Worst Gifts We've Ever Received

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Some of us know by now that there are far worse gifts to receive during the holidays than lumps of coal. Ready to relive the embarrassing fake smiles and dreaded anticipation for shopping return lines? BTRtoday remembers the worst gifts that we’ve ever given and received.


My freshman year of high-school, my friend group decided to do a secret santa exchange. We set a maximum spending limit of $10. However, I was unaware that people would go well above that limit. While everyone else gave one another fancy bath & body work lotion sets, homemade fleece blankets, and adorable accessories, I sheepishly gave my friend a sugar cookie mix and a pair of socks. My friend pretended she was excited about the gift but I could tell she was disappointed… Major fail. – Cassidy Colarik


My parents have been divorced forever at this point, and I was living on my own in my last year of high school in Moscow. My dad treated himself to a trip to Italy for Christmas and said he was bringing me something special. Never really expecting anything from him, I actually got excited. Maybe a cheese board? Or black squid-ink pasta? Sand in a sea-glass bottle? A seashell bracelet? My mind was in a world of fantasy. When he came around for dinner and to exchange gifts he gave me a shot-sized limoncello and a pair of slippers that had a tag “made in Russia.” To say I was disappointed was to say nothing. – Irina Groushevaia


One of the most cold-blooded and funniest pranks I’ve ever pulled off was when I gifted my nephew a decades-old encyclopedia from the doldrums of our dingy basement bookshelf. Seriously, this thing still doesn’t consider Alaska a state, and the closest thing it has to any kind of picture is the raised text on the front cover. I wrapped it up properly, put a nice fat bow on it, and stuck it right at the bottom of the Christmas pile under the tree, where all the best presents go. The look of sheer joy on his face when he saw the shiny gold paper and felt the weight of the enormous book was totally worth the emotional despair he immediately fell into upon ripping it open. – Joe Virgillito


My mom always tells me the story about when she gave her best friend’s little daughter an orange as a present. It was supposed to be a joke, but the lil beb was so grateful! – Elena Childers


It did not look like this…
I dated this guy once who was hands down the nicest boyfriend on the planet. Downside, I wasn’t that into him but he was SO NICE TO ME. Anyway the holidays came around and he got me some insanely sweet present and I felt shit tons of guilt for sucking as a girlfriend so I thought I would do some arts and crafts nonsense because bitches love arts and crafts. I know nothing about carpentry but I tried to make him this little model “dreamatorium,” like from “Community,” with an accompanying mix CD of sleep-inducing songs. But I forgot the CD when I went to visit him and gave him the dreamatorium, which was a half-assed wooden box with uneven sides and nails that went in multiple directions and no staining or painting. It was terrible and the worst part was he still loved me. – Taia Handlin


Like many others, I’ve received a lot of bad gifts in my day. Usually, they come in the form of completely irrelevant trinkets, CVS perfume package sets, or bad jewelery. Mostly, these gifts are bad because they’re impersonal and forced; they’re the gifts you receive from family friends or distant cousins who actually don’t know anything about you. They then sit on the shelf for as long as you can stand before re-gifting or throwing them away! Word to the wise: I’d rather take $5 or a bar of chocolate over a generic bracelet from Costco any day of the week. Or, better yet, get me nothing! I accumulate way too much shit on my own, and the last thing I need is more pointless stuff. – Rebecca Chodorkoff