My husband and I had only been dating for a few months when the holiday season rolled around.
Not wanting to rock the boat with an extravagant present, I decided to keep things light and fun in the Christmas gift department. I knew his favorite movie was Tommy Boy, so I decided to pick him up the DVD — showing I was a cool and thoughtful girlfriend. Nice one, Chaunie, I thought to myself. Only awesome girlfriends buy Chris Farley movies for their men.
I was not being ironic.
So you can imagine my horror when, late on Christmas day, we exchanged presents — and I opened a brilliant diamond pendant dangling from a glittering and delicate gold chain.
Needless to say, I was beyond embarrassed, and definitely crowned myself the “World’s Worst Gift Giver” that year, a title I’ve been intent on recovering from every year since.
Luckily, I’m not alone in my Christmas gift fail — these spouses have walked the wrapping paper road of shame right along with me.
1. Always be prepared.
“My husband, bless his heart, is not the best at gift-giving,” says fashion writer Kayla of Freckles in April. “For our first married Christmas he gave me a paper shredder and a wind-up flashlight for our emergency kit. Last year he gave me an ugly hat [see photo] and a stocking full of Chapstick. He’s super offended that I never wear the hat.”
2. Personal hygiene.
“I have a good one for you,” writes Char Schmitke on the worst Christmas gift she’s ever gotten from her man: “A razor and shaving cream. My husband wasn’t very creative last year.”
3. Never enough bras.
“My husband gave me four sports bras one year while we were still dating,” relates hair stylist and blogger Sonya. “Each one was wrapped separately.”
4. Sweet tooth.
Over breakfast one morning this week, a friend of mine told me the tale of her husband’s worst ever gift to her — last year. After having her fourth baby and trying desperately to lose weight, her husband surprised her with a “mystery” gift — that didn’t even arrive until after Christmas. It came in a giant crate (anyone else thinking of A Christmas Story?). She described ripping it open in anticipation — only to find a full-sized bakery-scale pastry display case, which he proudly explained was “because he knew how much she liked to bake.” She ended up throwing the entire thing out. “It didn’t even fit on our counter or open!” she exclaimed.
5. Pass the Kleenex, honey.
“This past year my husband flunked Christmas Stocking gifts when I found in my Christmas Stocking one of those electric nose-hair trimmers!” wrote one disgruntled wife on mamapedia.com. “And …. two bras that were at least six sizes too small! And he wondered why my Christmas Stocking Gifts were still sitting in a small sack … under the TV in the family room in March!!! Hmmmmmmph!!!! (And before you ask, I do not need nor have I ever needed to trim my nose hairs!!!!)”
6. What time is it?
One lucky lady was the recipient of the world’s most handy worst Christmas gift ever. Her husband got her the same basic wristwatch — for four years in a row.
7. Oh no, he didn’t!
“Last year my husband wrapped a gift from our kiddos (who were at the time about to turn two and one), and the tag said ‘to Mommy …’ So sweet, right?,” wrote another wife. “I was so excited to open it and see what I thought would be a sweet gift inside. What I found was stretch mark cream. Yup. No joke.”
8. Keeping warm.
I’m going to throw my husband under the bus on this one, because we love each other enough and also I was the original worst gift giver here. For two years in a row, my husband got me a horribly ugly winter coat for Christmas — and each time, he: 1. had his my mom or my mom pick it out and 2): had my mom or his mom pay for it, then never paid them back, so I had to eventually pay them back for my own present.
9. Not a safe bet.
In general, you really can’t go wrong with buying earrings for the lady in your life on Christmas, right? Well, teensy detail — you may want to check and make sure she actually has her ears pierced first. “Five years and he didn’t notice my ears,” wrote the unlucky, un-pierced recipient of earrings. “He wasn’t a keeper.”
10. The ol’ switcheroo.
This story comes courtesy of my mother-in-law, who received an actual shotgun from her husband one year for Christmas. She admits that she was a bit confused, until upon seeing her distress at the less-than-desired gift, he generously offered to take it back — and would up exchanging it for a more expensive model. For himself. Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving.
11. A gift gone wrong.
“My husband bought me a beautiful pair of diamond stud earrings from Jared [online jewelers],” recounts Kim Malburg. “I opened them on Christmas morning and I was in awe. Put them back in the Jared bag and continued on with opening gifts. The following day we had a family Christmas party. I went to grab my earrings from under the tree and wear them … I couldn’t find them anywhere. He. Threw. Away. My. Diamond. Earrings!”
Poor Kim’s husband thought he was “doing her a favor” by picking up the wrapping paper and taking care of it.
“By the time I noticed them missing, they were on their way to the local dump,” Kim says sadly.
Also, she has never received diamond jewelry since that Christmas. Coincidence? I think not.
Image via Freckles in April