARVAE. He is awesome and totally gets me. Also, one year, he sent a girl to school in Afghanistan for a year in my name. He’s the best.

  250. My friends and I have found a great way to deal with the issue of terrible gifts. Instead of “Dirty Santa” we play “Dirty Father Time” at our annual New Year’s Eve party. Each person brings the worst gift they received that particular year (and if fortunate enough to not get one, a silly gift that costs less than $5), and it is hilarious and awesome.

  251. I finally started asking people not to get me gifts because everyone around me either thinks they know exactly what I would like (they don’t) or they ask me what I would like and then disregard it. Last year for my birthday, my mom did exactly that. Our phone conversation:
    “What would you like for your birthday?”
    “Well, I’d really like some money to go toward [thing that was very important to me that I couldn’t save for because I was living hand-to-mouth – this thing also had an expiration date and the only way to get it was with donations].”
    Mom, hesitantly: “Oh… well… I’ll think about that…”
    She drops the subject. Later in that same conversation: “Oh, I decided I’m going to get you a camera for your birthday! Won’t that be fun for you?”

    I’ve never had any interest in photography. In fact, I have fewer than 10 photos on my phone and I only have those because Mom asks for photos of my cat. I have no photo albums, no photos I’ve taken anywhere. Because I’ve never been interested in photography. Guess who loves taking photos? That’s right, Mom.

    The camera sits in a box in my storage space, never used.

  252. Thank you! I have been trying to come up with something for my family’s gift exchange Christmas, and could not think of anything interesting that everyone might want to fight for. Burp gun – ordered!

  253. My dead cat. Still undecided on worst/best, but I felt you would appreciate it. I was 8, and my beloved elderly cat, Fuzzy, had to be put down. I was heartbroken. My grandma felt bad that I was having such a hard time, and saw an ad in the newspaper by an old lady who airbrushes *very realistic* stuffed cats to look like your deceased pet, with the aid of a photograph.

    Christmas morning, still filled with grief, I opened my grandma’s present. Fuzzy II popped out, to the general horror of all. You know how when a family member or pet dies, and you sort of expect them to be around still in the back of your mind? Like their favorite chair, or hiding under the piano, or leaping out from around the corner onto your back hissing and biting and scratching (he wasn’t a nice cat)? That Christmas, everyone kept moving Fuzzy II around to Fuzzy I’s favorite spots. You’d walk by (chair piece of garbage moose wreath Fuzzy napping by the heater hey it’s snowing again what’s for dinner?), confident that everything was as it should be, then stop dead moments later with cold shivers down your spine. The only nap Fuzzy is taking is a dirt nap behind the garden, and the only thing in the house is the abomination.

    Anyway, it was good fun freaking each other out. I still move him around in the night when someone is staying over, so they wake up to Fuzzy II’s unblinking yellow stare. My husband won’t allow him in the bedroom or bathroom. I’ve had three landlords try and tell me off for breaking the No Pets policy.

  254. Best present ever: when my husband brought my computer back to life after the hospital told me it was dead.

    Second best: when my husband found me the perfect knapsack to carry my computer properly on my back instead of the briefcase killing my shoulder.

  255. Best ever: My Barbie Townhouse. It was either the late 70’s or early 80’s, so it had one of those elevators you made go up and down with string, but my Barbies and single Ken didn’t mind. I played with that thing until it fell apart. It went great with my brother’s Castle Greyskull and He-Man characters.
    Worst ever: It was a secret santa gift, and those all suck – but I got two of those blowhorn things and a plastic figurine horse. WTF? It was like the person threw random in a bag and said, “Here ya go!” I actually brought a cool present…..Mr Bill, and I got stuck with that. Que sera sera!

  256. Worst ever: from my MiL about five years ago, a fanny pack with a paper napkin and spork inside which I suspect may have been an underhanded jab at my weight.

    Best ever: the original gameboy from my grandparents

  257. Worst: My grandmother always bought my step-cousin and me the same outfit in different colors. The one that sticks out is a pair of corduroy pants and a flowery western-ish shirt. One of us got pink, the other blue.

    Best: The first Christmas my then-boyfriend and I were together, our dogs went missing in the middle of December. His came back three days later, mine didn’t. For two weeks, every day I came home from work and still no Spike, I’d go in the bedroom to cry. It was so bad, he was letting me open early Christmas gifts to cheer me up. “Stop crying, here’s a Monty Python series box set.” Christmas Day, I went to my parent’s. When I got home, he met me at the door and made me close my eyes because he’d gotten me a surprise. When I opened them, there was Spike. He had been spotted a couple of times in an area so we’d left his bed there for him. BF took a chance and looked while I was gone and found Spike curled up in the bed. No wonder I married that man. 🙂

  258. Best: My first Cabbage Patch doll, which I still have. I had just turned seven. My parents didn’t label our gifts that year. Instead, each of us had presents wrapped in a different type of wrapping paper. Before Christmas, I asked which color was mine, and they lied to me, and I thought my BROTHER was getting a Cabbage Patch doll! (The box had a very distinctive shape, so I knew SOMEONE was getting one.) I was ECSTATIC come Christmas morning, when my parents started handing me the red & gold packages instead of the red & green ones. I don’t even remember the other presents!

