Stte Funn on Unsplash

For most children, Christmas is all about presents. And as some people grow older, the holiday season is still all about presents.

Unless you're playing Secret Santa and present exchanges come from a place of mischief, you would hope that the person you're genuinely giving a gift to would be appreciative.


But because we've been given tacky presents at one time—despite the gift giver's good intentions—we know there's a chance that we too could fail at Christmas.

But hey, it's the thought that counts, right?

For the ones who thought they deserved better, Redditor Jalb101222 asked strangers on the internet:

"What's the worst Christmas present you have received?"

Family members just don't have a clue.

The Thought Didn't Count

"Every year my aunt gives our family 'Thrift Santa' gifts, like a bunch, from thrift stores. The thing is, nothing relates to anything. The worst I've gotten are among a Kama Sutra book when I was 13/14 (awkward), and a New York Yankees baby onesie. I don't have kids, I don't watch baseball."

– Yippee614

Worse For Wear

"When the tomagotchi craze was in full swing my siblings and I asked for one."

"My sisters both got one, and I got a jacket because mine was torn up and small."

"When I asked my dad why I didn't get one and if Santa thought I did something bad that year. He told me I was too old for Santa and needed to learn life isn't fair."

"I was 8. My sisters were 7 and 5."

"From that point forward I only ever received clothing."

– dariusz2k

For A Prospective Forensic Scientist

"My mum is notorious for bad presents, I've had such delights as toothpaste and vitamin pills wrapped up for me at Christmas."

"But one that stands out was a car crash kit. It had a disposable camera for recording the scene, a form for both parties to fill out, a tape measure for measuring... I dunno stuff and some chalk, for what I assume was for marking out where the dead bodies landed, or something, I dunno."

– X-cessiveDreamer

A Traumatic Experience

"My great grandma gave my cousin a jock strap from goodwill. Her mental health was bad at this time. 1992ish? He started crying. He was 9."

– mistahmarbles

Grandma's Taste In Fashion

"My grandmother was terrible at picking out clothes. When I was around 13, she got me a shirt with a puffy panel on the chest with a zipper to, I guess, store things in."

"She gave it to me Christmas Eve, and I had to make sure I wore it Christmas Day when she came around. Like the bulk of the clothes she bought for holidays or birthdays, it was worn once or twice, then promptly stuck in the back of the closet for a year or two until I outgrew it and had to throw it away."

– wetwater

Budget Gourmet

"A box of top ramen. Just a standard grocery box of ramen bags. It was wrapped up with a nice bow too, and it was not gifted as a joke. My family knew I was having financial troubles and was only eating one meal a day, they honestly thought they were helping me out."

– The_Quicktrigger

You can't always get what you want. Worse, you get what you don't even need.

They Must've Been On The Naughty List

"My husbands step mother gave me, a 36 year old at the time, a kindergarten size back pack and when I opened it she said, 'I actually bought that for ——- (a child) a few years ago and she hated it so I threw it in a closet and I saw it and thought you'd like it. None of us did, we all think it's ugly.'"

"That same year they gave my 3 kids gifts totaling all together $15 with the clearance stickers on them while her biological granddaughter opened a $300 unicorn. Which they made sure we knew cost $300, and then they pointed out to everyone our clearance stickers and what great deals they were (they weren't), and then they made my kids leave the room so the grand daughter could take pics alone with her unicorn."

"It was the last Christmas we visited them. lol"

– simplysufficiant

​Because Homewares

"A dishtowel.. I was 8 years old."

GhostlyQbe

"Oh, yeah. That was very common in my country until recently. Especially the older members of the family would give household gifts to the children, especially the girls."

"It's based on the tradition of the couple moving into the same household after marriage. Usually the women would bring the household furnishings to the marriage. So from a young age, girls receive gifts like this and gradually build up this equipment so that families don't have to buy it all at once."

"This was especially common among less affluent families."

"An elementary school teacher of mine once told us the story of how she received a set of towels from her grandmother for Christmas when she was about eight (this was in the 1940's). From her grandmother's point of view, it was a generous gift that she had carefully chosen and had to save money for all year."

"But it was a terrible disappointment for an eight-year-old girl, and she didn't hide it. She said she later regretted her reaction, which is obvious because she still remembered it even at seventy. (She told us this story to teach us a lesson about gratitude)."

– NeutralWitch

A Musical Hint

"Since my dad isn't on Reddit I will share his story for him. When he was young he was hell bent on becoming a drummer. He would make full drum kits out of my grandmothers pots and pans and whatever he could find. Very detailed set ups. After months and months of building drum sets and drumming on anything he could find he woke up Christmas morning…to an acoustic guitar and guitar lessons."

"He told me he took a few lessons and would always end up flipping the guitar over in the class with the other students and just play it like bongos."

– Swarhammer

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They Cut So Deep

"A set of miniature butter knives with ceramic fruit and vegetables as the handles. From an aunt who said that I was 'So hard to shop for.'"

