Bruce Mau to Support Massive Play Weekend

GiftTRAP Massive Play Weekend

“I’m looking forward to playing GiftTRAP over the Massive Play Weekend. It’s a unique and fun game and a compelling event designed to start many interesting conversations, just like the Massive Change project. It’s great to see Jill Murray, one of the co-creators of Massive Change involved in such an innovative project.” Bruce Mau, Bruce Mau Design

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Puts your gifts to the test!

GiftTRAP is the hilarious new game that’s taking the gaming world by storm and putting the social back into board games.

The goal is to really get to know your friends and family.

You win by knowing your friends and choosing the right gifts, but most of all it’s just fun to play and gets you talking about things that matter.

  • 3-8 Players, 5+
  • Playtime 45-75 mins
  • Learn in 10 mins
A sample of gifts from the GiftTRAP gift guide
  • 1 full size game board
  • 640 Gift Ideas
  • Rules
  • 8 Organza Gift Bags containing; scoring markers, gift & choice tokens plus advanced strategy cards
Read what the experts have been buzzing about.

Love to play Trivial Pursuit, Cranium or Apples to Apples - You will love this family party game.

GiftTRAP is all the fun of Secret Santa without needing to shop or wrap.

Did you have a Massive Weekend?

We believe you did a great job last weekend. Take a look at the photos and stories posted so far.

If you have a photo we’d love to see it.  Keep the donations, stories and photos pouring in.

Post your photos.

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gifttrap blog
Gifts you loved
| Dog Tag I gave to my Girlfriend

We’d just met and Gina bought me a Dog Tag. I’d always wanted one.

Were still together and I’m still waring it.

| Less than authentic Porsche Watch given by my good friend

Received a slightly less than authentic Porsche “Poshcre” watch from a friend returning from China.
After a week the fluorescent illuminating pieces started falling of the dial face. The watch only occasionally keeps time when it feel like it.

So I now wear it on those special occasions when keeping time is not necessary and looking the part is.

Love that it brings more of a laugh and enjoyment than a real one would

| a Tammagotchi given by my aunt

I’ve now got a version 3 and I’ve passed my old one down to my little

Next xmas I want a pair og heelies or a cell phone or my dad’s ipod (he doesn’t use it)

| a morning to sleep in given by my husband

I get to sleep in about 1x or 2x a year and I’ve been sick (cold/flu) and desperately needed a break from the kids.  My husband took the day off work so I could sleep and he took the kids to school and picked them up and came home with a HUGE bouquet of flowers.  WOW.  A simple sleep-in is worth more than THINGS.

| an altimeter watch given by my wife

My wife gave me this watch as a wedding gift - our zeroth anniversary. I still have it almost 14 years later, although some parts of it don’t work anymore.

| My Awesome babysitter given by my friend

I have the best darn sitter in the world!  She will come and jump in the pool with my kids for their swim lessons when I can’t (do to being sick, or forgot to shave, etc)
She shows them off to her friends.  She has their pictures in her locker, in her room, in her waller.
She treats them as her own kids.
She loves them with everything she has!
And I thank GOD every day for her, now I know my kids are safe when I am out, or working!

| Handknitted Sweater I gave to my boyfriend

I knitted a beautiful (or so I thought) sweater for my ex-boyfriend. When he tried it on and discovered that the arms were 5 inches too long, and the body, 3 inches too short, he rejected it.  After I re-gifted it to my parents, they decided it would become the JOKE gift amongst thier friends.  That sweater circulated for many years in many different forms (re-knitted sometimes and in balls).  I think it finally found a home in the Salvation Army during a parituclarly harsh winter in Vancouver.

| A hand carved jewelery box I gave to my girlfriend

I spent weeks carving a stunning wooden elephant. It’s belly slid out and was the box in the jewelery box.

I gave it to my first serious girlfriend. Bummer was she chucked me the night I have it to her.

What was sad and heroic was that I insisted she kept it. BIG MISTAKE.

That was the coolest thing I ever made in wood.

I wish I still had it.

I was only 15 at the time (and heart broken)

This isnt the real image (alas)

| A lovely grey wool & angora sweater given by my girlfriend

My new girlfriend bought my this stunning sweater.

We’d only just met. I’ve still got the sweater and we got married.

I still love them both.

Not sure if this the angora in question!

| cheesebutger from a 2 town restruant given by my friend

We were driving arounf in the middle of no where in IL. ANd we ran into a small town in Moonshine, IL. A town of 2 people. There they had an outhouse (aka sitty hall) and a small restruant. When we walked into the restruant I thought the walls were going to cave in and the ceiling was going to fall in. But the had the nicest service and the best food! Thanks your a pal!

| Diego given by my girlfriend

The miracle of life was brought into this world 3:29am thursday, November 3rd 2005...A simple story behind a priceless gift

| was the body of my dream car, a 1965 mustang convertable given by my dad

I was given the gift on my 15 Birthday! My dad said that we had to go to my aunt’s house before we met them for dinner and so we did and when we got their house i saw the car sitting in their yard and he said “it’s yours”! I almost s*** my pants. That moment was priceless!! It may still be a piece of junk to anyone but in a couple of years i’ll have it fixed up and it will be a classic again!

| My first Palm Pilot (V) given by my husband

He saw me lugging around the brick known as the Franklin Dayplanner with pages and pages of handwritten notes, miscellaneous post it notes, napkin notes, pins, flyers, and heaven knows what else I stuffed into it. I had to get the cover with a zipper to keep the papers from exploding all over the place. I went from carrying around several pounds of paper to carrying several ounces of memory with a helpful UI and really cool little reminder alarms and and vibrations that took care of ME instead of my having to look everything up all the time. My husband ROCKS!

| Camera, Software & Memory Sticks given by my son

I’d like to mention how valid a recycle gift is, when your own beloved son and daughter in law send to you their older digital camera.

When I received this $400 camera, I was thrilled to pieces! I love photography, and recording those special moments.

My son and daughter in law sent me not just a camera, six smart cards, all necessary extensions and software, but also years of photographic pleasure.

Since they live far away, they suggested that I join Flickr.com, to show each other our photo adventures. I cannot wait to see their new postings. Each of them is an artist, like myself. Because we can communicate with image, often
every three days, I am more happy in the knowledge that they are both safe
and well.

Do not hesitate to send interesting antiques, or even vintage clothes to the
right person. These valuable finds can often be one of a kind, unique creations. “Second hand” is not a word I would use for sometimes rare and excellent antiques, or collectors’ item.

My son, daughter in law, mate, and myself make a point of searching for the unique. In fact, this Holiday season I have given a cranberry glass cream and sugar set to one person, a sterling plate candle-vase to another, and a beautiful hand made piece of pottery to a third, all perfectly good.

My son and daughter in law received collector books on photography (in good condition)- these were also from a second-hand source. of course, they had squeaky and shiny new gifts, too.

I hope that your holidays were happy and fulfilling. Giving is so joyous!

| Engagement Ring given by my husband

The best gift ever besides the Lord dying on the cross to save me was my engagement ring and some other wonderful surprise jewelry from my spouse.

These gifts were the best as they were given with such love.

I truely feel the item itself does not make the gift the best gift but the love and care from the giver make any gift special.

| tool box set given by my parents

When I was about 10 years old I got a tool box set for Christmas. I was thrilled and I’ve never forgotten how much fun I had with it.

My parents, on the other hand, were not so thrilled when I cut the railing off the back porch and ripped a few boards off the side of the garage.

I had tools but no
materials to work with so what was a kid to do!

| A Surprises Holiday in the Dominican Republic given by my husband

The year I met my hubby, we had only been together for about two months; when his best friend announced that him and his girlfriend were getting married in the Dominican Republic.

I was a single mom at the time. My boyfriend asked if I would go and then later stated he could not afford for both of us to go. I did tell him at that point that he could not miss his best friends wedding (he was the only person invited!)

Anyway weeks go by and my boyfriend then tells me that he can no longer afford to go either but that he thought we should go to winnipeg with them
for a few days before the wedding to spend time with them and see them off.

So that is what we did. I did not question this as it is way cheaper to do that then it is to go all the way to the Dominican!!!

So the day of their departure arrives and we all go to the little airport lounge the guys go off to check the luggage and the bride to be and myself
continued to visit. When the departure announcement came on we went to see them to the gate....at wich time my boyfriend handed me an airline ticket (which I then tried to give to the groom lol) Turns out the ticket was for me!!! We were going to, they had it all set up with the sitters, the tickets, everything and had done this all months earlier!

I was in utter shock, it didn’t dawn on me that I was actually going, until I saw the shoreline, then I cried like a happy little baby!

You see, not only was that the sweetest surprise ever, but my dream had always been to see the ocean.....We all had a wonderful vacation, the wedding went off without a hitch and I have the most sweet memories I could
have dreamed of.

| An Opal Pendant given by my friend

Many years ago my 80-year-old friend decided on a whim to visit Australia.