    Worst: A few years ago, my grandmother gave me one of those wind-up emergency radios, with some Jesus-y slogan on it. She got it by donating money to a televangelist. She donated so much money that ALL her grandchildren got one of those dumb radios for Christmas that year.

  259. I have a lot of these. Who knew I was so exciting!

    Best and worst (same year as high schooler): Every year without fail a beloved aunt would give me a new sweater (probably because I stopped writing to “santa” and telling her what I wanted), and this particular year I opened..yes…another sweater. My mother, by contrast, opened an envelope with a card and a check for $500.

    Get this: SHE COMPLAINED AND CALLED IT THE WORST GIFT EVER. Why? “Because I didn’t get to open anything. It was just a check.”

    I offered to switch.

    This year I was thinking Fart Blaster guns from Despicable Me 2……

  260. Worst Present Ever: An out of tune piano that was taken back by the giver and sold for beer money. I was only 16 so I didn’t even get any of the beer… stepparents are awesome.

    Best Present Ever: A check for $5000 given to us so we could give our 4 kids the most epic xmas evar. ( <- This happened this year! I can't wait to see their faces when they open gifts this year!!!)

  261. MIL gave me paperclips and a one (1) package of post-it notes. Said I could use them at work. I work in an office….in charge of the free supplies. Worst. Present. Ever.

  262. Okay, so my first big adventure away from home at age 20 and I am living in Seattle with two of my friends. My parents sent this HUGE care package with Christmas gifts in it and there are three wrapped presents, one for each of us. They open theirs first. Present 1 is a teddy bear. Present 2 is a teddy bear. There seems to be a theme here so it’s my turn and I open mine to discover a giant scary clown that freaks us all out. I have been terrified of clowns ever since the movie Poltergeist. I threw it across the room and everyone laughed trying to figure out the reasoning behind that hellish nightmare of a gift other than clearly my parents hated me, lol.

  263. My best gift was my parents giving me the extra money I needed to afford my 2 week vacation in Ireland.

    Worst gift was when my brother gave me DVDs (I know it doesn’t sound so bad) they were the movies I let him borrow throughout the year and one box was destroyed because his dog chewed it up. He gave my mom all her casserole dishes back… My mom and I are expecting the same thing this year…

  264. Best: Spousal Unit sneakily took off the day before my birthday to clean house and buy gifts for me. I came home to a clean house for my day off (I would have spent my whole birthday cleaning otherwise), and I got to enjoy the gifts on my birthday. It was more than a full day of sheer joy and bliss at his thoughtfulness.

    Worst: My grandma bought me a bra. I was two.

    I don’t remember that, of course, but I think it still tops her yard sale gifts with 25-cent stickers still attached.

  265. Best present ever: Anyone remember Ren and Stimpy’s Log? http://renandstimpy.wikia.com/wiki/Log

    My dad got me a log when I was 8. Literally wrapped a log that would have gone into the fireplace and built it up as the best gift I was ever going to get, wouldn’t let me open it until all the other presents were opened…..and it was a log. 20 years later we still all agree it was the best. But I’m pretty sure it ended up in the fire later that day…..

  266. Worst: A romantic sex-play game from the bible book store. Sample card: Pray togther and thank God for your healthy bodies and marriage. Give each other sensual massages and make love. I’m an Atheist. It was from my Catholic mother-in-law.

    Best: My Grandmother’s key lime pie recipe.

  267. Best: Theatre tickets from/with my sis. She would spring for a subscription for six shows, then do two with me, and two with each of her daughters-in-law, so it was a fun thing AND time to spend together, dinner before the show, etc. Wicked, Lion King, Young Frankenstein, Legally Blonde… we saw a lot of great shows.

    Worst: toss-up between Chia pets (If I’d kept them all, I could have an entire Chia nursery) and a supposed knife sharpener made out of plastic.

  268. Best Present: A completely unexpected card signed by my entire class.

    Worst: My estranged, schizophrenic mother violated our restraining order to leave a festively wrapped box on the porch. Inside? Partially-used cosmetics, stolen clothes wreathed in cat hair, and what appeared to be the contents of her kitchen trash.

    It’s the thought that counts, but I would rather some people didn’t think of me. Like, at all.

    Happy holidays!

  269. I think they are one in the same in my case. One year my little sister got a furbee from a family friend. She loved it to death. Everyone else hated it with a passion. Especially since it talked All. Night. Long. My mom told us later it got thrown away one night while it was hidden under the couch to muffle the noise.

    It was funny, too, because that family friend had just been talking about how the best gifts to give were the most annoying…. He sure succeeded.