"I was 7."

– vodkaenthusiast89

Worst Surprise Ever

"A comic book that was laying around the house for several months which I read twice in this period. I didn't know it was supposed to be my surprise present."

– Cheap_Stay2750

Premature Grooming Delight

"My dad, his first christmas divorced and living alone, first time ever shopping for us clearly lmao because my mom did all the shopping before, got me a nose hair trimmer..."

"I was 12."

"And definitely did not understand why I got that gift."

– ThisSorrowfulLife

That Stinks

"When I was 5, I had gotten a sephora gift card from my grandma. My mom ended up using it."

– Miranda9091

Gift comparisons were made, and these Redditors got the short end of the stick.

Put To Use

"When I was 10 years old my grandparents gave me an unwrapped suitcase for Christmas. In the interests of convenience, they used that suitcase for the wrapped presents for my sisters."

– ragedandobtused

"Misplaced" Gifts

"The time I was really into Green Day and the emerging 'alternative' music of the mid 90s. And my mom bought me a few CDs (back when CDs were something stupid like $20 each). Wow! Awesome gift! Except the CDs were Toni Braxton and Mariah Carey and something else I've completely forgotten."

"Or the Christmases when my brother would get a pile of presents or something pretty expensive (foosball table, air hockey table, etc), and I'd get a couple books and lipgloss. I love those things, so the gifts themselves weren't bad, but I was clearly not the favored child."

"In the aftermath of gift opening, mom would look at the pile my brother got and the few gifts I got, then make a big show of stomping around the house claiming she knows she got more for me, she must have misplaced all the other gifts! Without fail, for several years in a row, she 'misplaced' my gifts. Because she realized in the moment that she spent waaaaay more on my brother than me. Never once did she find these 'misplaced' gifts."

"And to make it worse, my birthday is shortly after Christmas, so I never got much for my birthday because the budget was blown on Christmas. My brother claims he remembers me getting sh**ty birthday gifts and I was always jealous of his. I don't have any memory of that, but it very well could be. (The worst birthday was the year I only got a Bible with my name stamped on the front in gold lettering. That's a birthday I remember quite clearly.)"

– daughtcahm

How One Becomes An Ex

"The year I gave my ex husband a Tag Heuer watch he gave me a $19.99 Walmart blender. We already had 3 blenders."

– tealgrayone

Why Lamborghinis Suck

"A Lamborghini calender. My brother got a guitar and amp. My two sisters got a bike each. F'k i hate Lamborghinis now."

– Stickmag

The Punishment

"When I was 12 I bought myself a kindle. Me and my sister spent an entire summer working for our grandpa and stepdad to save up for them, each of us spending about 200$. My mom got all 3 of my brothers a kindle for Christmas and I got some Clothes from old navy."

"I was livid and when I talked to my mom about it she told me that my sister and I had been excluding our brothers from hanging out while we played videogames and it was unfair. She never apologized or saw anything wrong with what she did, and I honestly still haven't forgiven her almost a decade later."

– BlueButterflies139

Walmart Finds

"On my 10th birthday that my parents kept making a big deal about (double digit age i can legally babysit now) my dad went to walmart the day before and came back with 2 wallets and a ipod that my sister started asking for a week before my bday."

"I get a wallet and my younger brother got the same wallet and he gave my sister the ipod. I felt so depressed after that and my grandparents took me to walmart with $20 to spend for my bday. When we were checking out i saw the wallets by the candy where the cashiers are and they were $1. I got reminded of it and went to look at the ipod my sister got and it was either $250 or $350 bucks...we ate frozen corndogs and ramen everyday so it seriously hurt to see that."

"Edit: there were alot of other f'ked up things my parents did, but my sister was my dads fav (middle child) and younger brother was my moms (youngest)."

"When i turned 16 i wanted to test to see if they would even notice if i stopped talking, eating, and leaving my rooms..a year and a half later they finally said something, if i wasnt at school i just went in my room and slept and didnt eat their food. Met my wife and as soon as i turned 18 her gma let me move in and i havent spoken to my parents in almost a decade."

– AutomaticRisk3464

A Sibling Scores

"I got a bunch of combs and a cheap children's chemistry set that I already had three of. My brother got some DS games and a lego Star destroyer."

– cobalt_phantom

It's funny how our tastes evolve from when we were kids.

My parents' friends typically bought me clothes, which I never appreciated because I always wanted TOYS.

One Christmas–I think I was around 12—I was given black and red Nike high-tops from a family friend, and I scoffed at the reveal after anticipating something more exciting, like, I dunno, the Star Wars Power of the Force Hoth Battle Playset made by Kenner?

I ended up asking to have the sneaks sent back and lying that the shoe size was inaccurate as the reason.

Man, I wish I had those AWESOME high-tops now! Actually, I would appreciate them now. Because I still want the Star Wars playset, TBH.

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