She brought me back an opal pendant that I cherished and I was heartbroken when it disappeared.  This Christmas my son ,now 31, handed me a gift that made me cry. 

It was an opal pendant that resembles very closely the one I
lost.  He was only 10-years-old when I lost it but searched for stones until he found one almost identical, that had orange fire instead of the traditional opals. 

I was so touched that he remembered after so many years
and I will never remove this.  The only difference is this pendant has a very small diamond set in it, to represent all the tears I shed over the
lost one. 

I will cherish it forever.  I am loved!

| A Snow Blower given by my husband

The very best gift I ever got was from my ex-husband. It was a snow blower.

Go ahead laugh. He was the type of guy who would have no problem giving me jewelry or flowers, perfume. All the good stuff. But this one year I knew he was going to be away all winter and I would have to shovel all the snow.

With the cold temperatures and my asthma it make that task difficult for me. Besides being a man’s man if the guys at work heard about it, there would be
no end to the ribbing and jokes for him. Which is exactly what happened, and I loved him all the more for it because he never told the guys at work that
I actually wanted it.

He just said “Yeah, I’m in the dog house for buying a stupid gift like that”. That was in 1994 and it’s now 2007 and I still have the snow blower.

My ex-husband and I were and are still friends I guess, but
since he remarried we don’t communicate anymore. And that makes me sad at times. So there you have it.

| Regifted Ugly Traveling Tea Set I gave to my friend

Years ago I was given the most ornate, ugliest tea set ever.  It was hideous and a very dear friend always used to laugh when she saw it in my china
cabinet.  Three years ago I wrapped it up, filled it with chocolates and gave it to her for Christmas, along with a set of rules and a record log.

You may regift it but NOT to the person who gave it to you. There’s a log with it to tell who it has been passed on to.  I hope to find someday the
ugly tea set has traveled all over the world!  This has turned that hideously ugly tea set into something fun and exciting.  It has lived in several cities in British Columbia and is currently residing in
Saskatchewan. 

It’s now the ugly, travelling tea set!

| Fresh Flowers every week for a year! given by my husband

My husband remembered a conversation we had once where I said I would know when I had really made it when I would always have fresh beautiful flowers on my dining table.

One year for my birthday I received a delivery of
exquisite flowers with a note that said “every week for 52 weeks”
Love David

My girlfriends still talk about it and that was 10 years ago.  It was the best!!

| Trip to Massage Sanctuary given by my husband

my best gift ever was an unexpected voucher from my husband for a massage.

Mostly because of the love and effort which had gone into it. 

He only had a vague idea where my favorite sanctuary was but didn’t know its name, so he drove around until he found it.

| Tickets to Superbowl given by my wife

My wife,for my 40th birthday in aug 06 saved for the entire year and purchased me a ticket to the Superbowl in Miami Florida Feb4,2007.

Hard to acquire 50 yard line,row 10 for $5000 U.S.

I’m ecstatic as I leave on Tuesday Jan 30 for 6 joyous days.A once in a lifetime experience.

| A Promise given by my God Parents

My best gift was a promise, made to me when I was one month old.

Every year, until I was 18, I received a Christmas ornament from my Godparents.  They wanted to make sure I had a good start on a collection of nice ornaments for my own Christmas tree when I grew up. I have a whole range of them, from hand-made bird’s nest to (the final ornament) an angel
for the top of the tree.

One year around Christmastime about 10 years ago, I called my Godparents and told them that I was getting married to a wonderful man. I wanted to thank
them for all the great ornaments that would now grace our new home’s Christmas tree. I then asked my Godfather for a very special present.

My father died a year before I met my then husband-to-be. I asked my Godfather if he would please take my father’s place, and walk me down the aisle.

The gift of his presence there was better than anything else I received that day.  He became my father for the day - walking me down the aisle, dancing with me at the reception, being a shoulder to lean on.  Uncle Jim has since passed on, but every year when I look at those wonderful ornaments on the
tree, I remember the gift of his promise, made at my baptism, fulfilled at my wedding, to be a father to me when I needed him.

| African statue regifting tradition given by my friend

The worst gift I ever got ended up being one of the best.

I once received an African statue of a native wearing only a barrel around his body. When you take off the barrel his rather large member “springs” to life.

The reason this turned into one of the best gifts was that for the last few years it has been a tradition in my family to re-gift it to one of our family members for birthdays, Christmas, or whatever occasions we feel the need. Everyone always forgets about it and who got it last until it’s opened.

| very cool hot-rod car given by my cousin

One other one: When I was a little I was given a very cool hot-rod car for my birthday from my cousin. I was thanked him profusely… but unfortunately I didn’t have it in my possession very long as another cousin of mine cried out in protest that his brother had gifted his own car!

| The money grandma used to give us! given by my grandma

My grandmother used to give a decent amount of money to each of her grandkids each Christmas ($20 at that point was a windfall).

However, as she got older the yearly gifts became smaller and smaller.  Finally came the year when she approached my mother and asked what she should give the grandkids for Christmas to which my mother replied “Give them whatever you’d like.” Without a pause my grandmother snapped, “I don’t want to give them a damn thing!”

That was the last of the yearly grandmother money.

| a variety pack of beer given by my dad

My dad was notorious for not knowing us well enough to give us a gift that we could truly enjoy and not asking us what we wanted.  To me, the best types of gifts are ones that are thought of and not expected but enjoyed.  I was almost dreading my dad’s gift because this year he had, yet again, not asked what I wanted.  I expected some type gadget or book that would come close to an interest of mine, but not quite be on the mark.  My dad got me a variety pack of beers.  At the time, I was just starting to enjoy the diversity of beer and loved to try new types.  You can imagine my surprise when I opened the gift and it was something that I not only liked, but would most definately use.  He had hit a homerun and it was a gift that he had come up with on his own.  That was years ago and I still remember it.

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Gifts you hated
| Porcelain Girl Figure given by my Friend

A friend who was known for being as tight as them come gave us this gift.

It was either marked down to zero or he’d been given it and was passing it on.

We didn’t have the heart to regift it (again).  I threw it down the stairs. It was pretty tought but eventually I broke it

| Gnome I gave to my Sister

I’ve always hated gnomes.

I shouldn’t have regifted it, but I just felt better than buying one!

She’s gnome the wiser until now!

| an ugly brown mug given by my friend

Unlike other mugs “Ugly Mug” was almost indestructible. After several years of constant abuse it finally succumbed.

| HUge Jeans given by my aunt

It was Christmas two years ago, a time of giving and getting. After opening many gifts it became time to open my present sent to me by my Auntie. Cool I thought, a new pair of Jeans. One small problem they were four sizes to large for me. Even to this day they are still way to big and up to my armpits.
Thank you Auntie Terri for the huge pants. They will look great when I get married. wink

| a bronzed book given by my uncle

it was a bad wedding gift! It came with a stand too.

| Home decor - that fits HER home given by my mum

My mother gave me some “items” for my home...shelves and lamps and a clock, for my house.  Well thats all fine and dandy except for the fact that I didn’t need them! 
She hated where my clock was so she bought me a new one to hang so she could spot it when she was over.
She didn’t like the books behind the chair in the corner so she gave me a shelf *to collect dust* instead.
She could never “see well” when she came over after dark so bought a lamp she could turn on.
Funny part is, there is NO ROOM in my house for these things.
Thanks mom, but no thanks.  Buy your own decor!  Ha ha!

| A slate thermometer given by my sister

A really useful gift, aged 21.

I think I left it at my parents house and its still there to this day.

| Voodoo Candleholder given by my husband

A few back my husband thought he was giving me a very special gift.  He had gone to a sale at one of the local colleges that was student work for sale.

He had the romanitic notion that a hand made object would be a wonderful gift.  He picked something out, wrapped it and put it under the tree.  When
I was opening it, I could see the excitment in his eyes and wondered what it could be in this small package. 

I was speechless when I saw this metal object in the box.  It was hand pounded and shaped to resemble a chicken claw with a place to put a candle.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have
considered a chicken claw candleholder a thing of beauty, but appearently he did. In fact, he took my speechlessness to be a good thing. 

Of, course I have never told him how horrified I actually was and I took the voodoo looking candleholder and fitted it with a candle, placed in on the shelf between my plants in the baywindow infront of the bathtub. 

No one has to see it, but me and I know it was bought with love, but I do not plan on sharing the experience of having to figure out what it is with anyone else.

| A purse given by my girlfriend

The worst gift I received was a purse. As I am a lady who hates to carry a purse.

I really felt that other person thought I should change and start
carrying a purse.

Thus the gift was not for me but more for the giver to try to change me.

| Secret Santa Went Missing :( given by my mum

My worst christmas present was actually given, or in my case NOT GIVEN!!!