  270. Best present ever, without a doubt, was my guinea pig Wilbur (yes, named after the pig from Charlotte’s Web) who I got for Christmas when I was 10. I loved that pig. He was the world’s smartest guinea pig. He responded to about 15 different words, and loved to watch TV with me. His favorites were Who Wants to be a Millionaire (with Regis Philbun) and NHL hockey. He also would sometimes pretend to be an egg which was hilarious.
    I don’t really know if I have a worst present. Maybe the time the boy I liked in high school gave me earrings for my birthday but I didn’t have pierced ears. It kinda hurt my feelings that he didn’t notice, but then again, that was a popular gift in high school and most girls had pierced ears. I just don’t like needles.

  271. When I was in my goth/punk phase I got a bright yellow polo shirt, so I feel your pain. Only I didn’t have the tags to return it so I just donated it to Goodwill a couple years later.

    Best gift ever was tickets to see the Foo Fighters. I had to move a surgery date back, and my family (other than hubby who bought the tickets) thought I was insane. I figured it was worth it since Foo Fighters songs were how I was getting through the pre-surgery panic and anxiety attacks. (See “On the Mend”, “Times Like These”, etc.) Great show, and totally gave me a boost of confidence and happiness to take into surgery.

  272. Best present: a totally unexpected Nintendo from my non-tech-savvy parents in the mid-80s.

    Worst present: a grocery store candle that smelled like a grandma and a used Pretty Women DVD from a dude I’d just started dating.

    The day after my grandmother passed away, her brother told everyone in the family that no one, under any circumstances, should ever give him a caramel cake ever again. Apparently she’d been making him one on his birthday for more than 50 years because it was his “favorite.” He didn’t have the heart to tell her or anyone else that he hated them. I’m guessing that good-hearted homemade cake from his sister was probably his best/ worst present every year.

  273. Worst: almost every bit of clothing Mom bought me during my high-school and college years. She sold mens’ clothes in a big department store and if it looked even remotely passable on a mannequin she thought it would look good on me (and/or my 2 brothers). More often than not, it didn’t. The so-called latest fashion is not my thing, though I do get beyond khakis and polo shirts often enough.
    Best: my wife. We got engaged around Christmas time in ’97 in Ireland. Surprised the heck out of my future in-laws when we told them on Christmas eve. And my own Mom almost as much when I got home a week later.

  274. One year, all the family chipped in and got my grandparents a microwave for Christmas. She went upstairs and did not come down the rest of the day.

  275. My best present ever was my very own horse when I was 12. A REAL LIVE HORSE FOR A 12 YEAR-OLD GIRL!!! I know, right?

    My worst present ever was my Christmas present from one of my six cats last year. One of them went on a cross-house vomiting spree to rid themselves of a hairball. It started in the kitchen and went through the foyer, into the living room (including a brief stop on the sofa), up the stairs, into the bathroom and ended with a giant, cold squishy hairball right outside my door. I found it by stepping in it with bare feet. I then had to trace the path back before I could safely walk through the house with socks on. Christmas morning for the single woman with six cats. Ho fucking ho.

  276. Best present ever: In junior high, after everyone finished unwrapping presents, my dad sat us all down and asked if we would like another cat. (We had 3 cats and a dog at this point) My first question? “Did you ask mom?” That kitten ended up being my shadow until I moved out, a friend when I felt like I had no other, and I miss her dearly.

    Worst present ever: My sister gave my husband and I a bag of baby shower confetti. The year before we got married and 3 years before I was even pregnant. Awkward!

  277. Best present ever: Last year, I asked for a bunch of books (what else is new). My husband picked one off the list, and gave it to me on Christmas morning. Inside, there was an inscription that read:

    “Your Christmas wishlist is boring. You should ask for more interesting things, like a chance to jump out of an airplane.
    … No, really, you should have asked for that, because that’s what I got you for Christmas this year. A voucher to use at that skydiving place.”

    Worst present ever: A few years ago, when I was in college and my younger sister was in maybe 8th grade-ish, an aunt sent us a joint gift. Inside: one pack of post-it notes and one pair of socks. We’re still not sure, to this day, how exactly we were supposed to divide that up (for giggles, we each took one sock and a stack of post-its). To add insult to injury, she’d spelled my sister’s name wrong on the label.

  278. Best: 1972 a Navy pea coat. I slept with it every night for two weeks. No, I didn’t wear it. I just slept with it.

    Worst (but later best): Same year, 1972. My best friend thought it might be funny to give me a copy of The Happy Hooker. It might have been funny had my very straight laced, uptight parents not been sitting right in front of me. I was 16. Are you shitting me? I’m lucky I lived to tell the tale.

  279. Best present ever: a cat

    Worst present ever: the same cat

    The cat has since been rehomed to a place where he is much happier, has other animals to harass and people who do not mind him howling from the hours of three am to seven am every goddamn night.

