"It's the thought that counts." That's a lie people. Half the time no thought went into it. Don't give bad gifts. If you have no idea... when in doubt... give a gift card. We've all had to grin and bare it after unwrapping some gifted monstrosity. It would save so much time and burnt feelings to just give a blanket gift at this point in life. Case in point; let's discuss some gift ideas that left the wrong impression.

Redditor u/jedelhauser wanted to hear everyone's horror stories about gift giving by asking.... What's the worst gift you have ever received?

Hey Dory....


For my 10th birthday, I really wanted a fish. They got me a fishbowl, those decorative rocks and fish food. But no fish. They said i could just imagine there was a fish lmfao.


I kinda shrugged it off. 

My dad once got me a boombox that could only be used in his room/stored in his room. That I also couldn't use without his permission. So basically he bought himself a boombox.


My Dad remarried, adopted her kids, and moved to another state. He was normally a very good gift giver... but one year he decided to buy a very expensive set of tools for me for Christmas because I was 18 and going off into the world. Except that it was a gift for both myself and my brother to share so it had to stay in that other state with my 8 year old brother.

I kinda shrugged it off. I assume it had something to do with my Stepmom wanting things to be fair since the tools were so expensive.

Must've sucked to be an 8 year old who got a bunch of tools to share that he was probably never allowed to touch when all he really wanted was a Pokémon game or something. I've never asked my brother about that, gonna have to see if he remembers.


"make a point."

It wasn't so much the gift, it was the circumstances. I had some friends who were secretly trying to raise money to help me take care of my dying dad. They'd told a mutual friend of theirs about it, a very wealthy woman who was an attorney. So, on my birthday, she thought it would be appropriate to send me a woven bag as a gift, with a card in it detailing how I needed to not be a beggar, I needed to pull myself up by my bootstraps, I needed to stop asking people like her who were well off for money (I hadn't, my friends had asked her to contribute to a fund they were making), and how I could eventually be a decent person and not such a poor.

I received the gift during my birthday party, and had a complete meltdown that ended up with sending everyone home. She knew I'd grown up homeless, she knew I'd struggled and was finally doing well enough to rent a house on my own, and I had a really good job. She just wanted to "make a point."


They don't know me. 

Every year I get a gift basket from my dad and step mom. It includes coffee from the clearance section of ross, a bottle of wine, and lots of other clearance stuff from Ross. I don't drink, I can't drink coffee. I sound ungrateful, but I'd rather just get a card. They don't know me.




My brother ALWAYS brings this up every Christmas, but back when I was going through grades 1-4 (US) back in the 90's, we would do a class gift exchange.

It was one of those setups where everyone buys one present to put into a pile at the center of the room, then numbers are drawn and each kid gets the present that corresponds to the number they drew, so it was completely random what present you ended up with. Somehow I ended up getting a box of dominoes every. damn. year. When I got the box of dominoes in fourth grade, I burst out crying. I still don't really know how to play dominoes.


the list goes on and on.....

My grandma was the queen of bad gifts. Because she would just give you whatever she had, or something she had found at the store but completely related to her and not to the person receiving the gift... I got a few used ( by her ) nightgowns, books in English when I couldn't understand English well yet as a kid, books to learn German when I was not learning German in any shape or form at school and already had to learn English and Italian for school.

Brand Pens ( like the ones you get in hotels) old makeup, old used bags or shoes she had found at the flea market, a tourist book about a city I had never been at... the list goes on and on... she was great though. Not a good person per se, but She made up for all the mistakes in her life by being a great grandma.




Orange flavored tic-tacs. The only thing is they weren't orange anymore, my aunt had sucked on them all to get the orange flavoring off and put them back in the container. They were just a clump of stuck together white tic-tacs. It was very confusing for 6 year old me.


Talk to Harry. 

When I was little I was super into reading and my grandparents would always give me books way below my reading level. Like I'd be reading Harry Potter and they'd give me me those books they give you in school to teach you how to read. I'd always be excited about book shaped gifts but then really disappointed when I opened it.


For Sale.


My ex mother in law gave me a mason jar with the ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies in it. Which was fine, until my ex sister in law (who had Down syndrome) chimes in "we got it at a garage sale". Who knows how old the ingredients were.


Sad Holiday. 

My adopted mother kept track of how much money she spent raising me, and one Christmas (years after I had moved out) sent me a card with "I'm taking $500 off your debt to me for Christmas."


The Rat in a Cage....

I wanted a pet rat he found a cage and a big fake halloween rat, I mean he had to take the top off the cage to put it in and it was 3/4 the cage size, at the flea market. Laughed his butt off when he said he got me a pet rat, he laughed even harder when he gave it to me. I was 14 and wasn't amused at all. It's funny now, but 14 year old me had that same face my mom gave him when they were married and he did this crap.