For my both sides of mine and my husbands family we do secret santa. So this therefore means less money spent and less presents to remember to buy.

Anyway my mum had me to buy for. So on christmas eve we are all sitting around the christmas tree and exchanging all the presents and guess who kept her mouth shut and didn’t recieve a thing????? ME!!!!

To tell you the truth it didn’t really bother me but just thought that it was pure laziness on my mums behalf for her to forget the one present that she had to buy for christmas.

So thats my story of the worst presents that i have ever received.....or NOT received.

Oh well....better luck next year.

| A Handbag I gave to my husband

Hi, my husband loves handbags and cannot understand why i do not. He has tried over the course of several years to buy me one and they have always been returned!

Last year my mum gave me a tacky handbag for my girls and I wrapped it and gave it to him!!.

His face was a picture when he opened it!!...needless to say he has NEVER dared to get me another handbag since!!

| A Soft, Shapeless & Ugly Sweater & A Beard Trimmer given by my husband

I beleive I received the worst gift ever...My husband and I went shopping at Wal-Mart with the thought of looking at gifts for each other. 

As we were walking around I touched a shapeless, ugly , but soft sweater and said “this is so soft.  I don’t want this, but it’s soft.” So on Christmas morning as I bring down our one month old daughter to see the gifts, expecting to be totally pampered (I did just give birth) he hands me a Wal-Mart bag.

Inside is the sweater I said I didn’t like.  I looked up in disappointment, but he was all smiles, “there’s more”.  Oh, good, I think as I open the smaller bag inside. 

Also just in it’s Wal-Mart bag is a nose and ear hair trimmer.  With tears in my eyes I ask,"what’s this?” he says “oh, no, it’s not for your nose, it’s for your beard.” Until that point I hadn’t known I had a beard, but he says , you know the hairs you pluck from your chin, this will do it faster.”

Needless to say, it was all returned. 

This year I got a lovely cubic zirconia pendant and earring set.

| Rubber Gloves given by my boyfriend

The worst gift I ever got was a pair of rubber gloves and dishcleaning equipment from a boyfriend who very quickly became an ex.

Turned out he thought it was a funny way of letting me know he could see spending his life with me.....

I don’t think so!!!!!!

| Lord of the rings family game given by my mum

Then to the gift I received. I have very hard to remember gifts from the childhood. I always seem to remember the good ones and forget about the bad ones. I know I had gifts that I was not fond of, but not gifts of any substantial value, so I don’t really mind.

So in the recent years, I have got a boardgame. My mom knows I love boardgames, but this one she didn’t get correctly. She gave me Lord of the rings family game. Now, this is mostly for kids and I don’t have any and don’t plan to get it in any near future either. But I figured out that I will give away it to a friend of mine, who has kids in the age to start playing. I think it is better to give away a present you have received but didn’t like, than to let it collect dust on a shelf.

| A Giant Indian Pez Candy Dispenser given by my friend

About a year ago a gaming friend of mine wanted to make a purchase from an English company for some miniatures but didn’t have a Paypal account.  He asked me if I would place the order for him.  So I said, “Sure, why not”.

A couple of weeks later this friend asks me if he could surprise me with a gift rather than pay me the $30 he owed me.  I said that would be fine.  I waited in anticipation wondering what great game or gaming aid he was getting me.

I showed up at his house.  He handed me a wrapped box.  I tore into it with anticipation.  What did I find?  A giant Cleveland Indian Pez candy dispenser.  What the?  Sigh.

I took it home where my daughter grabbed the candy from it just as I tossed it into the garbage can.  And to think this was supposed to be worth $30.

| Unwrapped Presents given by my family

Back when I was 15 and a know-nothing teenager, I thought it was funny to buy presents for family members and not wrap them--just give them in the store bag they came in (back when store bags were NOT see through). 

Well, there were 8 members in my family and on each birthday we sat around the table and opened gifts in a kind of official way. 

Each time, along with the finely wrapped gifts, was my store sack with their gift. My mom encouraged me to wrap them, but I was too cool for that--and I thought it was funny just to give my presents in the store bag. 

Well, this went on birthday after birthday, until my next one came around. 

I was 15 and eager to open my presents!  We gathered around for the official unwrapping of the gifts...and you guessed...EVERY one of my gifts was given to me in a store bag! Not one was wrapped. 

Well, my family got the last laugh, because even though I didn’t admit it, it was very un-birthday-like to open a bag instead of unwrap a gift.

I felt rotten! 

It was definitely the worst set of presents I had ever received--regardless of what was actually in the bags--but I learned my lesson and have been wrapping my gifts ever since!

| Durian is considered the "king of fruits" in SE Asia given by my best friend

I work with college students and one summer I was with a group overseas teaching English in Malaysia.  Long story short, on the outskirts of a small town we were in, a student and me met a villager who was a former English teacher.  He took us to his home and we became friends, visiting several times thereafter.

When it was time for us to leave the town, he said he wanted to give us something to take with us and told us to wait.  He left the room and came back with some fresh durian for us to eat and a bag full of the fruit to take with us!  What is durian, you might ask?

Durian is considered the “king of fruits” in SE Asia.  It is a large fruit the size of a squashed volleyball with the consistency of stringy pudding.  The outside is covered with sharp spikes and it is heavy enough to kill you if it drops on you from a tree.  But the thing most distinctive is the smell.  It smells like someone dumped fruit salad in the trash, let it rot for several days, and then left it as a gas station.  The smell alone makes you want to vomit.  Hotels in Malaysia have signs out front that say “No Durian Allowed.”

We graciously accepted the gift and parted ways.  We had several miles to walk back to our hotel, and we took turns carrying the bag (and holding our breath) which painfully whacked against our legs due to the heaviness and spikiness of the fruit.

Not wanting to waste it, we looked desperately for someone to give it to.  We finally found some guys playing checkers at a park whom we had met before and they wanted it!  But, lo and behold, they invited us to partake of their favorite fruit with them.  Wanting to be culturally sensitive, we couldn’t refuse and so we had our second helping of durian for the day.  Having not eaten anything else that day, this only added to our nausea.

As we left the group, we thought we were rid of it, but having eaten so much on an empty stomach, we both ended up with a case of traveler’s diarrhea.  It truly was the gift that kept on giving.

| Tickets to the playoffs for the WRONG team given by my grand mother

The worst gift I have received was birthday present from my grandmother.

She gave me ice hockey playoff tickets, that’s great expensive gift.

But it was wrong teams tickets (she doesn’t know anything about ice hockey), my favorite teams local rivals.

And my favorite team didn’t even make to playoffs. That was worst possible gift.

Granny even phoned and asked me was the game great, I lied as good as I could, because I didn’t want to make her feel bad.

| Large Porcelain Bull given by my friend

In college I spent a summer in China on a cultural exchange project for 4 weeks at a University there and had a Chinese roommate for the duration of the trip.

We became really good friends and bonded immediately. So when it came to parting, it was difficult to think about saying goodbye. 

Giving gifts is a huge part of Chinese culture and so we were carefully planning out what gifts we would give to our Chinese counterparts- gifts with meaning and value and sentiment.

I could tell my roommate was very excited to give me her gift and was very secretive about what it was and where she was hiding it until we revealed them.  Finally the night came to share our gifts and her carefully chosen thoughtful gift to me was a large porcelain Bull, the size of a football. 

I thought to myself: I know there is a meaning behind this; I just need to figure it out.

My second thought was: how am I going to pack this in my small and space conservative backpack. 

I smiled and thanked her and she explained that she was born in the year of the Bull, so whenever I saw the Bull, she hoped I would be reminded of her. 8 years later, I am still reminded of her smile

| Monkey and a Flashlight given by my eldest sister

Actually there’s two, both from my oldest sister.  The first was a type of headgear that had a flashlight on it. 

I’m not a miner so I don’t really know what to use it for. 

The second was a monkey that you’d shoot through the air and it would scream. 

Somewhat funny at first, but very annoying after the kids get a hold of it.  smile

| A Shoe Box of Dress Socks given by my parents

The worst gift I’ve received, or at least I can remember receiving, is a shoebox full of dress socks.  I remember my parents standing around as I opened the present with the camera ready to take a picture of my expression when I opened it and laughing at my reaction.

| Velvet Pink Panther Picture given by my uncle

My worst gift ever was actually shared with my brother. 

When we were kids (7 or 8 probably), our uncle gave us a black velvet oil painting of the Pink Panther sitting on a toilet and smoking a cigarette. 

While my uncle saw it as a gag gift, it was a pretty lousy present to small kids.

| "Damned Green Shirt With Holes In It" given by my brother

The worst gift I ever got was like, when I was about 7 or so.  It was a “Damned Green Shirt with Holes in it” as we called it around our house.

It was some ratty, semi-football-jersey-ish shirt my brother had in his dresser that he always taunted me with somehow. 

He knew I didn’t like the thing, so what did he get me one fine Christmas? 

