People From Around The World Share Their WTF Gift Stories

People From Around The World Share Their WTF Gift Stories

There's nothing like Christmas morning to take you back to your childhood. A sleepless night; waking up early to go downstairs; opening the presents one by one; taking the rest of the day to play with the toys Santa left for you. You were the happiest person in the world.

Well, unless you got a WTF present. Like some napkins, or half a cue stick.

These folks from around the world recently went online to share the worst gifts they ever received. Here's hoping your friends and family know better than to buy you any of these doozies...

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43. A Coupon of Luck

Despite being my grandma's favorite grandson, I inherited nothing when she passed away, except for a Walmart coupon. Perplexed, I decided to redeem it at the store. To my astonishment, the coupon turned out to be a winning entry for a grand prize sweepstakes. I was awarded a substantial sum of money, fulfilling my grandma's wish to provide for my future. Her unconventional gift turned out to be the greatest inheritance of all.


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42. Merry XXXmas

When I was like 12 my mom’s boyfriend gave me a holiday card with... deeply inappropriate themes in the text. My mom pulled me aside later and told me that he was borderline illiterate and hadn’t read it before giving it to me and to never talk about it again. I was just grateful it wasn't intended.

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41. Literal blood and tears

My first boyfriend gave me a wooden box with a padlock on it for Christmas one year, handed me the key and told me not to open it until I got home.

I opened it and inside was a little jar of his blood, and a little jar of his tears.

I was 17 and mortified. Also couldn’t fathom how he got enough tears to fill a small jar, so I asked him. Turns out he’d plucked all his nose hairs and eyelashes to gather them.

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40. Merry Christmas -- here's some wetnaps

Gross. My ex-mother-in-law got me paper napkins for our first Christmas together. Not even nice ones. Off-brand cheap ones when she got everyone else expensive gifts. She also referred to me as her son’s “friend” for the first two years of our marriage.

We were not a same-sex couple, and it was Christmas, not our anniversary, so the excuse the the traditional 1st anniversary gift is paper is moot (our first Christmas wasn’t anywhere near our first anniversary, either).

Also, we divorced after 3 years because he couldn’t stand up to his horrible family’s horrible treatment of me. It all boiled down to them being hateful (they straight-up told me that they would never accept me because I wasn’t 100% white - I’m half Asian). Granted, I was a fool to even marry him in the first place with all the red flags when it came to his family.

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39. Nana for the win

I had one of these with my Nana that turned into a Hallmark life lesson.

High School, 1998 or so. At some point in October or so I mentioned casually during a visit that my bedroom was chilly at night. Come Christmas, I open my gift from Nana. A space heater.

As a teenager who was hoping for video games or CDs or other such things, I put on the forced-smile rictus and thanked her for the gift while internally bemoaning all the loot that could have been. I must have been grossly unconvincing because she got a bit anxiously-defensive, "You said your room was cold! I thought it'd help out!"

Later that night we head home, I plug the space heater in when I go to bed because why not?

My god. My god, you all. The DIFFERENCE that space heater made. Actual freaking comfortable sleep for once. No waking up halfway through the night shivering, or getting shocked awake by my foot straying too far from out of the covers.

The next time I went to her house I gave Nana a giant hug, and told her how much better my room was at night with that space heater, and gave her an actual genuine thank you. I didn't even mind the following "I told you it'd help!"

Ever since that Christmas, when I get something practical for Christmas from Nana, I thank her sincerely, because it WILL be useful. I still use that space heater twenty years after the fact, too.

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38. Thanks for that subtle hint, mother-in-law

A book called "Dr. Phil's Relationship Rescue."

My mother-in-law has given me every messed up, self-help book for the first 10 years of my marriage to her son. She sucks!! I started sneaking them back onto her book shelves over the years. It’s become a highlight of laughter for my siblings and I. They think she sucks too.

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37. This is just delusional

A few shirts in a size 3XL from my mother-in-law.

I wear a small.

She insisted that they'd fit because they were just a 'little too big' for her. (She is probably was a 2XL or XL.)

I put one of the shirts on and it fit like a tent. My husband and kids were laughing hysterically, and my mother-in-law said that it looked great and it really hid my hips. Yeah, and pretty much the rest of my body.