  280. Best Present Ever – money towards my down payment of a condo

    Worst Present Ever – cheap novelty plate (dollar store) with a little boy and his teddy bear playing hockey on it. I don’t like hockey, play hockey, collect plates or have a child … and I’m 100% sure the family member (who shall not be named) forgot to get me a gift and just re-gifted something in their closet…they DID go out of their way for my brother though.

  281. Best: I always joked with my husband that he owed me a pink pony for all the work I do for him. Since he couldn’t find one, he found a stuffed pony and spray painted it pink.

    Worst: My crazy uncle bought me the ugliest necklace I have ever seen: the cord was neon-pink rubber and the pendant was a stamp enclosed in acrylic. Not a pretty stamp, just a standard liberty bell type stamp. It was also about 8″ long and might have fit my wrist. I was sixteen and somewhat baffled. The same year, he gave my recovered-bullimic mother a diet book.

  282. My best and worst present is combined. I was 8 and my Grandma decided she was going to take my brother who is older than I am and my older cousin to Disneyland in California during Christmas break from school. We were the only grandchildren living in the same state as her at the time, but I was considered too young to come on this trip. She ruled the roost in my extended family so my parents nor my Grandpa said anything about my exclusion. My Great Aunt, my Grandpa’s sister however heard about these plans and took me on vacation to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. I was fascinated, still am, with caves so this was a GREAT trip for me, and I wasn’t at all upset on missing out on the Disney trip. I miss my Aunt but she gave me great memories.

  283. Worst present ever: a Christmas tree. For my birthday. My birthday is right before Christmas, but still…

    Best present ever: Spending Christmas with my daughter. She’s been in the hospital, and ICU a lot, and at one point it wasn’t clear whether we’d have any more Christmases together, so each one is precious.

    My brother’s worst present, ever, was a giant car decal that looked like a zipper. The year before, he’d gotten a book on knot-tying. He wasn’t a Boy Scout.

  284. worst is a tie. my now-dead grandma (former prostitute with a heart of coal) once gave me four styrofoam balls, each about the size of a ping-pong ball. Perhaps they would have made the best list if accompanied by one of your guns. that is tied with the year my husband gave me pictures printed off the internet of what he would have liked to gift if only he had been better at budgeting his money.

  285. Worst present ever: My Grandmother gave me the lingerie she wore on her wedding night of her second marriage. I was 13. THANKYOUVERYMUCH.

    Best present: Finding out I was going to have my daughter.

  286. Best Present Ever: This wasn’t for a birthday or christmas, or any holiday, but it was in honor of the first paycheck from my current job. My second wife (it took me two tries to get it right) told me to take that paycheck and spend it on myself, getting whatever I wanted with it.

    Worst Present Ever: That was a maroon shower curtain that my first wife (see, told you it took me two tries!) gave me for Christmas because she wanted to have a new shower curtain for the main bathroom.

    @Claire, there are other body parts you could pierce if you didn’t want to pierce your ears but still wanted to honor the gift, and before everyone else yells “nipples*,” let me just say that it doesn’t have to be.

    *Because, face it, everybody loves to yell “nipples!” every now and again.

  287. Best Present ever: Marshmallow guns (similar to your burp guns). I got them for my young niece and nephews, who then immediately starting shooting tiny marshmallow everywhere (including one of their mother’s foreheads). I’m pretty sure my mother-in-law was finding marshmallows all over her house for months after that. I also got a bigger gun for my 23 year-old brother…it was just as much a hit with him as the 8 year-olds.

    Worst Gift Ever: When I turned 13, my dad though a brown flannel shirt is exactly what I wanted for my birthday. He and my mom had a bet who’s present would go over the best. Needless to say, he lost.

  288. BEST: When I was in my 20s I got a giant box of various types of bubble wrap from my BFF. It was awesome and creative when we did Christmas on a very small budget. She knew I loved to pop it, especially when I needed to try to calm my anxiety.

    WORST: A few years ago I got a cardigan sweater with cardinals and beads appliqued on it. UM, I’m not even 40, so I’m certainly not ready for a sweater that I think I saw on a 90-something year old woman.

  289. Best present: for my 7th birthday my parents gave me a two wheeler bike.
    Worst present: the next day they told me I had to share it with my sister. Granted we didn’t have much money, but still!!!

  290. Worst present: when I was 13 or so, my grandma gave me this pair of metallic silver LA Gear tennis shoes. They were the ugliest effing shoes I’ve ever seen. She said the ladies she knew (all around her age) were wearing them. Awesome.

    Best present: My daughter was born two days after Xmas. She’s the most spunky, quirky, and nerdy little girl. 🙂

  291. Best – The birthday when I turned 14, it was just my mom and I and we didn’t have a lot of money, so my mom gave me the gift of setting my own bed time. I had always been a night owl and hated going to bed at “X” time. Of course, the caveat was that if I started having trouble getting up in the morning or my grades slipped, it was taken away, but I thought that was the coolest thing ever. It was the last birthday gift she gave me before she died and I still remember it the most.

