People Share The Worst "Um, Thanks" Gifts They've Received During The Holidays

Buying gifts for people is hard. You have to know what they like (especially difficult with newer friends or extended family) and you have to make sure it's something they don't already have.

Or you could take the approach of some of the people below and just buy whatever and go with it. This is not likely to produce a positive result, however. Even if you put thought into the gift and genuinely try to find something they will enjoy, it's still entirely possible to end up with an unenthusiastic "Um...thanks" in response. This is why I am such a fan of gift cards, both as the giver and the receiver. It lets people get what they really want or need, and completely avoids the awkward silence following the gifting of an unwelcome item.

Reddit user weirdbuttholetinge asked:

Reddit, what is the most "umm, thanks??" gift that you've ever received during the holidays?

It was a case of mistaken identity.

My parents found the Amazon wishlist of someone with the same name as me but NOT me, thought it was a bunch of weird items, decided to NOT check in with me or any other family member to see if they had the right list, and that's how I, as 24 year old male, got a maternity body pillow for Christmas.


You know she really loves you when she'll steal for you.

My grandparents had a tradition wherein they would give a new Christmas ornament to each grandkid every year.

One year (I think I was about 5) my great grandma gave me the most beautiful ornament. It was elegant and tasteful, and way too pretty for a kindergartener. Everyone in my family was like, "Where did she get that? She hasn't been able to get out to shop yet..."

Turns out, she stole it all discreet-like off the nursing home's Christmas tree. Great grandma passed in 1989. My mom still has that thing, and we still laugh about it to this day.


Strong hints...that your mother-in-law has issues.

The very first holiday after my wedding, my MIL sends my wife and I, each, separately, the same self help book on how to survive living with an abusive spouse. Not how to divorce or anything, but how to live IN the relationship with an abusive spouse. Not just to her, not just to me. To both of us. Two copies of the book.



There's always that one who ruins it.

I used to be a little standoffish at work because I'm shy, sitting on my phone instead of socializing with coworkers. For the secret Santa I got my guy a nice bottle of bourbon because I knew that was something he'd like. I in turn got a book about how sitting on your phone too much makes you an a**hole.


That's either someone being a jerk or someone taking a risk/not realizing there's the risk of the person in question not liking their joke.


They just wanted to help you have a good time.


When I was around 22, my mum somehow figured out I had a secret crush on Mark Wahlberg. All I got for Xmas that year were Mark Wahlberg DVDs. From everyone. In various boxes and wrappings. Like so many Mark Wahlberg DVDs.

I stopped saying ummm thanks after probably the fifth one.


Your family sounds like a funky bunch!


Yeah they really give off some good vibrations.


Self awareness at its finest.

I've been a vegetarian for twenty years now. Last Christmas, my aunt gave me a BBQ cookbook, and told me it was because men won't date a woman who doesn't know how to cook them steak.

Jokes on you, Auntie Lisa - I'm not single because I'm vegetarian, I'm single because I have a sh*t personality.


Please tell me you told her the gift was a "mis-steak". A good steak pun is a rare medium well done.


Maybe open a museum?

When I had my daughter my grandmother arbitrarily decided that I was going to collect nutcrackers. Every year, she gives us a new one. So now I have 13 creepy 1.5 ft tall wooden men of various types in my living room for the whole of December.

I hate them & fully believe that one day they will rise up and murder me in my sleep.


This would...actually make me immensely happy.


An industrial size jar of dill pickles. From my grandparents.


Lol, the ol' Costco special.


Maybe not the best present for your kids.

when my sister and I were younger, my dad liked to leave us a christmas stocking full of small gifts (novelties, candy, etc) on our beds.

this was very adorable until one year, when for reasons unclear he supplied us both with soft porn calendars - topless babes for me, oiled-up thong-wearing Chippendales for my 14-15 y/o sister.

after discreetly saying 'wtf?!" to each other on christmas morning we each got rid of them, and for ~20 years they have never been mentioned by anyone involved.


I choose to believe those calendars were your dad's awkward way of trying to start having the talk with y'all.


The gift that keeps on...being given.

The same box of specially spiced tea I gave my mom the year before.

I tried to unload it to my SIL the year after.


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