She sulked all day when I turned them down. Sorry for not wanting your non-fitting castoffs, lady.

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36. Right on cue

Christmas, 1993. I was eleven.

My grandma gave me one half of a pool cue.

She gifted the other half to my then-8-year-old brother.

Grandma: "See? You can only use it if you two cooperate and share!"

We did not own a pool table.

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35. Kids love Tupperware

I got a bunch of Tupperware for Christmas when I was 12. My parents thought it would be great cause I was the one who did the dishes. Spoiler... It wasn't

I would just like everyone to know that I still use the very same Tupperware to this day. It may have been a crappy gift, but it was still some quality Tupperware.

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34. Tacky Duck

When I was in college my sister gave me a Donald Duck cement lawn ornament for Christmas. It weighed at least 40 pounds. I didn't have a lawn, and I didn't like Donald Duck. She has an excessive amount of lawn ornements in her yard. I suspect that she realized that she hadn't gotten me anything as she was getting into her car and just grabbed the closest thing.

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33. Light of my life

I was given a large industrial lightbulb (think of a cylinder the circumference of a soccer ball and about 15” tall) by my uncle. He told me it was worth a lot of money and would be hard to find another one if I ever needed one.

It was really heavy, thick glass. It came out of a warehouse. There is absolutely no reason I would need anything beyond a flood light for the house.

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32. Fun for the whole family

My brother bought a book on tantric lovemaking for me and my boyfriend for Christmas. I opened it in front of my mom and all my in laws, great grandparents and teen cousins included.

think it was a sincere gift.

This was 3 years ago and he's never let up that he wasn't serious. I think it was a thoughtful "I know you two are having issues as new parents, here's something that might help you reconnect and be happier together and as individuals." He's a very odd hippy duck but very sweet in his weird ways.

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31. Basket: revoked

I randomly went to some extended family Christmas event and they gave me a woven basket. Within ten minutes, they had asked for the basket back. It "meant something" to them?? I didn't really care, I thought it was odd and funny.

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30. Um... your mom is the worst

Last Christmas my mum got me a pair of XXL flannel pyjamas... I'd been shopping with her the day she got them (she said they were for an aunt) and bought myself some pyjamas in a Medium, as we were talking about how I'd lost weight over the last couple of months since coming off my antidepressants. She also asked that day if I liked flannel and I told her I couldn't wear it because it causes my psoriasis to flare all over my body.

It gets worse... she got my family tickets to see a Broadway, berated me whenever I ate or drank anything and then a few weeks later sat me down to tell me (an adult living in her own place with her fiancé) that she was forcing me to go to Weight Watchers because "now your brother has finished his gastric band weight loss, everyone can really see how fat you are. It makes me look bad"...

And she wonders why I had to take antidepressants in the first place!

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29. Love is an art

Wasn’t me but my cousin, and we all still laugh about this.

Her step-grandmother was always giving her the strangest gifts (including a she-wee, that helps you pee standing up as a girl). But our favorite was when she got my cousin and her husband a sex painting canvas. It’s a large tarp where you cover yourself and your SO in paint and roll around on it while doing it to create a “love painting.”

My cousin was really shocked to get that from someone who was supposed to be a grandmother figure, as well as from someone she didn’t have the closest relationship with. Still makes me laugh to think about!

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28. Quite an obelisk

An Egyptian pharaoh pen when i was in middle school. It was all gold colored, and the pen barrel stuck out between his legs. Needless to say I was mocked mercilessly by my classmates for having this massive Egyptian dong pen.

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27. That's just... unfathomably mean

Was nearing my 16th birthday and my family kept dropping hints about a car. I wasn't expecting anything newer than ten years old as we were barely middle class. A car would have been great as waiting for my mom to drop me off/pick me up from work sucked.

For 3 straight months they kept asking me about what I thought of certain cars. Talking about how I'd have to learn how to do basic maintenance. How to keep it clean looking so people wouldn't think ill of me when I got a car.

The day comes and there's a box just big enough to hold a small item such as a car key. They gather round and proudly hand it me. As I open it I realize it's a Hot Wheels car. They didn't even spring for a new one. They gave me a broken Hot Wheels car from a toy box I didn't realize I still had.