    Worst – Hubbie’s late step-grandmother always sent the girls in the family the same things for Christmas – we would get unique colors, but the items were always the same. Every year was unique, but the most memorable: A generic BIC pen, a plastic shower cap and ONE pillowcase. The funniest thing – there were three girls (Mom-in-law, Sis-in-law and me) and it was obvious that two of the pillowcases had been a set. We always wondered what happened to the fourth pillowcase. Perhaps she kept it for herself.

  292. This is a fun game.

    Best present ever is hard to pick just one – my husband has a real knack for getting me something I didn’t know I wanted that turns out to be exactly what I wanted.

    Worst present would have to be anything from my husband’s maternal grandmother. Her idea of “shopping” for Christmas presents is to go through the rooms full of “stuff” she has hoarded over her lifetime & give all the grand-kids something from her collection. Often it is undated & unlabeled mystery preserves – jars of strange colored substances that bear little resemblance to actual edibles, that are thrown out (jars & all) as soon as Granny’s back is turned.

  293. Worst Christmas present: ceiling fans from my significant other
    Best Christmas present: buying myself a plane ticket to go visit my best friend of over 20 years!

  294. I’ve had a couple really memorable Christmas gifts. When I was 4 or 5 I received a cow girl costume with a hat, vest, boots, and guns. I wore that almost every day. When I was 13 I received a phone for my bedroom. Prior to that there was only a corded phone in the kitchen and everyone could hear me pour out my teenage angst to my best friend.

    The worst gift was probably underwear from my parents. The huge disappointment as a child to open the package and get underwear. I would then have to hold up these huge granny panties and show everyone what I got. There are pictures of several years of panty pictures. Those years my brothers got fun things so it wasn’t like there wasn’t money. My parents just couldn’t be bothered to find out what I wanted.

  295. Best present I ever gave was to my little brother. I had taken his N64 with me to college, and he mentioned missing it. So, on Xmas, he had a few packages from me. Unassisted in the order of opening, he unwrapped the games, controllers, then the console.

  296. Worst Present- Our family would draw names so everyone wouldn’t have to buy everyone a present. I rigged the drawing to make sure my husband would get my name because I know he’s a crappy gift giver. Christmas comes and he gives me a pretty big box. I thought, “Maybe this is the year he got it right!!” I opened it to find two teddy bear cookie jars, both exactly alike. He’s sitting beside me and says proudly, “It’s a matching pair of bears!” with a stupid grin on his face. Worst. Present. Ever. Then he had the balls to be mad at ME for not liking it.
    Best Present- My She-Ra castle and doll I got when I was a kid. The castle had an ELEVATOR!!!

  297. Best: An authentic Burberry trench my husband found on eBay for next to nothing. I had mentioned once in passing I wanted one, but we could never afford one, and he scoured until he found it and surprised me with it years later. Not only do I love the coat, but the thoughtfulness was amazing.

    Worst: Not a present perse, but one year in family history is dubbed the Christmas Bloodbath, and that would be the worst Christmas morning in family history. Early Christmas morning, one year when I was a kid, my father had a particularly vivid dream he was being buzzed by a fly and lerched his head into the corner of his 1980s clock radio and began bleeding profusely all over. He passed out from the blood. My mother, seeking to get a towel to staunch the bleeding, stood up too quickly and also passed out. I, a child, hearing commotion and wondering if it was Santa, wandered into the bloody mess with two groggy/passed out parents. It was as if Santa had attacked my family. In retrospect it was actually pretty funny. Our funniest Christmas memory was the year grandma forgot her teeth.

  298. Best Present: Everyone in my family gave me money for travel, because I was going to see Phish in NYC at Madison Square Garden for their “return from hiatus” NYE concert in 2002 (I lived outside of Chicago). My mom wrapped up single 20s in a bunch of random boxes, so I thought they were regular gifts and they ended up being cash.

    Worst Present: The guy that was supposed to get me the Phish ticket totally gave it away to a girl he was trying to impress. I didn’t get to go.

  299. Worst present ever: my ex husband bought me an apron, it was before we were even married. That should have been a big heads up.

    Best present ever: when I was 11 I wanted a typewriter, and my mom gave it to me, but she made me wait until the very end of opening presents to see the box, and I thought I wasn’t getting it. Then it appeared and I was over the moon. It was a little Smith Corona, probably should kept that, it’s vintage now.

  300. Best: My father converted my toybox (which he built for me with his grandfather when I was 2) into a hope chest (re-did the finish, added a lid, added my name on the front in big letters). I got it when I was…24? I cried.

    Worst: A camel-shaped puzzle box. I don’t have a single camel thing in my home, I had never said anything about liking camels…

  301. Worst present: WiFi detecting shirt from ThinkGeek that didn’t even work.

    Best Present: Tauntaun sleeping bag.

