Black Friday is coming!!! Time to start thinking about presents!! And speaking of presents, get up on the Internet some time and search on “Worst Christmas Gift ever.” The results are both hilarious and harrowing, and you could spend a few days reading through what comes up. I’ve done so, and find that it all falls into a few broad categories.

Recipient got something that the giver had actually received the year before. If food, the item is spoiled. (Hickory Farms is evidently not forever.) If clothing, it’s ugly and doesn’t fit. (Pink XXXL NASCAR sweatshirt for petite ballerina.) Alternatively, the recipient got a random item or items from the giver’s house, like a small bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos rubber-banded to a can of Diet Pepsi or half a tangerine. BONUS POINTS if the gift was ‘wrapped’ in a grocery sack or a plastic garbage bag or if the giver got hungry on the way to the gift-opening and ate it OR if recipient actually gave gift to giver the previous year and giver forgot.

Wife/Girlfriend wanted/expected diamond ring/earrings/tennis bracelet and instead received vacuum cleaner/iron/washing machine/fish-gutting knife from clueless hubby/boyfriend. BONUS POINTS if recipient then got divorce papers for the giver. Which naturally leads to:

Recipient comes home from bad shift at second job on Christmas eve to find spouse has departed for Cancun with new flame and has left divorce papers on pillow of bed the two slept in before leaving. BONUS POINTS if recipient later realized this was actually the best Christmas present they ever got, too, and that former spouse neglected to cancel credit card before jilted spouse could use it to buy self diamond ring/earrings/tennis bracelet.

Original gift came from parents in form of bad genetics/upbringing leading recipient to complain bitterly and sarcastically about expensive gift from loved one that was in some small way not exactly the right thing. BONUS POINTS if 8,000 other blog posters respond that WHINY TEMPERAMENT should eat shit and die and that they lie awake at night dreaming of getting something as nice as WHINY complained about.

These are not even funny, and it would be additional cruelness if you made fun of them in any way. And it’s like passing a severe auto wreck on your way to church; you can’t look away, though you also can’t help feeling somewhat superior. Recipient made some sort of mistake and pays for it by being neglected or given awful retributive gift at Christmas. Or recipient loses loved one/s. Or has to watch as siblings/cousins get fabulous gifts while he/she opens package with six pairs of underwear. No bonus points here. Major source of respondents to WHINY.

Recipient is pining for latest hot toy. Giver has filled and wrapped up box approximately same size and weight as hot toy, then stands by to burst into demonic laughter (all dutifully filmed) as recipient excitedly opens package to find four pairs of tube socks and a Mason jar full of gravel. BONUS POINTS if actual box for hot toy is used, intensifying the disappointment and the fun. Dante placed such givers in a special part of Hell’s 9th circle.

Gift is either never properly identified, never understood, or never something the recipient would dream of using/wearing/eating in a million billion years. One year, after complaining about how cold it was at the high school football games he attended, my grandfather received a crocheted ‘pickle warmer’ from some friend or other. Seriously, it was a sock for his penis. It disappeared in about five seconds and was never seen in public again, although I think my uncles were given private showings over the course of the next hour or so. We commemorate this event at my house by having on our tree a German glass pickle ornament dressed in a little blue sock, hanging on a twirling motor with flashing LED lights. I am not making this up. BONUS POINTS if giver is astounded that recipient didn’t like gift.

By the way, if you compare threads with ‘worst gift ever’ to ‘best gift ever,’ you’ll find the post ratio is about ten to one. I dare you to do better this year.


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