To everyone asking, I was in no way thinking I would be handed a car when I turned 16 because I felt entitled. I knew we were borderline poor growing up. THEY started dropping these hints and leading me on about a car. I fully expected to have to have to buy my once I had enough money saved up.

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26. Medical socks

A pair of diabetic socks from my mother in law. I'm not diabetic.

I think she just thought they were warm socks for around the house and didn't read what they were really for.

I did try to wear the socks, but they didn’t work/fit. I agree they probably are great socks for non diabetic people as well. Nothing against the socks! Just a strange gift to give with no context or explanation.

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25. This Santa is lucky he's secret

I was once given some yeast, a cucumber and a pack of Toblerone for a secret Santa. I don't know who it was, and frankly I don't want to know.

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24. This is why I don't accept clothes as gifts

I have been disabled my entire life. It affects the footwear choices in my life. My mom has bought me dozens of pairs of slippers that I cannot wear. Sometimes multiple pairs per year. I have given up at this point. I just give them away.

When I was a teen, before I moved out she also had given me embroidered dish towels with weird sayings.

She also refuses to actually get my actual body size and just holds clothes in the air and looks at them to decide if it looks like it should fit.

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23. Here's a thing you're not allowed to use!

Barbecue sauce.

I was in the Navy and the MWR reps got $20k to just spend on gifts and what not for a Christmas raffle. They were giving away Xbox Ones, PS4s, Fit Bits, Beats headphones, Bose headphones, designer purses, a lot of good stuff!

So all 200+ of us have tickets and we’re waiting for our numbers to be called out. A pack of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce gets pulled out and I’m the lucky winner. Out of all the stuff in that $20k pile of stuff I get BBQ sauce. We’re on a ship! We have no access to a kitchen! Also who the heck buys BBQ sauce for a CHRISTMAS gift raffle!?

I was mostly upset that I got the sauce 1 month into the deployment we were on. We had 8 more months to go and I had no access to the kitchen on board.

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22. What kind of mom makes a 12-year-old buy their own clothes?!

I got a bunch of clothes one year for Christmas from my grandma. I was super excited about getting all these clothes because my mom was making me buy all my own clothes at that time (I was 12). Then I see the sizes. They are sized for someone who is six years younger than me. So my sister got all my clothes.

You may be wondering how my mom expected me to buy my own clothes. Well. I had been taking care of my siblings for the prior four years while my mom taught piano lessons. But I wasn't paid for that. I did get $2 an hour to be someone's babysitter the summer before (two kids, biked them to and from gymnastics), so I was making like $80 a week. Which was seriously nothing for what I was doing.

Her logic was that I didn't wear the clothes she bought so I could just buy my own. We don't speak anymore.

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21. The deceptively big box

Wasn't actually a gift. My mom put a HUGE box by the Christmas tree with my name on in that was bigger than me (I was ~5-7 years old). Being a child, I wanted to open it immediately, but my mom made me wait until everyone opened all the other presents first. Which was fine, I just sat there in excitement wondering what it could be.

Once I finally got to open it, I noticed it was suspiciously light, then I realized it was nothing. My mom was filming me and got video of my crying my eyes out because this huge present under the tree was actually freaking nothing. My mom thought it was hilarious, my dad was understandably furious.

Later my mom pulled out a PS3 (with LittleBigPlanet, one of my favorite games ever now), and I immediately forgot about the big box of nothing.

I want it to be made clear, this was probably the meanest thing my mom has ever done to me, and she followed up with a present she knew I wanted so bad and it instantly made me feel better. I love my mum very much, people are jerks sometimes, that doesn't make them a bad person as a whole. And I forgot to mention that she did feel bad afterwards, apologized to me, and as far as I know, got rid of the video and never showed it to anyone.

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20. Free is free

My uncle is notoriously cheap. One year he gave me a magazine that had Ichiro Suzuki on the cover. It was a free magazine (as it stated on the bottom of the cover). Another year he also gave me a free t-shirt he had gotten for running a race. Possibly the best was the birthday gift he gave my dad one year: a McDonalds Happy Meal toy.