    Incidently, both presents were from my brother. His presents tend to be hit or miss. Of course, when I got the Tauntaun, I had sent him a link with the heading: I WANT THIS FOR CHRISTMAS PLEASE AND THANK YOU. That didn’t necessarily mean that is what he was going to give me.

  302. Best and worst are the same – my then partner bought me a washing machine for Xmas – the only reason it was the best was because we had been without a washing machine for most of my then, 13 month olds life. He told he could have bought it in September but then I wouldn’t have had a Christmas gift. Needless to say we seperated.

  303. The best present was given at a family Christmas party that my then-fiance took me to. He didn’t tell them I was coming, and so I was the only one there who had no gift under the tree and was the only one who didn’t speak Spanish. I knew no-one and couldn’t talk to anyone…but then they handed me a little gift bag with sample soaps, a new mascara, a chocolate bar, and a little Santa figure–they had searched the house for anything they could find that would fit in the bag so that I would have a gift, and it’s one of the sweetest gestures I’ve ever received.

    The worst present has to be the fake-flowers-floating-in-a-glass-tube-filled-with-water that my then-husband bought from a street vendor when he realized on the way home from work that it was our anniversary.

  304. Best present ever: my boyfriend had spent weeks hand-crafting a beautiful chest. It’s like a beautiful little pirate’s chest. That wasn’t all though. He said it was a chest for us to store our memories together, and the inside was coated with pictures of us that I never even knew existed. Some were candid, love-gazing shots. He also taped inside a funny love ballad he had written for me which was too inappropriate for him to actually play at shows or around friends or family.
    Worst present: That same chest, because then I married the guy and now we’re split up and it just sits there, taunting me.

  305. I’ve received many thoughtful gifts through the years. Best was a stuffed animal from my brother who is now deceased. Worst was a can of English peas. Yes, a can of English peas!

  306. My worst list is endless…and it hasn’t helped me improve my gift giving ability so I would like to send an apology out to the universe for everyone I have ever bought for. That would be a good blog post- presents you gave that you know sucked dirty balls. I could give examples.
    Best- diamond ring from my hubby. I told him it bought him a few more years of marriage 😉
    Worst- a safe. I didn’t own ANYTHING of value. My parents bought it for me and got my hubby a video game system and new computer chair. He was ecstatic. Prick.

  307. The worst present ever turned into the best present years later. My dad bought me a stereo system with a turntable, radio, two tape players, and speakers. The only problem was that I was a preteen and had an entire list of toys that I didn’t get and really wanted. Tears ensued, and my dad put a hole in the bedroom door. The moral: get the kid what she wants, not what you want to buy her. Even if you think what she wants is crappy, it’s what she really wants.

    Of course, when I was a teenager, it was the coolest thing ever.

  308. the best present: my family used to own a cabin outside of aspen, colorado. we went there every christmas. the last year my older brother was alive, we spent christmas at home (my younger brother and i both worked retail jobs, and couldn’t take time off until after the holidays). and then we went to the cabin for a week. i don’t remember fighting with my brothers once. and we fought a lot because i like to argue and they’re stupid. it was one of those perfect family moments. everybody loved everybody for being exactly who they are.

    the worst present: christmas without my bubby.

  309. Best present: My boyfriend had my two best friends decorate a pair of Chuck Taylors for me.
    Worst present: High school boyfriend gave me the world’s ugliest, lowest quality, floppy stuffed dog. I’m not a stuffed animal kind of girl.

  310. My tape recorder when I was 10. I made radio shows and told stories. Worst was a pot scrubber from my mother-in-law… and that’s all have to say about that.

  311. Best gift: Diamond earrings from my parents. I’d been hinting for months.
    Worst gift: Finding out the diamonds are fake. Seriously, Mom and Dad??

  312. Oh! And the best/worst present ever given in my family: My nephew was not doing as well as he should’ve been doing in high school. My politcally incorrect father started referring to him as tard. My dad (well, he had me do it) had a baseball hat that said “tard” across the front. I then wrapped it in my empty Wii box. This was the year the Wii had just come out, so when he unwrapped the box, he thought he was getting on.

    It was probably his worst present ever, but my dad, my sisters and I laughed so hard I almost peed myself. My mom and brother-in-law didn’t find it quite as funny as we did, though.

  313. Best present ever — Probably the iPad. I really wanted one and my hubby wrapped an old iPad box and filled it rocks. I was a little peeved and then he handed me a giant box with the ipad inside.

    Worst — Its a tie, either the Football themed sleeping bag when I was 8, I am female and love ballet. I cried. Or the purse from my estranged MIL that had used kleenex in it. That was last year. Not entirely the reason she is estranged, but definitely a catalyst.

