20+ WORST Gifts We Ever Received


I asked my Early Mama readers for their worst gifts of all time — and even I was shocked at how bad they were!

There were so many submissions that I separated them into common categories, featuring my very favorites of the bunch. Can you beat these awful Christmas gifts?:

  • Used Gifts 1 of 10
    Used Gifts
    If you're scrambling for a last-minute gift, don't just head into your attic or junk drawer. I heard of so many clearly used gifts, including a used headband (ew!), a garage-sale-reject waffle maker (and used mix!), dead batteries, and a Starbucks gift card with $3 left on it.
  • Ugly Gifts 2 of 10
    Ugly Gifts
    THIS has to be the biggest category that I saw. Readers and tweeters described their ugliest clothing and jewelry gifts in horrendous detail.
  • Insulting Gifts 3 of 10
    Insulting Gifts
    1.) A fake clock from a mother-in-law, while her daughters got diamond earrings. (Or the time that same reader was the only one without a gift from her in-laws.)
    2.) Leather and suede clothes to someone who doesn't wear animal — and the gift givers knew this.
    3.)Exercise/weight loss books and DVDs were a popular answer, too.
  • Age Inappropriate 4 of 10
    Age Inappropriate
    A LOT of readers were given gifts that were way too young for them — mostly from out-of-touch grandparents. One reader was given a 3-year subscription to Jack & Jill magazine from her great grandmother...when she was 16 years old! Another reader said she was recently given a pillow pet — which she then gave to her own daughter.
  • Just Plain Inappropriate 5 of 10
    Just Plain Inappropriate
    Opening up Rogaine? Embarrassing. Opening up underwear/lingerie from your in-laws? Horrifying.
  • Weird Gifts 6 of 10
    Weird Gifts
    One reader was given a bag full of tongue scrapers from her boss.
    But this is my favorite: wrapped paper plates and napkins from a well-meaning grandmother-in-law.
  • Gross Gifts 7 of 10
    Gross Gifts
    I heard A LOT of moldy/gross meat and cheese stories, especially to vegetarians.
  • Disappointing Gifts 8 of 10
    Disappointing Gifts
    One reader got Batman and Robin walkie talkies from an share with her three brothers. Another reader got a set of pots and pans when she was hoping for something more (ahem) romantic.
  • Last-Minute Gifts 9 of 10
    Last-Minute Gifts
    Gifts that were clearly given in a moment of panic/thoughtlessness, like a Halloween decoration with 5-year-old candy inside, or a stocking full of toothpaste/deodorant samples that clearly came in that mail. I also heard about a husband who had extra money in his gift-giving budget for his wife, and bought a Cold Stone gift card at the last minute. She could tell it was a last-minute panic to spend the money.
  • White Elephant Gifts 10 of 10
    White Elephant Gifts
    I heard about SO MANY bad "white elephant" gifts. A bunch of readers play the "white elephant" gift exchange with the worst gifts they can find, like cracked candle holders, stale candy canes, tubs of mayo (to a mayo hater), and hideous dish towels.

Note: I saw a huge in-law trend. C’mon in-laws — try a little harder!

What’s the WORST gift you ever received?


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Read more on relationships with your in-laws: A Grandmother’s Lament

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