Do you even know me?

My ex husband is a crap giver, no thought into gifts. No thought towards others at all. When we were still married he once gave me a makeup kit, although I never wore makeup. I asked him why he got me makeup and he said the sales clerk said most women love makeup. Do you even know me? Do you even see me? A year later for my birthday, he gave me a snowboarding jacket. I don't ski or snowboard, but it could be a really warm winter jacket. I tried it on, it was enormous.

I asked if we could exchange it for a size that fit me. He said no, the jacket was really for him and I wasn't allowed to wear it. Some other memorable gifts from him include the stolen mattress that we did not need. A cell phone with a new line of service that he got in my name without my permission and to which I received the bills to pay for it. Happy Birthday to me! Other fun memories of him include the time I got a call from a Land Rover dealership that he had traded in MY car for a brand new Land Rover and I had hours to get my car to the dealership before they called the police.

I encouraged them to call the police. The car was in my name only, awarded to me in the divorce, and the jobless prick they let drive a 60,000 car off the lot was not entitled to my vehicle. He called that afternoon telling me I was a moron and had just ruined his week. Sorry Chief.


Merry Last Year....

retro 90s GIF Giphy

My auntie got me a 2019 calendar.... On Christmas of 2019!


That's a message, not a gift.



I got a hair clip one year.

It was a nice clip, made of metal, had pretty flowers on it but still, it threw me off.

It was Christmas one year. And my mom's side of the family always draws names. That way we only have to buy for one person. And usually we try to draw names six months in advance, to give us plenty of time to either collect multiple items to give to this one person or to save up enough money to get them that one big thing.

One year my uncle and I got each other. I made him this really amazing shadow box full of vintage pictures of him and his kids and all his favorite things that he loves to do. It looked really cool. I also got him this super cool vintage Roman helmet, and when you open it there is a felt lining that has a hole for a bottle of liquor and four smaller holes for four shot glasses.

And I got him some nice liquor and some nice shot glasses to put inside of it as well. I was really excited whenever I gave it to him because I love giving awesome gifts, and then he handed me a small bag and I pulled out a hair clip. I tried really hard not to look deflated. I really don't even care about gifts that I get. I'd rather not get anything. But the build-up that I had created by getting him this awesome gift just kind of went poof when I pulled out that hair clip.


I'd rather Nickels....

This was a long time ago and that morning my then-boyfriend said he had a surprise for me when he got home from work. He wasn't really one to give gifts and I like surprises, but when he got home he gave me huge bag of pennies. I have no idea what it was for or why he gave it to me. I just said uh okay why are you giving this to me? He said thought you'd like them. It was a pretty big let-down. So weird.


For Me!

penguin GIF by Gotham Giphy

My dad once gave me his old coffee maker for my birthday. I don't drink coffee, but it was so he could have some when they came to visit.


Hannah is Dead! 

My extended family seemed to forget how old I am and I rarely receive age appropriate gifts. I'm 22 now, and they've since stopped giving me anything at all.

I received multiple baggy velvet track pant sets from the ages of 11-16 for Christmas.

On one occasion, my aunt from Puerto Rico sent me a singing Hannah Montana poster when I was 16 years old.

By this time, the show had been of the air for a few years so I don't even know how she found it.

Got a Monster High makeup set at 18 by a random family member. It was the type of kit with chalky eyeshadows and lots of lip balms. I gave it to a friend's kid.


Just Keep It! 

My ex-husband would give me presents that he wanted, never anything I wanted (even if I explicitly told him what I wanted). The last birthday present he got me was pretty terrible. It was a long exposure picture of his favorite drummer. He was so proud of it. Told me that he'd get it framed for me and everything. It didn't once occur to him that I had zero interest in art like that. It wasn't a horrible photo, but was entirely about him and he waited for my birthday to spend a lot of money on it.


You Realize I'm like 50 right?

They all give me gifts that would make more sense for 11-year-olds. I work in biology, and for some reason they all think that means I want hundreds of kids' chemistry sets and baking soda volcano kits. They're not even trying to be rude or patronizing, they just have not processed the fact that I'm an adult.

They also think I'm obsessed with Harry Potter for some reason. I have not read Harry Potter since I was 13, but I am absolutely drowning in merch for it. I have 3 copies of Hermione's wand.


I Hate Her!

old times rage GIF by Cheezburger Giphy

3 nightgowns from my sister in-law.

All 3 were so big my husband and I could fit in them TOGETHER.

I tossed them.



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