These Are the Worst Christmas Presents Lifehacker Readers Have Ever Received.


I recently went down the Reddit rabbit hole, in which commenters described the worst gift they’ve ever received – everything from miniature butter knives (at age 7) to used magazines and … a thrift store garment strap? It was all pretty awful, so of course I then asked you about the worst gift you’ve ever received, and heck, there are a lot of mindless (and even cruel) givers roaming the Earth. People, repeat after me: a small child can be “surprised” with a good gift without making him cry first . Don’t be like Netrix’s parents:

When I was 6 years old, we all went to the living room and started giving out gifts. We usually walk around the room until they leave. Every time I received mine, it was in a different size box, but contained the same thing: stones. After all the gifts were handed out, I had a bunch of stones. Then my parents asked me if I was good this year. I cried. Then my parents brought me to their room and showed all my real gifts on their bed. My big gift turned out to be the Sega Genesis. I still don’t know how I feel about this with a 6 year old child.

Okay, I’ll tell you how I feel about it: whoever has to break a 6 year old in such a way as to rebuild him is on a hell of a power trip. Besides what the world could get from this choice made by the Anejo family:

At 8 years old, I did my first shopping on my own, buying gifts for my father and his new family (including my younger half-brothers and sisters).

About a week later, I received a package from them. I was so excited! I opened it and found … everything I sent them, sent back to me.

More than 40 years later, it still affects me.

Fortunately, not all of your gruesome gifts were intentionally mean. Some were just … interesting choices. Here is a small selection of my favorites:

“Corella when I was nine. I have no idea how my parents thought it was a gift as I have never shown an interest in a bird as a pet. I spent the next couple of years cleaning up bird droppings. ” ~ Rachel Fairbank

“When I was 9 or 10, I bought 6 packs of faux turtlenecks. In case you don’t know this is a turtleneck shirt, just a turtleneck and maybe 5-6 inches of fabric underneath. For a man who wants to wear a turtleneck under his shirt but hates wearing two shirts. ” ~ Lostalaska

“One year my husband gave me a scoop, which I still have. He gave me a toilet seat for another year. ” ~ Ann RC

“When I was 11 years old, my parents gave me a box set of Bruce Springsteen music, even though I was never a fan of his music or showed any interest in him. It was then that I realized that they never really loved me. ” ~ PrettyGirlMyers

“I can never surpass this one in my life. Stack of maxi pads 3 feet high. the one you get at the vending machine. I was 12. It was in front of my whole family. ” ~ ladybug 8080

“A few years ago, at Christmas, my mother-in-law was kind enough and kind enough to give me an unwrapped Footloose DVD.” ~ Ballisto

“One day my ex-girlfriend gave me a gun rack. Weapon rack. I don’t even own a weapon, let alone a lot of guns that require a whole rack. What should I do … with the weapon rack? “~ Plateia Lumitar

“1985. My boyfriend at the time and I were pragmatic – he told me he wanted (a very specific, dear pinky ring for me), and I told him I wanted (the turntable). He bought me a turntable. No speakers. There is no needle. SIMPLY ROTARY. When I asked him how I should listen to recordings without speakers or FREAKIN ‘NEEDLE, he replied, “Well, this is a personal choice that only you can make. And I’m not going to buy them for you. ” All in all, he gave me half a Christmas present, and I had to spend about the same on my present as on his. We parted shortly thereafter. ” ~ PhlegmFatale

“I was eleven and asked for a skateboard like my best friends next door (this was in the mid 60s). Instead, I had an aquarium … but just an aquarium. No fish, no plants, not even gravel – just this empty glass box. As a well-mannered southern girl, I thanked you, of course. But I am now 67 years old, and still torments, but good. My little sister got a skateboard. ” ~ nsloop

“My brother once gave his wife a fake lottery ticket that said she won … but if you read the fine print it basically calls you a bummer for believing you can win the lottery.” ~ ChrisLion

“My wife’s grandmother gave my aunt a Recipes for One cookbook the year of her divorce. She also gave me MIL dishwashing gloves. ” ~ Chicken Madness

“For several years, my sister has given me gifts from employees of her large pharmaceutical company as Christmas gifts. Promotional sweatshirts, a book-book “How Big Pharmaceuticals Made the World Better” and a block of lucite with five bottles of famous vaccines that change the world (it was really cool, but still) “. ~ I love Dunks coffee and I cannot lie

“Not me, but my wife and her sister. They had an aunt and an uncle who were known to be poor donors. A typical Christmas present is hair products. One will get a bottle of shampoo, the other a matching bottle of conditioner, usually from brand name products at the dollar store. ” ~ Mr Blandings

“When I was about 9 years old, my mother gave me a self-help book for children on how to make and maintain friends or something like that. I know she meant kindness, but no child wants to be reminded of their social struggles on Christmas. ” ~ justfairydust

“An ex-partner gave me a toaster with four slices.” ~ BlackandBitterCoffee

“Maybe not the * worst *, but rather a good blessing for her, was the movie Crocodile Hunter on VHS. It must have been Christmas ’02 or ’03. ” ~ GpaSags

But since I love the nice twist at the end of the story, BIMming It is the winner:

“I was 14 years old and the Nintendo 64 had been away from the states for just over a year … I desperately needed it. My parents had divorced 18 months earlier, so it was my first Christmas at my mom’s new home.

I have 6 packs of white socks and 3 packs of boxers. My mom’s new boyfriend got a Nintendo 64. We opened all our gifts together before he had to leave to celebrate Christmas with his WIFE AND NEWBORN BABY! “


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