Well, it was that exact jersey, with the phrase, “Damned Green Shirt With Holes In It” markered on the front.  The shirt never got worn and just took up space in my dresser for years.

| Two Pairs of Levi Jeans given by my mum

One Christmas in my early teens (around 1976), I went downstairs to open the “big gift.”

I’m rather famously hard to shop for, and now people usually just give gift certificates to Amazon (which I consider a brilliant gift). 

But, I digress.  I opened the “big gift” and it was ... two pairs of Levi’s jeans.  Mind you, we weren’t living in the USSR; Levi’s were the standard pants you wore to school. 

I couldn’t have had a blanker stare if someone had slapped me.  I finally asked something like, “What’s the joke?”

My Mom replied that kids my age liked to get clothes for Christmas.  Well, that may be true for girls, but I assure you that teenage boys wanted “stuff,” or at least clothes that resemble “stuff,” like field jackets or parkas.  They did not want jeans, which your parents had a moral obligation to purchase for you as school clothes. 

Being a typical, sensitive teenager, I announced, “This isn’t the Walton Family Christmas.  We’re not cutting pictures out of catalogues of things we’d like to give because we’re poor.” Well, that about did it for that Christmas. 

Thing is, I can’t tell you one other gift I ever received for Christmas, but every year, someone brings up those #%@ jeans and gets a big laugh out of it. 

And for the record, I’m not ever giving jeans to my daughter for Christmas.

| Stained Glass Carousel Lamp given by my girlfriend

One year for my birthday I received a pretty and dainty carousel for my nightstand. It has a light bulb inside which lights up the paper and mylar
“satined glass and casts beautiful color images on the rice-paper screens which surround the contraption.

The heat from the bulb turn the fans and makes the carousel spin. It is quite ingenious and neat...if you are into
that sort of thing. Maybe for a teenage girl who is still obsessed with horses and rainbows, but anyone who knows me would think it was an odd
choice.

Thing is, it was my girlfriend at the time who gave it to me. She proceeded to tell me how wonderful and gorgeous and magical it was, and then set it up and tell me how much SHE wants one, and how nifty it is, and amazing, and,
and…

It was clear it was a gift for herself. Perhaps subconsciously (or not) she wanted me to re-gift it back to her--after an initial period of doting over it and thanking her, of course.

But right then and there, I decided to keep it forever. I never used it again, but I held on to it right through our relationship.

She never directly asked for it, and she never learned to give a good gift. That particular bad gift outlasted her…

| Red Rose & Lingerie (for him) or Two Postcards (in a big box) given by my boyfriend

Once upon a time, I had a boyfriend who was seriously deficient in the gift-giving and occasion-celebrating department. He would exacerbate the situation by building it up ahead of time—“Wait until you see what I’m giving you!” or “Wait until you see what I’ve planned for your birthday!” --
except that he hadn’t actually procured a gift or planned anything in advance. (It took me awhile to catch on.)

It’s hard to decide which of the gifts were the worst, so I will offer two for your consideration.  The first came to me for my birthday.  He told me to go into the other room and not come out until he told me to because he was getting my surprise ready. When I was allowed to come back in, I
discovered him standing there, dressed in a pink frilly camisole, pink tights, and holding a rose between his teeth. I didn’t actually care if he wanted to dress like that—but I couldn’t believe that was his idea of a gift for *me*!

The following year (yes, I was still with him the following year...), he presented me with two big, heavy gifts. When I unwrapped them, I discovered
that each gift was a single postcard. Yes, a postcard—from a nearby art museum. He had taped each of them to heavy boards and then wrapped them up
so that they would be “a surprise.”

As for where the gifts are now?  I imagine the postcards are in a box somewhere. No idea where the boards are. Perhaps he still wears the lingerie.

| A REGIFTED box of TEA! given by my boyfriend

I was seeing a cowboy for about 6 years and he was unemployed.  We never exchanged gifts as he couldn’t afford to give me one. 

I know he regifted a box of tea to me.  He may as well not have given me anything.

| Regifted Silver Platter given by my relative

I didn’t get this gift but I watched a relative give a silver platter to another relative for a wedding gift, but it had been engraved in large letters for the original person and then the original person engraved a from
in front of the engraved last name.

Too funny

| Really ugly, white, crocheted sweater given by my parents

My Dad & his wife (my stepmother, who probably did the shopping) once bought
me this really ugly, white, crocheted sweater that had fairly large holes in
it. 

It was absolutely not the kind of thing I would wear.  I said I loved it, took it home and hid it in a drawer. The very next Christmas, they bought me the exact same sweater in the same color and size. 

I couldn’t help but burst out laughing as I opened it & saw what it was.  The second
time, I said thanks, but you bought me this last year.  So, they took it back and I got .... NOTHING???

Guess I should have taken it and sold it at a garage sale.

Who knew!

| Neon green car CD holder. given by my aunt

I must say to start with, I am very fortunate in that I have not received many poor gifts in my life. 

I have gotten the typical items of clothing which I wouldn’t be caught dead in, and tacky Christmas ornaments, but the worst gift I’ve ever been given was a neon green car CD holder. 

This is the type of thing that uses elastic to hold onto the sun visor in a car to make changing CDs easy.  What makes this the worst gift ever, color aside, was the fact that at the time I had no car, no CDs, and no CD player. 

I do have all of those things now, but I can’t help but look back and laugh, wondering what my aunt was thinking.

| A trip to Charleston and a Hurricaine given by my wife

The worse gift that I’ve received was from my wife, some years ago, was a trip to Charleston, SC.

Now the idea behind the gift was nice as you could imagine, but hurricane Hugo decided that it wanted to vacation there at the same time, thus making it the worst gift ever.  Upon checking into a lovely bed & breakfast, we were chased out of town and fled to Columbia and stayed in a cheap motel for the night.

But that lasted a few hours as we were forced to flee once again. We drove up to our apartment in Charlotte, NC and figured the storm would lose steam being that far inland, but that certainly wasn’t the case with this storm.

Once again we evacuated and left the apartment, since one of the windows blew in. We ended up at the hotel I worked at, which lent itself to a sleepless night evacuating guests from the rooms down to the banquet areas. Yes lovely gift it was.

| A Brick from Santa given by my santa

I got a brick from Santa one year cause I was a bad boy.

| Michael Jackson T-shirt given by my friend

The worst gift I ever received was a Michael Jackson T-shirt for Easter!  Yarg!

| Gift Certificate given by my friend

Once I received a gift certificate for the local mall. 

Now this doesn’t sound bad right?

Wrong, this mall had no electronics store, or book store.

It was basically clothes and home furnishings. 

I think I spent most of the money at the food court.

| Bull's Skull given by my sister-in-law

My sister-in-law has a small hobby farm that I visited in the summer. While there I was shown all the animals, one of which was a bull named junior.  Later in the year there was a barbecue at my sister-in-law’s farm where she announced that the burgers we were eating were “junior burgers”

Ok skip to Christmas.  Picture the scene, this is my first Christmas with my wife’s family all my new relatives are there handing out presents and having a good time.  My sister-in-law is holding a huge present that’s for me and she is spending the whole time saying how
much I will love my gift and how proud she is.  All the other presents have been opened and she hands my gift to me.  I’m excited to open it has she has built up the suspense all day, everyone else is waiting to see this fantastic gift I open the present and what do I find?  A skull but not just any skull it’s JUNIOR.

Yes the worst gift I have ever received is a cow’s skull.

| JC Penny catalog, Vodka Soaked Cherries & Pickeled Pigs Feet given by my grand mother

The worst present I’ve ever received was from my crazy grandmother.  She gave me a JC Penny catalog and tells me “You can pick stuff out of it and have it ordered and delivered straight to your door!” Mind you this wasn’t me picking out anything for her to get me.  No I’d have to pay for anything, she just thought the catalog was a novel idea.

I also received a jar of pickled pigs feet and another time a jar of vodka soaked cherries from the same crazy grandma.  I was about 5-7 at the time.

| Maggot Fruit Cake given by my grand mother

This goes back to the Christmas of 1985, and my beautiful wife Mary and I were celebrating our first Christmas after being married the previous August.  We were at her mother’s house opening gifts with other family members prior to our big Christmas dinner being served.

Mary’s Grandmother Helen couldn’t be there, but she had sent gifts for the family.  Mary and I opened up our gift from her, which was a large round tin.  Inside was a big fruitcake.

No, that’s not the story of the Worst Gift I Ever Received.  Actually, I am one of those weirdoes who love fruitcake. 

Even though my wife can’t stand fruitcake, dinner was much delayed and we were all a bit hungry so she reached in and pulled off a cherry.  I had been struck by something seeming out of place (besides the fact that Mary chose to nibble from a fruitcake), and then I grabbed Mary’s wrist before the cherry got to her mouth because I could have sworn that I saw a white fleck of confection (which had been uncovered by the now missing cherry) move.  And there it goes again.

