The Christmas season is here and I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get everything done. There are cookies to be baked, cards to be sent, photos with Santa to be taken, shopping to be done, gifts to be wrapped, family feuds to begin, or end . . . and the list goes on and on.
Due to economic issues, and the fact that I am kind of crafty, I’m making a lot of gifts for people this year and while I think they are fantastic, I sometimes wonder if the recipient might think they are completely lame. To combat these fears I try to focus on some of the worst gifts I and people I know have received over the years and in comparison to some of these gifts, my hand knit scarves seem like the most thoughtful and beautiful gifts ever!
Now in general there’s nothing wrong with Potpourri. It’s not my cup of tea but I suppose it serves some sort of purpose, doesn’t it?? Like an alternative to cat litter when you’re in a pinch? Anyway, it wouldn’t have been such a bad gift had it been paired maybe with a candle or a lovely bowl or something to put it in except there was nothing else. Just a plastic baggie full of potpourri from the dollar store, with the price tag still on it. If you couldn’t afford to give me anything that’s fine, just get a card or a scrap of paper and write a lovely note wishing me a happy holiday. A 99 cent bag of potpourri is like leaving your waitress a 2 cent tip, it just shouldn’t be done unless you want her to spit in your salad the next time you eat there.
While there is something intrinsically fascinating about watching something sprout from the back/head of a terra cotta (insert your shape – sheep, tweety bird, Homer Simpson, Garfield) figure, I don’t think the Chia Pet has ever been or will ever be elevated to “good gift” status. My husband got one of these as a gift one year and quite frankly he’s still insulted by it. Though he’ll deny it, I think the true insult came from the fact that it wasn’t even the terra cotta one – it was one of the cheaper heads made out of nylon with a face painted on it - you know like the ones you made in kindergarten from your mom’s pantyhose. Perhaps if it had been the actual terra cotta variety, he might have gotten over it by now.
I think this might have been a birthday gift actually, but a bad gift is a bad gift so it makes my list. When my husband was in grade school his grandparents were pretty heavy smokers and they used that habit not only to supply themselves with lung disease but also with countless gifts for their grandchildren, and I’m not even counting the second hand smoke as one of the gifts! They’d save up their cartons and packs and send them into the company for free merchandise. So Matt was often gifted with a KOOL or Salem T-shirt as a gift. What could a 13 yr. old want more?? Hey at least they didn’t pair it with a carton of ciggies.
Black fuzzy poster
Now in general I try not to make fun of hand made gifts. Because even if they are absolutely hideous, if somebody put the effort into making something for me, I try to look past the fug and appreciate the time and the thought. However, I don’t think coloring in one of those black flocked posters really counts as hand-made so I have no qualms about poking fun at this gift.
It would have been a different story if it had been a gift from say a 9 yr. old, or even a 15 – 16 yr. old. But, no. This was a gift from a grown woman. A black fuzzy poster that she was incredibly proud to announce that she had colored in all by herself! I can’t even remember what the image was – perhaps a unicorn or a kitten or something, shockingly I did not keep it.
Everyone had that grandmother who bought them socks or panties every year. Well my friend’s grandmother took it a step further – actually 2 steps further because not only was she gifted with panties every single year up to the age of 15 (yikes) but she also was forced to put them on and model them for her as if it was a festive holiday sweater instead of a lacy pair of undies with the days of the week printed on them. No wonder the poor thing is in therapy now.
Mini bottles of shampoo/conditioner from a hotel
While it’s a great idea to share mementos and photos from recent trips with friends and family, it’s not usually looked upon fondly when you share your trip by gifting them the bottles of shampoo from the hotel you stayed at in Hoboken. A friend was once given mini bottles of Super 8 shampoo by her husband’s grandmother. So either her grandmother is very cheap or perhaps she’s not well liked by the in-laws – or maybe both.
What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received??