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19. A harsh but valuable lesson

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with film (I still am) and wanted nothing more than a video camera, and in the late 90's they weren't cheap for a young teenager. I told my parents for 2 years that I wanted a mini dv camera, as their old VHS was horrible quality and enormous.

Christmas came that second year and I got some clothes, candy, and a video game. Then they said, "Oh yeah, we have two more things for you, open this one first.", I opened the first gift and it was a nice camera tripod, I opened the second smaller box and it was a nice camera bag/case. I looked at my parents confused and they said, "When you buy your own camera, these will come in handy."

My parents have always said things like, "If you earn things yourself, they will mean more to you", which I get now, but as a kid it was like a slap in the face that Christmas.

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18. R.I.P. Snape

My mom called me the day Alan Rickman died to ask if I'd heard the news. IIRC it was a little after the holidays, and she told me later in the conversation she had one more surprise Christmas gift she had forgotten to give me.

I did not realize these things were linked until the next time I visited and she surprised me with a portrait of Alan Rickman as Prof. Snape. She said she bought it the day he died, just for me. I have no particular affinity for the actor or the character. It's also sitting in my closet.

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17. Gotta hand it to you

When I was a kid (6 or 7) I had surgery on nearly all of the fingers on my dominant hand (the other hand came later). It was a scary surgery for a kid, though pretty simple. My recovery was mostly boring with a few weeks of pain. Anyway, my aunt (who I love) sent me a coloring book in the hospital as a "cheer-up" and "pass the time" gift.

If it's the thought that counts, I like to say, we should think harder than she did.

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16. Woman can never be happy without kids... right?

Context: my son died suddenly as a toddler. I'm unable to be around children as a result because that was obviously traumatic. My mother had been pressuring me to adopt while I had decided I'm vehemently childfree.

28th birthday. She gave me a gift bag with socks in it and a letter I had written when I was 9 years old, spewing hatred toward a class I had left mid-school-year. It was not a nice letter.

She grinned like she had given me a sacred relic from my childhood. Then she said, "You can show it to your children one day!"

I still have a relationship with my mother. But she never apologized and I'm not sure what the heck she thought she was thinking. She's a big drinker and I suspect she suffers from her own mental health issues after watching her father die, and I know I was born at the end of a series of maybe a dozen failed pregnancies.

She has 3 other children who all have kids, so it's not an "I want grandkids!" thing -- I think she truly doesn't understand the concept that a woman can live a fulfilling life without a husband and children. What makes her happy must be what makes everyone happy, and so in her own, broken way maybe she wants what's best for me.

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15. You're gonna dress like Kathie Lee

My Mom organized a complete wardrobe as a gift for me - from the Kathie Lee line K-Mart had.

I was 12. My clothing choices at the time were tie-die & band shirts, baggy jeans/overalls and Airwalk sneakers.

Everything in this new wardrobe was something you’d see in a church mom’s closet. It was all hideous and I was expected to be super grateful and wear it every day.

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14. Berserk buttons

For my 35th birthday, my mom cut some rags from my dad’s old T-shirt’s. She very lovingly folded them and tied them with a ribbon. She also gave me a box of assorted buttons.

Um, thanks?

By “old T-shirt’s” I mean old pyjamas, undershirts and an ancient flannel shirt. Not cool old sentimental T-shirt’s! My dad is still around wearing that stuff.

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13. Clueless or malicious? You decide

My mother is the master at giving ‘WTF’ gifts to my wife. With her, it is hard to tell if she intends them to be insulting or is just clueless.

Three examples.

First, she gave my wife a fancy mop. She claimed she was just so excited by the special features of this mop, she thought my wife would love it. My mother hires a maid to do her housework, I’ve never seen her use a mop.

Second, she gave my kid, when he was a baby, a hat that said “chick magnet” on it. She claimed she thought it meant he’s followed around by cute baby chickens.

Third, she gave my wife this ... thing ... like a one-piece sleep outfit, with pictures of Betty Boop on it, and cowprint (complete with a sort of fabric udder).

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12. Diamonds are forever

Guy I worked with in community college bought me a pair of gorgeous diamond stud earrings. It was WTF because:

We had never spoken before that day.

We weren't even acquaintances because we worked in different departments.

He used this very expensive gift to ask me out.

He asked me out for the weekend. At his place.