With my hand still on her wrist, I told her to drop it, and she let the cherry fall back on the cake.  Apparently bothered by this disturbance to their feast and home, dozens and dozens and dozens of wriggling white maggots emerged from the top and sides of the cake, making the entire dessert kind of shimmery in a repulsive way.  The whole thing would have been beautiful if ... no, that’s not true.  Absolutely nothing would make that undulating display beautiful.

Mary was screaming, Mary’s mother was grabbing the lid to try to contain the infestation (and no doubt trying in vain to hide the offense as much as possible from her guests), and I was sitting there stunned, disappointed with the knowledge that there was no way that I was going to have any fruitcake that year.

We ate our Christmas dinner, but with much less gusto than earlier anticipated.  In fact, Mary didn’t eat much at all.  And even though 20 years have passed, the memory is still quite vivid for us, and continues to churn our stomachs when we think about it.  I’ve never seen that many maggots on anything before or since.  (Thanks SO much for having this contest so I can relive the moment yet again.)

(For what it’s worth, I didn’t embellish anything to try to win a contest.  I’m just telling you about my personal Worst Gift That I Ever Received, and I’m sure there’s many, many other stories that are much more compelling than mine.  If I were going to change things to make it better, Mary would have eaten part of it before the realization hit, etc.  How It Actually Happened is more than I want to remember.)

| Lincoln Logs Instead of Lego given by my parents

I got this when I was around 9, 10, or 11.

I remember that I wanted Lego’s so bad. My parents were usually pretty good at getting me what I wanted for Christmas. It must have been a tough year for them (now that I am older I can see this) because I had even given them three different building kits they could get me.

It would keep me in surprise even though I could shake the box and know they were Lego’s.

I can only guess as to what my expression was when I opened up the present and it was a huge box of.... Lincoln Logs.

I was mortified. I guess they did not have the money and figured this was a cheap way of getting me a building toy.

This was not quite the gift I had wanted, but being resourceful as I am, I adapted them for use with my army men and made Pill Boxes and Bunkers with them.

| the annual fruitcake gift. given by my aunt

Worst gift?  I can top all of them.  Every year (every year, mind you) my aunt gives away Fruit Cake during the Christmas season.  That doesn’t sounds so bad or original, does it?  Well, you see, after she cooks it, she takes my uncle’s (her husband’s) old T-shirts, which she soaks in brandy.  She then wraps the fruitcake with the brandy-soaked old T-shirt to give it that “extra flavor.” Extra flavor?  Are you sure it’s not the deodorant stains?

Needless to say, I haven’t ever been able to bring myself to eat one.

The worst part is: it’s EVERY YEAR.  (Did I mention that already?)

It brings new meaning to the annual fruitcake gift.

| "Everyone Poops" given by my cousin

One time for Christmas, my cousin who is an elementary school teacher got me a Children’s book.

That book wouldn’t have been so bad had the title not been “Everyone Poops”.

Needless to say everyone had a good laugh at my expense when I opened that gift.

| Moldy Christmas Cake given by my mum

When I was stationed in Belgium over Christmas, my mother sent me a fruitcake and some xmas cards that had arrived at her house. 

When the package arrived (late) it looked like it was left out on a rainy tarmac and run over by a truck.  As it turns out, that’s exactly what happened. 

The cake was smashed and moldy (some really gross green fuzz action there) and the ink on the cards had bled and smeared.  To this day, I have not had the heart to tell her what really happened to that package. 

You know you’re in trouble when your mail comes in a sealed plastic bag from the post office.

| Tetris Jigsaw Puzzle given by my mum

The worst gift I’ve ever been given: My mom has always known I enjoy puzzles.

For several Christmas’ in a row she gave me some very cool metal wire puzzles that would take my brain for several days, but eventually I’d solve them, but enjoy myself in the process.

She got it in her head that they were too easy for me, so one year she went to the store that she normally got the puzzles and asked for something really difficult for her son.

Apparently the person helping her misunderstood in some way and must have thought I was three years old or something and he suggested a puzzle made out of jigsaw like cardboard pieces in Tetris like shapes with a whole 12 pieces!

Well I had the thing solved in 30 seconds not enjoying myself in the least.

This was about 4 years ago. I haven’t received a puzzle for Christmas since then.

| 24 packets of chicken-flavored crisps given by my grand mother

The worst gift I ever received was a box of 24 packets of chicken-flavored crisps (chips), and a large packet of toilet paper rolls, from my grandmother - it was Christmas, and I was nine years old.

Mind you, after eating 24 packets of chips on the trot, I’d be in desperate need of the roll for a few days after, I guess!

That’s the kind of thing you get when a relative lives within 5 minutes of a “Cash & Carry” (cheap food warehouse for small shops and cafes to buy from)

| Anything from my wife... given by my aunt

The worst gift I ever received...hmm...no one individual gift really stands out, but I guess if you put a gun to my head I would say...just about anything from my wife when I don’t give her a list to work from. 

I don’t understand how the world’s most beautiful, wonderful, creative, intelligent, loving woman can be so lousy at spontaneous gift-giving, but...she is. 

Needless to say, I don’t take chances anymore. 

I always give her a list.

| Socks and Underwear given by my aunt

The worst gift I ever received had to be Socks and Underwear, for Christmas.

Yes, I know it is not horrible, but here I was 10 and expecting toys and what not, and I open up underwear, socks, and undershirts.

When you are ten that stuff is kind of expected from parents no matter what, Christmas is for special toys. Looking back I can understand money was tight back then, and when you realize your parents love you, that is the greatest gift of all.

P.S. My brother received 10 cans of chunky soup. My sister received a 5-pound can of tuna. I lucked out with underwear.

| Philadelphia Eagles jersey given by my parents

I received a Philadelphia Eagles jersey of Ty Detmer.

He was only with the team for a short time period and never really played that great.  So the jersey ended up at the bottom of my drawer never to see the light of day.

| coloring book and crayons. given by my grand mother

When I was 16 my grandmother got me a coloring book and crayons.

| A Care Package given by my brother-in-law

The worst gift I ever received was one Christmas when we all did a name swap and my name was drawn by my brother-in-law.

A rather well off brother-in-law drew my name. With great anticipation we got down to my name. When I opened the rather well wrapped present it contain a care package!

A care package for some trucker who stopped by a Stuckie’s truck stop. I got a pecan log (candy treat for those NOT from the south), an Elvis magnet, a set of BC powder, a window ice scraper and an air freshener for my car.

Needless to say I was overwhelmed by the thought and generosity of my brother-in-law.

| Crocodile Pool Party given by my friend

The worst gift I got...hmm…

If it has to be REAL, then I got a pair of black socks and it wasn’t even Christmas. :(

If the gift can be fictitious, then it’s gotta be:

Tom Vasel gave me his copy of Crocodile Pool Party.

| fishing rod and tackle box given by my parents

Though it was quite a generous gift it couldn’t have been any less appropriate.

Since my birthday is in December, I got this pair of gifts in between both Christmas and my birthday.

The pair of gifts was a very nice fishing rod and tackle box.

The first problem was that I live in the middle of the dry prairie; I never was really able to use them.

Besides that, I’ve never like to fish, and I hate eating fish! Both the rod and the tackle box has sat in the back of my closet for a long, long time…

Another one was a game of Jenga that had defective-sized blocks. It was impossible to play with, and so I eventually packed it up after having only played one game.

| Big Mouth BillyBass given by my friend

A few years ago, a woman at work got me one of those singing Big Mouth BillyBass (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Mouth_Billy_Bass) that were really popular for some insane reason.

Ok, take it home and deposit it in the trash, right? Wrong...she found it hilarious and kept coming over to my desk a few times each day and hit the button on the darn thing.

Embarrassing...I think the rest of the office (in their own cubicles) thought it was I repeatedly hitting that button!

| heart-shaped box of chocolates. given by my relative

My worst gift was a heart-shaped box of chocolates. When I opened it, the sender had taken a bite out of each chocolate. That’s about all I can say about that one!

| Math Flash Cards given by my mum

This is indeed an epic tale of woe that begins when I was a wee lad of 6.  That year my first grade class had a Christmas party.  The party included a gift exchange. 

My dear mother bought a small car (matchbox I think) for me to give to another deserving boy.  On the big day I eagerly awaited the gift exchange. 

My gift was beautifully wrapped and appeared to be a deck of cards.  I quickly opened it and it indeed was a deck of card, flash cards.  My disappointment was profound. 

Here I gave a wonderful toy car to someone and I received math flash cards.  I didn’t even need flash cards I did quite well in math.

Flash forward to the second grade.  I again gave a car to another boy and what did I receive?  Yes, it was another set of flash cards. 

I thought, “no way!”.  How was it possible I would receive the same lousy gift?  Believe it or not this happened every year I was in elementary school.