  314. Best Christmas present ever was me deciding I was allowed to celebrate Christmas after growing up in a religion that didn’t celebrate it and being that weird kind in class who couldn never do any of the holiday stuff…

  315. I see lots of worst gifts that I would love! Ie: footie jammies! I love them!!

    I don’t really have any worst gifts as I’m pretty grateful for any gift I get as it means someone took the time out to think of me. However, my poor dad, has got to be the worst gift giver ever. He tries, bless his heart, but *sigh*, he really is clueless. He usually shops at the thrift stores (nothing wrong with that), but, I swear, I don’t know what he’s thinking. Last year, I received a fuzzy black and white leopard type coat that makes me look twice my size, which is really unnecessary, thank you very much. And gifts are usually wrapped in the plastic bags they came in. Lol

    My best gifts, all come from my husband. The first one from him, was a a framed picture of my Nagymama (grandmother). She had passed away quite a few years earlier, and I already had the picture of her, but no frame. Hubby had it framed beautifully for me and I had no clue. I promptly burst into tears upon opening it.

    Last years gift was my new Canon 1Dx. That one I really wasn’t expecting, as it was the first year I didn’t ask for any camera gear. I had been drooling over the camera for months, but figured it was a pipe dream and didn’t even bother asking. He surprised me with that one.

    And anything my kids get me I love.

  316. Best present: Probably a tie between my engagement ring from my husband who made me seriously depressed before proposing by telling me for about a half hour that he wasn’t going to propose to me because he couldn’t afford a ring. The other gift was a PSP from my autistic twin brother which was only awesome because that year for Christmas he had told my mom that he was going to get a gift for everyone (I’m one of six kids and usually we just pick one name we get a present for) and come Christmas morning he had only bought a gift for me, one other brother, and my mom because, “Those are the people I like.”

    Worst present was when my cheap brother gave me a bobble head doll that he got for free from a minor league baseball game he went to. I don’t even like baseball.

  317. Best/sweetest present ever: 1973: After suffering a ruptured ectopic [first] pregnancy in the late summer, my younger brother and his wife gave me a Raggedy Ann Doll for Christmas, so I would have a baby to hold. Big weeps.

    Worst present ever: The very next Christmas, I had requested a ‘point and shoot’ camera. My photographer husband, after learning his best friend wanted to upgrade his old camera, BOUGHT THE BEST FRIEND a brand new 35mm SLR camera and GAVE ME THE FRIEND’S OLD, USED 35mm SLR camera. Worse than the Christmas the hubs gave me my very own tool box (he is an only child and never learned to share).

  318. Best: I had discovered an interest in netsuke in my early twenties, and my mother asked what they were. After I explained, a little light came on and she said she thought she had bought one while hiking in the Appalachians. Sure enough, it was an old, small netsuke. The next year she gave it to me.

    Worst: Haven’t had many bad ones, but one Xmas I bought a pearl bracelet and paired it with ancient pearl/gold earrings that had belonged to my grandmother, for my fiance. A week later she revealed to me that she had been having an affair with a married guy at work, and asked me to move out. And she never have me back the pearls. At least she should have returned the earrings, don’t you think?

  319. Worst: My aunt bought me a box of tissues one year

    Best: My boyfriend wandered through Walmart on Christmas Eve and bought the first 6 things he saw that reminded him of me. Mostly practice items (A book, a sports bra, a button-up shirt and some other odds and ends) but it was pretty adorable for reasons I don’t totally understand.

  320. Best Present ever: a deluxe kit of 50 eyeshadows for Christmas when I was 14
    Worst Present: Realizing it was FAKE eyeshadow. Just plastic. And I was supposed to PRETEND to put it on. LAME.

  321. Worst present ever: a pink fleece blanket with a giant picture of a puppy on it, from one of those generic gift catalogs…when I was in my 20’s…no thanks Mom! Luckily it made a great gift for my co-worker’s daughter.

    Best present ever: horseback riding lessons! I’d been begging for them for years and my Dad finally came through for me!

  322. Best: A copy of my favorite book as a kid, “Molly’s Moe”. It was a book about a little girl named Molly and her stuffed stegosaurus, Moe. I checked it out of the library every week for about a year when I was 4 or 5, but I never actually owned it. It is out of print now, but a few years ago my parents found me a copy online. (Second best is probably the Moe my mom made me for Christmas when I was 5)

    Worst: The stomach bug my sister in law brought from Louisiana two Christmases ago. My whole family was at my house for Christmas, and we all got sick. We refer to it as The Great Christmas Plague of 2011. No one in my family has asked to have Christmas at my house since.

  323. Best: My daughter who is 19 bought me a state of the art laptop because ” I never get anything new and she gets everything” Her words. . .what a kid :). Worst: My Mom forgot my birthday card and then told me it only had a lottery ticket in it anyway. I still haven’t gotten it. 🙂

  324. Best present ever, last year, from my boyfriend: a multicolored 3-foot-tall metal T-Rex that hangs out in my living room. He looks like he’s poised to run for the door when the bell rings.