His exact first words were, "You look like a woman who knows she deserves the finer things. Merry Christmas."

It was July.

Needless to say, I did not accept. He started arguing that he'd bought this beautiful gift and why wasn't I thankful?? I tried to explain that buying a crazy expensive gift for someone who doesn't know you puts them in a very difficult position, one I didn't appreciate being put in, but he wasn't having it.

My coworker who worked the desk with me had to tell him (with a lot of cuss words and a couple threats bless him) that the dude needed to back the frig down.

That was the end of it for a while. Like two or three months. He never spoke to or bothered me again.

Then I came into work one day and heard he'd been fired. A bunch of people were asking if I was okay and had he tried to do anything to me.

I was freaked out and confused.

I found out he had put a dead rat in the cabinet under where I stood at the service desk with a note that said something like "just reminding you what you mean to me." I'm paraphrasing my coworker's paraphrase there because they wouldn't let me read it.

Anyhoo, that's the story of how I got offered a desk job in the back and a 75 cent hourly raise.

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11. Towels on towels

Let me preface saying I never complain about gifts, I am grateful just for my friends and family to be a part of my life.

My fiancé’s sister and husband sent us our engagement gift as opposed to bringing it to our engagement party.

A couple days after the party we get a package and my fiancé thinks it’s from them. We open it and it’s one towel. One single towel. My fiancé was confused for a second but then forgot she ordered a towel for herself. We laughed about it and we joked why would they order us just one towel?

A couple days later we get the actual gift from her sister and husband. It was a towel. One monogrammed towel.

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10. That's subtle

A pair of red crotchless g-string panties by my Portuguese mother-in-law. I opened the gift with all the family around me, and I was holding it in my hands trying to figure out what it was, because I couldnt reconcile the thought of a crotchless g-string wih my mother-in-law, while everyone else was laughing.

It was her subtle hint that she wanted to be a grandma, I guess. The thing is, it was 3 sizes too small so I couldn't put it on without snapping it in half.

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9. The penniless millionaire

My sister is notorious for giving the worst gifts. She is a millionaire but you would never know it.

One year she gave me a used pie pan that still had food on it, along with an expired box of cake mix. Another year she gave me a membership to the Smithsonian Museum (she got it for free), however I live in Indiana and the Smithsonian is in DC. Another year she got me used king-sized sheets and my bed is a queen. This year she gave me my Christmas gift early...a small wooden cutting board from Groupon that has my wedding date on it...except it's the wrong date!

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8. Noodle snob

Maybe not the most WTF, but at my old company, we had a secret Santa gift exchange. The manager drew my name, and gifted me a very clearly used zoodler. He proceeded to explain, in front of everyone, that he though I would have more use for it, as he only ate “real noodles”.

I don’t work there anymore.

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7. Oh, those Jacob Boys

I once got posters of the Jonas Brothers and Zac Efron even though I never was into any of them -- the biggest extent of my familiarity with them was the teen pop magazines I read at the time. My grandpa was so proud to have found these posters of the "Jacob Boys" and "Ethan Fratts," however.

How times change. It's all about Billy Eyelash and Cardigan B now.

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6. "I should be rewarded for giving you a terrible gift"

A co-worker of mine won a radio show contest where people were invited to describe the crappiest office gift they ever got. My friend was the secretary of an IT company and her boss gave her a plastic bowl for Christmas. And it wasn't even a nice plastic bowl. The first time she put it in the microwave, it melted. She won the contest and got a $100 gift card to Outback Steak House. Her boss insisted she take him since it was his crappy gift that caused her to win the contest.

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5. An odd fish

Growing up, my grandpa would spend Christmas with me and my parents but never got me a gift. I never really thought anything of it but asked him one year before Christmas. He said something like, "I'll get you sardines." He laughed, I thought he was joking and the conversation was over.

Christmas day comes and there's actually a gift from him for the first time ever. I was an only child so most presents were for me. It's in a weird shape so I open it. Sure enough, it was a can of sardines! As a 7-year-old, I was mad. He and my parents thought it was hilarious.

That can of sardines sat in our pantry for years for some reason until I threw it away because I was tired of looking at it.

25 years later, we laugh about it now... but together this time.