Looking back on it maybe my mother gave he cards back to the other boys mom and she recycled the gifts each year. 

Maybe the teacher was behind it.  To this day I have no explanation for the constant flash card gifts and even though

I am now 45 I still despise flash cards.

| the ugliest shirt I have ever seen given by my mum

The worst gift I ever got was from this past Christmas from my ever loving but slowly growing senile mom who sent me what is perhaps the ugliest shirt I have ever seen, let alone been given.

To add to that it doesn’t even fit… very nice, thanks mom.

| a lame McDonald's postcard for kids given by my wife

In 2005, I was in China, attending a one-year intensive course of Chinese along with my wife, and the Chinese academic year gets a “spring break” in the middle of winter.

So, we decided to go South, just at the end of January (I was born on the 31st), in the Guilin area. Yeah, everybody has heard from those beautiful landscapes, you can have a look here: http://www.mrsel.com/photochine/02/guilin.jpg for a quick reminder photo.

But in late January, no tourist ever goes there, and the weather is generally rotten. So, most of the stores and restaurants were closed.

No birthday party, no gift in sight for my spouse to get me. Darn. But then, we are in China, we enjoyed ourselves, so it was no big deal. Until we discovered that the only restaurant open in town was the McDonald’s.

So, we were like forced to go there, and eat a birthday meal made of burgers - in China, home of tens of thousands exotic meals. And my wife did manage to get a very lame birthday postcard designed for kids in this McDonald’s and offer it to me. And that was it: lamest birthday of my life and worst ever received gift, a lame McDonald’s postcard for kids. Not even a giraffe balloon.

And the morning after that, my wife spotted my very first white hair (I was 27 then).

| mini toy preschooler guitar given by my friend

The worst gift that I’ve ever received was at the same time the most heartfelt and well-meaning one by its giver, a 7-year-old classmate, and yet, ironically enough, was utterly humiliating for anyone my age to have opened and revealed in front of their entire elementary-school class.

I was 7 years old in the second grade and like most classes at Christmastime; we drew names to exchange presents. Since I had accidentally discovered in advance that a poor girl had drawn my name, I had reined in my expectations and was naturally expecting a more modest gift. 

Since our desks were already arranged in a circle, we each took turns opening our presents in front of the entire class. By the time that my turn arrived, I had dutifully psyched myself up not to show any trace of disappointment in the modestness of the poor girl’s gift because I knew what she had gotten me was all that her family could reasonably afford.

My resolve proved to be a lot more challenging than I’d ever imagined, because even though the poor girl’s gift turned out not to be a modest purchase after all, it was wholly inappropriate for my age—She had given me a mini toy guitar designed for preschoolers.

Worse yet, although it was about half the size of a ukulele, since it obviously wasn’t a ukulele, the toy guitar looked entirely too small for someone my age to hold and play.

However, in order not to risk hurting the poor girl’s feelings, I felt compelled by the goodwill of the season to suppress my true feelings and feign surprise and delight in it just the same even though I felt utterly humiliated by the unexpected Twilight Zone twist that I’d been given something so incredibly more juvenile than my own age.

And since I couldn’t meet my classmates’ stares without my risking giving myself away or losing my composure, I pretended to be absorbed in the little guitar and strummed it a little as if I actually meant to learn to play it. 

My serious demeanor might also be the reason why there were no snickers or titters about my gift. Moreover, since some kids had picked on that poor girl for dubious reasons which were probably tied to her not having clothes as nice as most girls in our class, I didn’t want her to be the subject of ridicule by those same worthies.

I nonetheless thanked the poor girl and continued acting absorbed in the toy guitar. Once other students down the line began opening their gifts, the rest of the students’ attention drifted from my gift to theirs.

And yet, I still had to continue to feign satisfaction about my present all that afternoon because the poor girl approached and spoke with me afterwards, asking me how much I enjoyed receiving it.  What could I say?

However, as soon I had gotten off of the school bus, I ran into my house and amid tears expressed my exasperation and disappointment to my mother. That had been my first opportunity to vent my frustration about my having received such a humiliating gift much less having to open it in front of the whole class while diplomatically disguising my true feelings about it in order not to hurt the poor girl’s feelings. And yet, those few hours of playing that charade were stressful because I had to in the meantime maintain an altogether different demeanor from the way I actually felt inside.

My mother was sympathetic and encouraged me to consider giving the toy guitar to somebody else, like my four-year-old female cousin, who was just the right age for it.

That suited me just fine and I forgot about my disappointment as I got tape, scissors and gift-wrap and proceeded to wrap up the little toy guitar for my cousin. When she opened it on Christmas Day, my cousin was very happy to receive it, and her joy over the toy guitar was genuine. In fact, the enjoyment it brought her may in part be one of the reasons, which later inspired her to take guitar in her teens.

In retrospect, I was perhaps the ideal person for that poor girl to have given her gift to because I don’t know whether many of my other male classmates would have been able to have masked their reactions upon tearing open her present to discover such an inappropriate gift.

Since that same poor girl later met with some tragedies and disappointments in life, I’m glad that I handled the situation the way I did. After all, the gift of acceptance is a gift that money can’t buy.

And yet, it was the worst gift that I’ve ever received just the same because of those several hours of pent-up embarrassment and disappointment that I had to suppress in order to maintain the my composure and keep the spirit of the season. In that sense, that mini toy guitar was the best worst present I ever got, because that episode instilled in me the utmost resolve in giving gifts that bring genuine pleasure and enjoyment to their recipients.

Believe me, I do my homework and then some when I get somebody a gift.

I daresay nobody will ever get his or her worst gift from me!

| musical electric toothbrush given by my parents

As a child I received a musical electric toothbrush that played the music of Jingle Bells, but only the first eleven notes of the song.

I received it for my birthday, in May.

| Worst gift = body massage oil for my wife and myself given by my brother

Worst gift = body massage oil for my wife and myself…from my brother and sister in law. 

We do a theme every year (between my brothers and their wives) and the theme was “Date Night”. 

Not sure this is a “worst gift’ as much as an unexpected gift.

| “cartridge in a bare tree”. given by my neighbor

Though not necessarily the worst gift, it was definitely funny.  I was given, from my next-door neighbor whom I barely know, a dead 2-foot tall tree (no leaves at all). 

Apparently it had died in his back yard the previous year and he needed to dig it up. 

So instead of putting it in his garbage can, he tied a string to one of the dead branches, and to the hanging string he tied a spent bullet.  I found it on my doorstep the day before Christmas.  So I ended up receiving from him a

| Anything but cash! given by my mum

The worst gift I ever received was any gift I receive from my mother for holidays, except cash. 

From ceramic ducks, to shirts that are too large, I have suffered for many a year. 

Some of the stuff will not even sell on e-bay after the holidays.

| Red & Green Tie with Frogs given by my friend

A year ago, a very good friend of mine decided to take a job opportunity in Germany. 

While not one of my gamer friends, he knew that I was a fanatic about the hobby. 

As Christmas rolled around he wrote me telling me about how excited he was to send me my gift.  Mind you this was a short time after Essen, so I started to get giddy with hope… Days turned into weeks, and I started to have fevered dreams about the box that would arrive at my doorstep.

It was Dec. 17th.  It was very cold out… the kind of cold that makes your nose hairs freeze. 

I was in my jammies when I heard the USPS truck roll through my Cul de sac.  I ran down the stairs and met the driver at the door.  What he handed me left me reeling. It was the size of a box you might find a fine lady’s necklace in.

Assuming it must be a great card game, I tore into it, standing there shivering in driveway.  As I carefully but quickly opened the package, I noticed some writing on the inner black box. 

It said (in most likely a sharpy’s ink) was the word RIBBIT.  A sinking feeling hit me and as I opened it I wanted to curl up in a small ball.  Inside was a silk tie… Red, with Green (poorly drawn I might add) frogs. 

Keep in mind, I am a designer, and wear a tie at most twice a year (Easter, and Christmas) I also have no quirky love of frogs....  in fact this was my first ‘frog’ possession.

Then I turned the box over… looking for the joke card, and noticed the price… 60 Euros.
Aye Carumba!

btw:  I still love my friend like a brother… a brother I’m going to punch the crap out of, when next we see each other.

| A prepaid Quixstar gift catalog. given by my parents

This is just one gift...but a trend of gifts.

My parents, sometime in the 90s got involved with the mail order juggernaut Quixstar; which used to be the pyramid scheme giant Amway.

They changed their name to, err… I have no idea, actually.

But what I do know is that you can’t call them Amway. It is a Quixstar sin. So...ever since my parents began Quixstar distributors on every birthday since I have received the exact same gift: A prepaid Quixstar gift catalog.

What is a prepaid Quixstar gift catalog you may ask? Fine question, it is a 20 page advertising pamphlet full of cheap overpriced no name gee-gahs that you can order by sending in the attached form.