    Worst present ever, from my former mother-in-law: a denim shirt with appliqued Christmas ornaments across the chest. PS, I’m Jewish.

  325. First comment from me I think! Had to add my two cents =P

    My best present? Ooooh, hard to choose… It’s a tie between the rollerblades I got for my can’t-remember-which-one-but-not-my-ninth-for-reasons-I’ll-tell-later birthday; I actually found them by accident a week before my birthday in the storage room while looking for something else. I had to suppress my joy for a WHOLE WEEK and pretend to be surprised when I got to open it. Don’t know I managed to pull it off – and the Wii I got from my friends and their mother one Christmas when in my twenties. Those are the two presents that stick out the most in my mind when I think of AWESOME PRESENT YAY memories. I think the rollerblades win by a narrow margin.

    Worst present? That is EASY. Growing up, we were pretty poor, not helped by my father’s terrible way with money. So I never expected big presents – which was why the aforementioned rollerblades were AWESOME – or more than one really.

    On my ninth birthday – see, I told you I’d come back around to that – my father presented me with a boxlike present. First I thought “Book! =D” but when I ripped off the paper it was… a computer game box. I think my brain melted a little in ecstasy. A computer game! For ME!! I soon realised that it was actually one of my big brother’s old games but I didn’t care; I was so happy and was bubbling over with it as I gabbled my effusive thanks to my dad, opened up the box and–

    Out fell bottles of shampoo and conditioner. My father. Had given. His NINE YEAR OLD daughter. SHAMPOO. AND CONDITIONER. He’d used the box to make it easier to wrap. I tried to cover up my disappointment but I think he noticed when I went from 60 to 0 in two seconds. And that was all I got from him that birthday. I think I’d have preferred nothing or just a card.

    Dad’s trolling level: OVER 9000

  326. Best: A microscope set when I was maybe 10. (nerd alert) I could make my own slides with dead bugs and cells from the inside of my cheek. I was in heaven.

    Worst (but also kind of amazing): The aunt of my boyfriend (at the time) was frugal (Depression era) and frequently re-used empty boxes of cereal for xmas gifts. So I was not surprised when I unwrapped a box of Corn Pops for Christmas one year. I was more surprised by the fact that it was just that, a box of Corn Pops. She was also suffering from dementia, but I suspect she meant it as I was never her favorite.

  327. Best: Wooden sled and white teddy bear. They were almost impossible to find the year (1974 or 75 ish) I requested them both from Santa. Apparently the largest sled manufacturer had burned down that year. Seriously. And white teddy bears were very, very, very uncommon but I had to have one because of some weird movie they showed us at school. My dad (aka Santa, who took his duty as Santa VERY seriously) found an expensive boutique downtown and got the white bear. The sled… well that is a story of legend. It was Christmas Eve and “Santa” was DESPERATE. I believe he was in Montgomery Wards. He saw the perfect sled. Wooden with red runners. A thing of beauty. Hanging from the ceiling with happy child mannequins riding it down a Christmas display! Wheee! He grabs a clerk and asked to buy it.
    Clerk: “I’m sorry sir, that’s a display.”
    My dad was undaunted, “Yes, I know, take it down, I want to buy that sled.”
    Clerk: “I can’t do that.”
    Dad: “Get a manager.”
    Clerk: “Sir, we’re closing in 15 minutes.”
    Dad: “Manager. Now.”
    Manager: “Sir, I’m sorry but we can’t sell the display.”
    Dad: “Ok, go in the back and get me one.”
    Manager: “We’re sold out sir.”
    Dad: “Look, the day after Christmas you’re gonna come in here and rip this display down. I want that sled.”
    Manager: “But sir!”
    Dad (getting louder): “This is a STORE? You do SELL things here, right!?!?”
    Manager: “Well, yes, of course.”
    Dad: “I want that sled.” (apparently he was a bit menacing at this point)
    Manager to Clerk: “Get it down.”
    As my dad walked through the store with my precious sled he was approached repeatedly by other customers demanding to know where he got the sled. He told them to ask the manager. BEST. PRESENT. EVER.

    Worst: The year that my parents decided I was too old for dolls and I did NOT receive the Thumbilina doll I had asked Santa for. I was crushed. I have no idea what I actually did get that year besides a hole in my heart where my belief in Santa used to be.

  328. Best: Macbook Air
    Worst: An ironing board. :/ Not even a good one, but this dinky little one that sits on the counter (which had ben my PREVIOUS ironing board)

  329. Best: a ukulele my boyfriend bought me after a particularly awesome Nellie McKay concert. He even went out of his way to get me one made by my favorite guitar maker instead of just picking up whatever happened to be at Guitar Center.

    Worst: a broken camera and incomplete set of alphabet stamps gifted to me when I was around ten years old by my step-father’s brother and then-wife. I was actually insanely excited about the camera until I tried to use it and figured out it was broken.