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4. What a jerk

Not the gift but the idea behind it and what happened soon after.

My first boyfriend got me a cute stuffed toy puppy, because I had said that he looked like a spaniel puppy in his long wavy hair. Then a week later he left me saying "you have the toy now, you don't need me as your spaniel anymore". Then he proceeded to tell me what a waste of his time and resources I had been, as well as insulting my gift to him (lovely thick wool socks, as he always had cold feet in the winter), saying it was boring and impersonal and that I would have to improve myself if I ever wanted to date anyone ever again.

I was going to give the stuffed toy away to some poor kids or something, but for some reason I've kept it and it's still somewhere at my parents' place.

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3. The crackers were a nice touch

When I was about 10 my little brother (only 3 or so) was very sweet and told my parents he had a present for me but didn't want anyone to see it and wanted to wrap it himself.

Christmas morning comes and I'm very moved by the shoebox-sized gift my little brother taped up as best he could and made my Mom wrap for him. He excitedly brought it over and I noticed it was pretty light but his eyes were giddy with excitement for me to open it.

I figured it was a hand-drawn picture or something and so I made a big show about being excited to see what was inside. As I started to remove the tape from the box I noticed a little bit of an odd smell but figured it was just because the old box was in the basement.

When I finally got the lid open and my brother excitedly exclaimed "Merry Christmas" I got to see what he was so excited about for the past two weeks. The box contained a dead hummingbird that had run into the window, an earthworm, and a few scattered saltines in case the worm and bird got hungry.

Best present ever, but definitely WTF.

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2. It's definitely not an engagement ring

My very materialistic sister dated (and eventually married) a pretty rich guy. They met on New Year's Eve so by the first Christmas they shared they had been together for a year. The whole first year he showered her with gifts and trips and all kinds of stuff, even paying for her education. He seemed like a great guy but because he was a little weird and shy my parents didn't meet him until that first Christmas.

Well, he showed up with gifts for all, really nice and thoughtful things. My sister opened hers last. It was huge box, inside was another box, and another, that old gag with maybe 10 or 12 boxes. Well we were all thinking, "At the bottom there is a ring, he's going to propose!"

When she got to the final box it was a single roll of toilet paper and a can of Campbell's soup. I just about peed myself with laughter looking at my sister's dumb greedy face. One of the top 10 moments in my life if I'm being honest. We never got an explanation as to why, it wasn't an inside joke or anything, just a weird thing from a weird guy.

I like him (maybe even more than my sister does) but my parents definitely think he's a weirdo.

Forgot to mention about 8 years after this I moved across the country and my first Christmas without the family he sent me a half-eaten box of stale Triscuits and a ziplock bag of hair that had fallen off their cat. There was no card but he wrote "Jews rule" on the wrapping paper with sharpie.

My reward for being the only member of my family to not shun him for his weird behavior over the years.

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1. Your family loves you to the tune of $25

I was never the "favorite" child in my family. If I could accurately retell the story of abuse I have gone through in my life without this surpassing the word count of War & Peace, I would. Instead, enjoy this highly truncated story of my last family Christmas.

When my step-grandmother (a lovely old lady) passed away years ago, the family spent the following holiday reliving memories, sharing gifts and generally remembering her life before taking their inheritance and "spreading it around." My step-siblings cried as they received "generous" amounts of money via holiday cards and various checks. Eventually, after all the emotional sharing, my aunt approached me with a card and let me know that this was my collective gift from all of them.

It was a $25 gift card to the grocery store.

Now, to be clear, I don't, and have never cared about the money. It was the context of the emotional holiday wherein they all thought to include each other in the story-telling, gift giving, and general festivities of the day... all while I sat off to the side and silently witnessed the true realization as to how they felt about me.

I know it goes without saying, but when the moment finally strikes where you, as a person, realize that your family cares very little for your existence, you have to make a decision. I quietly got up out of my chair and said "Merry Christmas" before walking out the door. No music, no talk radio, no book-on-tape. I drove home in silence.

I haven't been back to a family Christmas since. My mother and I speak about once a year. This event was the end of a long rollercoaster of emotional abuse I suffered through my life. I have always been sad about it, but I'm a better/happier person for moving on and am glad I made that decision.

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