One of those gee-gahs is free...since it is, by definition, PREPAID. I have never, ever, ever, cashed in any of these gift catalogs...not one. I keep them in a special drawer, all together, as a testament to my parents’ lack of birthday purchasing ability. And as a side note, they have absolutely no problem purchasing fine gifts for my wife and children. I am beginning to think it has evolved into some kind of sick running joke or elaborate revenge plot. So there you have it. My worst gift ever.

| Encyclopedia Britannica given by my grandma

As for the worst gift, I don’t have a great story myself, but I did have a co-worker who had a grandmother who was becoming a bit senile. 

She invited over all the grandchildren for a Christmas dinner.

He knew it was going to be an interesting evening when dinner ended up being green jello and crackers.  Next she gave each grandchild his or her gift. 

That year she had decided she didn’t need her set of encyclopedia books anymore so each grandchild got the volume of Encyclopedia Britannica that started with the same letter as the grandchild’s first name.  Unfortunately for Tim, he had an older sibling whose name also started with ‘T’, so Tim ended up with the volume for R-Sch.

| used Japanese cookbook given by my aunt

It may not be a truly classic horrible gift but it very, very close.

When my wife and I were getting married we got a few wedding gifts in the mail from far-flung relatives.  One of my Aunts from Arizona sent us one two weeks after we were married.  It was a pretty big package from a fairly well to do Aunt so we were pretty excited.  We eagerly tore open the multiple layers of packing tape covered with fragile stickers.  We peeled back the layers of bubble wrap and tissue paper and found....

A used Japanese cookbook from 1975 that had missing pages and a huge burn where someone had used it as a trivet for a hot pan and a stainless steel slotted serving spoon.

It was like she completely forgot the wedding and just selected random useless crap from the kitchen junk drawer that no one had used since 1975.

| Worst Case Scenario game given by my in-laws

I think it has to be Worst Case Scenario game.  My in-laws know I like games (perhaps an understatement) and so I get games.  Sometimes they are games that I actually want, usually if they’ve discussed with my wife ahead of time, but sometimes they are mass-market bombs. 

When I get games I have to keep them a while to show appreciation (and sometimes even play it).  I picked this one as worst because it has a big box and I have to keep it in my game room. grin

| tile grout whitener. given by my secret santa

Worst gift:  I always hate those work Christmas parties where you have to buy something for a name drawn out of a hat for say $5 or $10 or some other amount.  One year I got given a bottle of tile grout whitener.

| A bag of beef Jerky and other assorted tat! given by my mother-in-law

Let me start this by saying, all that I am about to convey to you is 100% real.  To be truthful, you can’t make it up.  My worst gifts all come from the same individual. My ex-mother-in-law (who will be referred to as EMIL going forward).  Yes...ex.  That’s a story for a different email, but I digress.

In order to put these degree of wretchedness of these gifts in perspective, I need to tell you a few of the things my EMIL owns for herself…

A $300 Colorado Avalanche hockey jersey
Cable Television
A DirecTV dish
Hundreds of dollars of NHL hockey cards

EMIL was infamous for her gifts.  One Christmas I received the following items…

A bag of beef Jerky

4 Betty Crocker pamphlet style cookbooks

A Green Bay Packer had that had those fiber optic deals in it that made the hat light up.

A bottle of Montreal steak seasoning by McCormick company

and last but not least…

A pack of gum (Big Red to be exact).

Now...I am not trying to say that people should give gifts that cost hundreds of dollars.  I just think that this set of gifts, for its sheer variety and lack of theme, combined with the fact that it all obviously came from the Mejier grocery store 3 blocks from her house, make it a real candidate for “Worst Gifts”

| "promise ring" given by my girlfriend

I’d have to say the worst xmas gift I ever got was a “promise ring”.  I’d been seeing this girl for about 4 years, and it was clear we were going to break up. 

She wanted to “move our relationship forward”, and being 22, I was not interested in doing such a thing.  In my opinion, it was pretty obvious we were just staying together over the holidays. 

Here I’m thinking that it’s time to say goodbye, and get each other some nice “parting gifts”.  I got her a cool camera.  She gets me a promise ring that looked like a wedding ring. 

Regardless, what the heck does a guy want with a “promise ring”?

| previously eaten piece of gooey candy given by my daughter

Worst gift” I’ve received:  My daughter when she was 3 or 4 gave me a ball of Christmas wrapping paper with a bow on top. 

It was before Christmas and we were wrapping presents for friends and family. My daughter wanted me to open it and when I did I found a moist previously eaten piece of gooey candy. 

When asked about it, she said she had gotten it out of the box and tried it, but didn’t like it.  She thought I would.  I guess it is the thought that counts.

| Thanks for Nothing! given by my parents

I got married 6 years ago, after I moved from Belgium to the north of the Netherlands (about 350 km from my parents). 

So my parents (we don’t go along very well, but my mother likes to show up on really important days, to show that SHE does her duty) come to our wedding and most of the time you get all sorts of presents. 

My sisters comes with a huge present, and some people from which we did not expect too much went out of their way to make it a memorable day for us. 

But nothing at all from my parents.  At 9 o’clock, they start getting ready to go home and I walk them to the parking lot. 

My mother is a bit uneasy and she starts ‘uhm, Ann, as you have seen, we did not bring anything for your wedding’ (yes I did - and my parents are far from poor, they own a house without mortgage, my father works for this huge pharmaceutical firm - Pfizer!) I just look at her.  ‘uhm.  You know. Uhm, with the fuel being at its contemporary price level and all. Well.  Uhm.  Your father and I decided against it.  Your present lies in our showing up’ .......  I was thinking WTF!

I know, I’m used to strange presents from them (one of my birthday presents was that I could buy MYSELF with MY OWN money a ticket to my fiancée in the north of Holland some years earlier - I was happy too, since we really wanted to see each other - but please!). 

I never said anything about it, but I make sure to go out of my way if THEY have something to celebrate.  To no avail.  I got nothing when I finished my PhD.  But they were in the front row. 

My revenge was sweet though.  I never thanked them in my book, like most people do.

| Statuette of a baseball player given by my friend

My worst gift was a statuette of a baseball player (cheap manufacture)… knowing that I event don’t know how to play baseball (yep I’m not American!).

| I got stuff that was already mine! given by my brother

My worst gift that I have received was when my brother just wrapped things that already belonged to me and gave them to me for Christmas.

Of course the next Christmas I stole stuff from him and gave it to him for Christmas.

| Soap, DVDs and a Book given by my family

1. My mom gave me soap for a Christmas gift. She claimed that she wasn’t implying anything, even though I take showers everyday. Very insulting considering we had lots of family and friends at the gift opening occasion.

2. My Sister gave me a birthday gift this past year of a DVD collection of horror movies, one of those 3 dollar DVDs that come with 10-20 movies, won’t be so bad, except she used the gift certificate that I gave her for her birthday (we are twins) two day prior (she had a party 2 days before our birthday).

3. My sister gave me a book for Christmas one year that I wanted, but she bought it cause she wanted to read it because after I opened it she took it said she wanted to read it and took it and put it in her room.

| Rubber Snake! given by my uncle

The worst gift I ever received was when I was about 15 or 16 years old (24yo. now).  It was Christmas time, and my uncle and his wife had been known to give somewhat strange gifts, like salt & pepper shakers that about looked like the fish from Finding Nemo.

Well, I grabbed my box, and it had some heft to it.  That’s usually a good sign.  Underwear or socks don’t weigh much.  Anyway, I open it with great anticipation and anxiety to find......a rubber snake staring me in the face.  Yes, my uncle and his wife gave a 16-year-old guy, a rubber snake, and me for Christmas.  If that weren’t enough, it was actually asked right then and there among my family why in the world they would give me that.  Their answer: “Well, no young boy should ever be without a rubber snake.” hmmm

| Egg Slicer! given by my girlfriend

Worst gift—The first Christmas my girlfriend and I spent together, she got me an egg slicer.

For those who don’t know what an egg slicer is, it is basically a contraption upon which you lay an egg, press a lever, and then receive many uniform egg slices.

I didn’t know I wanted such a contraption and have a feeling this was one of those gifts labeled “for the both of us”.

Of course this means it was a gift for her, but oh well. To end the story I got her emerald earrings, she got me an egg slicer. Go figure.

| Surprise Game - checkers shot glasses given by my in-laws

Everybody knows I’m an avid Eurogamer, and those who know me well know it’s best not to try to guess what games I would like as gifts. It’s better to ask. One in-law, however—bless her heart—always tries to surprise me with a game.

Trouble is, she knows nothing about the kinds of games I play. Opening her gifts always strains my acting ability, as I try to make her think I’m delighted, whether it’s San Francisco-opoly or a fancy set of dominoes.

Last Christmas, I got what I think was the worst game-related gift. I managed to combine two things that I try to avoid: checkers and drinking.

It was a checkers set made up of shot glasses. If I had to choose one of the two activities, it would probably be drinking. After that, MAYBE I would consent to play checkers.

| Belly Button Brush given by my aunt

#1.  Bellybutton Brush - my aunt bought me this for Christmas.  I was mortified.

| Beard and Moustache Trimmer given by my aunt

#2.  Beard and Moustache Trimmer - again, my same aunt bought me this last year.  I suppose it’s a nice beard trimmer....  but I don’t have a beard or moustache!

| used can of tennis balls given by my relative

My worst gift ever received was a used can of tennis balls from a relative.  Hey, it’s the thought that counts.  grin

| homemade chocolate chip and walnut cookies given by my relative

And my worst gift was a box of homemade chocolate chip and walnut cookies...made with salt instead of sugar.

The lady who was making them hates nuts so she didn’t bother trying any of them. She should have.

They were gross.

| No Gift Yet! given by my sister

I’m not too sure if this story will count because I still haven’t received this gift yet.

Last Christmas my family exchanged names instead of giving each person a gift, as the number of people in the family was just getting too big. 

My sister Kristen received my name and as Christmas came and past I had not received the gift yet.  This wasn’t unusual as at the time I lived in Bangkok, Thailand and my sister lived in San Diego, CA. 

After talking with my sister she assured me that it would be on it’s way soon.  As time went by I eagerly checked the mail for its arrival as mail from family overseas is a commodity and extra nice to receive but it never came. 

A couple months later my birthday past and still no gift. 

Six months down the road there was still no gift.  I contacted my sister to catch up with her and after asking her about the gift she told me she had bought it but never sent it. 

One of the things that was a bit hard about this was that our family usually sent gifts to everyone but now that we had exchanged names only one gift was expected and mine had still not come, despite my sister’s assurance she was going to send it. 

Since that time my wife and I have moved back to the states and speaking with my sister again, she tells me she still has not sent it.  Feeling bad about it she tells me to send her a list of things she could add to it and make up for the lost time. 

I sent the new list and now two months later, still no gift. 

I’ve all but given up on my sister now.  This would have to be my worst gift ever, not because of the actual item (who knows what it actually is) but because it was an expectation and promise of a gift from a loved one that has never materialized.

| Strawberry Shortcake divider plate and a Shotgun given by my grandma

I received a Strawberry Shortcake divider plate from my grandmother for Christmas when I was 16.

This gift followed my cousin getting a nice semi-automatic shotgun, which seemed to make this gift even worse when I opened it:(

If that was even possible!

| The Bouncing Check Trick! given by my aunt

The worst gift I ever got was -$5.00 .  My step-brother-in-law wrote us a check for a wedding gift which bounced.  My bank charged me $5.00 for trying to cash a bad check.

| a flat wood-carved rooster given by my grandparents

As kids, we had grandparents who were totally disconnected in regard to family.

We never really knew them, and they were all about living it up and blowing their wad.

So, I received many ridiculous gifts from them (when they DID send gifts). One Christmas, I received (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) a flat wood-carved rooster. It was
painted with red and white and some other colors. This is the kind of thing where you would think: “How did this item even come into existence? Who actually came up with the idea of carving this goofy looking rooster?”

Now, keep in mind, I’m like elementary school age at the time. What in the world will a little kid who’s into GI Joe, He-Man and Transformers ever do with a 7in x 10in wooden rooster?

I think we kept that rooster around for a few years just for laughs. It was flat
too, like maybe half an inch thick. It was just a flat painted rooster. I still laugh thinking back to that thing. Where the heck did my grandparents get it? The mystery will never be solved.

I don’t know if that’s my worst gift EVER, but it’s only hideously ridiculous gift I can think of right now.

| Men's low-rise bikini briefs. given by my girlfriend

Many moons ago, a woman I was dating commented on my choice in
underwear: boxers, mostly single-color, nothing fancy.  She mentioned
in passing one day that she was going to get me something a little
more… alluring.  Nothing happened.  I thought nothing of it.

Until Christmas.

At her family’s house.

When I gave her a rather expensive bike that she’s been wanting.

And she gave me the underwear.

Men’s low-rise bikini briefs.

With the California Raisins cartoon characters on the front.

Everyone laughed very, very hard.  But her.

THAT was a holiday season worth forgetting.

| Crocodile party, Diamond Earings & White Chocolate! given by my aunt

The gift has to have some aspect of anticipation, it has to have a sooo close but not quite right, and it has to one of those that you have to smile a say thank you, even as you grit your teeth.

For me, it was one Christmas my family (kids) bought me a game.

I have so many they rarely get me any, but they dropped hints, built it up over time, then I could see it under the tree. It sounded right when you shook it.

So when we got around to finally opening it – Crocodile Pool Party!! It proudly sits on the shelf filling that hole in my “Kosmos for 2” collection, but even after a few plays with the kids, they too thought that was the best place for it.

I think my wife was in on this, the joke gift is a family tradition.

One Christmas, I pulled a twist on this on my wife. She unwrapped a cheap hand operated personal ice cream maker, an ok appliance, but wanted about as much as a new pair of underwear.

The kids and I player it up, her big gift, oh she could be using all the time, isn’t it wonderful – oh to see the strained smile on her face……priceless. 

Then I told her to look at the “ICE” inside the ice cream maker. Place inside was a new pair of diamond earrings……….the smile wasn’t so strained after that.

Also, my worst ever gift was from my parents. They know that white chocolate gives me severe migraines and yet a couple of years ago they got my posh WHITE CHOCOLATE as one of my Christmas presents!
Cheers guys,

| The Track with No Name given by my parents

Worst gift: I always want as a child an original carrera track but I only get one no name one to Christmas, this is not a bad gift but I am still in obsession of owning and playing a real original carrera track.

So if I get a son I will buy a carrera track as soon as possible!

| Just a curved handle of an umbrella! given by my colleague

The worst gift I ever got was at a White Elephant gift exchange.  I got the curved handle of an umbrella, not whole umbrella just the handle broken off. 

This was used as an example of what not to bring for years.

| Mouse Box given by my family

My worst gift ever received would probably be a mouse. 

However, this mouse was not a functional mouse.  It was a hollow case in which you can (evidently) store things (maybe a smaller, functioning, mouse). 

Just looking at it filled me with frustration, as it reminded me of a real mouse, yet was useless. 

My brother replaced the family’s computer mouse with this monstrosity, causing confusion for minutes.  It was the only purpose this gift ever served.

| Overalls and Work Boots to Replace My Pinstriped Suits and Italian Wingtips given by my father-in-law

My father-in-law is a powerful presence in our lives. He is a bricklayer; I am an investment banker. He has wanted me to turn into a blue collar worker like himself since I met my wife. He never had a son and wants someone to take over his one-man business.

We have been married twelve years now, and not a visit goes by without a comment about how I should say goodbye to my white collar life and become the man I was made to be! All of his gifts are related to that. 

Two years ago there was a surprise birthday party for me at my office; there my father-in-law presented me with a pair of overalls, work boots and white socks - and insisted as a “joke” that I swap my business attire for his gifts.

Well, this was followed up by the whole crowd demanding the same thing, and I finally gave in and changed.

My father-in-law kept up the “joke” by stealing
my “banker clothes” as he calls them, announcing that I wouldn’t need them anymore! So by the time I left, my Armani pinstriped suit, silk tie, white shirt, cufflinks, English wingtips and black dress socks were piled in a heap in his truck and I was dressed as the blue collar man he wants me to be.

A lousy gift.

| A Pickup Truck to Replace my Porsche given by my father-in-law

My blue-collar father-in-law gave me a pick-up truck, which he knew I didn’t want or need, and which cost him plenty. He wanted me to drive one, so he sent it to me!

| The Clothes my father in law gave me (on the right!) given by my aunt
| 200 toothbrushes given by my friend

My husband and I invited his friend who was a dentist to our wedding.  When we went to open his gift it was wrapped lovely and we were excited to open this gift. Upon opening it we saw 200 toothbrushes!  All of these 200 toothbrushes were stamped with his name because he was a dentist.  It was an interesting gift and to say the least. Whenever we are asked what was the most interesting or memorable gift, we always answer “toothbrushes”.

| A Makeover given by my father-in-law

I was transformed as a joke from n executive into a homeless bum by my father-in-law.

| Cheesy lead crystal bud vase tchokes given by my sister-in-law

While opening our wedding gifts amongst our family, we got a lead crystal bud vase. Opening up the box, a small note was stuck inside the vase. I read aloud the congratulatory note to the happy couple on their future together. Too bad it was addressed to her and my brother! Neither were there for the unveiling, but we have video.
I don’t mind a re-gift, but please! Do be so lazy as to not at least check and make sure it isn’t chipped, broken, dirty, or has the original gifting note in it!

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