What's the worst holiday gift you've ever received?

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If you want or just need to liven up a lagging Thanksgiving, Christmas or other holiday party, try this. Ask everybody: “What’s the worst holiday gift you have ever received?”

After a moment or two of hesitation, someone will break the awkward silence. Your party guests will come up with some doozies. One of our favorite examples was with a family we know who lived here in Southwest Florida. Son A, in his 40’s, was surprised when he opened a Christmas gift from his male sibling, a few years his junior. The gift came tumbling out of a large box. It was an elaborate, high quality, burgundy smoking jacket, compete with black velvet lapels. Ideal for a sixty-something, distinguished business tycoon up north? For sure. But for a thirty something beachwear-loving surfer guy in the Marco, Naples area? Other family members said it looked great. Next to open a gift was the family patriarch, a retired corporate executive who loved boating, biking, golfing and the beach. Voila! He too got a velvet-trimmed smoking jacket from his youngest son. And yes, the fourth male in the family, a southern state-dwelling son-in-law, also got an identical smoking jacket. At that point the whole family was laughing, guffawing actually, as the three men stood up, donned their lookalike smoking jackets and paraded around the room. “Good evening ladies and gentlemen,” said one, as though he were on stage in a Motown night spot, “We are Vinny and the Velve-Tones!” To our knowledge none of them ever wore those jackets again. But for many Christmases to come, that family never let a gift-exchange event go by without referring to their very short, hilarious reign as the “Velve-Tones. A somewhat less satisfactory gift moment was explained to us by a work colleague, a TV news reporter/anchor in a major city. A day or so after her birthday, we asked her what her boyfriend gave her to mark the occasion. She frowned, more of a scowl, really, and said, “A Shop-Vac, a %@#%$@%^ Shop-Vac, one of those wet-dry things. “And just so you know, he’s not by boyfriend anymore.” We started to ask why and she went on, “I broke up with him. I mean, what’s next, a chain saw?” Luckily for him, there was no next time. Apparently a lot of people give and/or get some awful Christmas gifts. They’re all over the Internet. A woman says that when she was a child, her dad asked her to help him wrap his gift for her mom. The adolescent was shocked to see that the “gift” for her mom was a plastic dish drainer, the kind some people put by the sink. She says she didn’t like her dad much so she didn’t stop him from giving that mundane plastic kitchen thing to her mom. “It was weeks before Mom would talk to him again.”

From Gawker.com

n A device to strap your iPad to your wrist. Honestly.

n A Snuggie.

n An iPod toilet paper holder.

So now it’s your turn. Please tell us via email your experiences with terrible or inappropriate or hilariously not funny Christmas season gifts. We will share some with other readers, but we promise not to use your names unless you say it’s OK. Email to: don@donfarmer.com.

Chris Curle and Don Farmer have been writing for the Marco Eagle and other area newspapers for more than 30 years. They have a combined total of 99 years experience in major news media in the U.S. and abroad, including ABC News, NBC News, CNN, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers and magazines. Their novel, “Deadly News,” is set partly in Marco Island.

© 2013 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 13

MIOCENE (Inactive) writes:

What’s the worst holiday gift you have ever received?”

A fruit cake. What else?

Konfuzius writes:

in response to Genuine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

OHHHHH!
What a highbrow profound mental deficiency!

But it is hope for you. In the meantime you learned to spell my name correct. Very good!

Remember:

in response to Genuine:

Kornfuzz, you are a perfect example of a complaining dolt. You would be best served by returning to the Weimar Republic and obtaining some Limburger (your smell sake) cheese to go with your whine.

All I read so far I remember from you is s-----, blank, gassy, hollow, insulting, slanderous, away from the subject, faddy-daddy, small minded twaddle.

6 major mistakes in one sentence. To bad to be not educated.

Your statement:

" You would be best served by returning to the Weimar Republic and obtaining some Limburger (your smell sake) cheese to go with your whine."

1. Weimar Republic was
"Weimarer Republik! To bad to be not educated!
2. I was never there. How can I go back? Time traveling is not invented!
3. Limburger cheese is not a German cheese, it is Belgian cheese! To bad be not educated!
4. I am a big thinker! Not a small sake!
5. The second biggest whiner on this blog is you. Nobody else.
6. My name is Bill Konfuzius! Hard to spell for you. To bad to be not educated!

However - have a nice Sunday at church and three hallelujahs extra for you.

MIOCENE (Inactive) writes:

in response to Genuine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I gave my fruit cake to one of those little white yapping dogs.
I took great pleasure in watching the little nappy-haired mutant gagging on it.

Hardleymarco writes:

Konfuzios's Mom

Momface (Inactive) writes:

My older sister's poodle skirt!

1Paradiselost writes:

As a surprise, My mother-in-law flew in (on her broom) Christmas eve.

On X-mas day I was informed she was staying for the season.

Konfuzius writes:

"I’m so glad to have a friend
There is no other gift that can transcend"

Whether that lady's gentle mind,
No longer with the form combined
Which scattered love, as stars do light,
Found sadness where it left delight,

I dare not guess; but in this life
Of error, ignorance, and strife,
Where nothing is, but all things seem,
And we the shadows of the dream,

It is a modest creed, and yet
Pleasant if one considers it,
To own that death itself must be,
Like all the rest, a mockery.

That garden sweet, that lady fair,
And all sweet shapes and odors there,
In truth have never passed away:
'Tis we, 'tis ours, are changed; not they.

For love, and beauty, and delight,
There is no death or change: their might
Exceeds our organs, which endure
No light, being themselves obscure.

MIOCENE (Inactive) writes:

in response to 1Paradiselost:

As a surprise, My mother-in-law flew in (on her broom) Christmas eve.

On X-mas day I was informed she was staying for the season.

LOL.... like when Ralph Kramden's mother-in-law stayed just for the holidays; Christmas and New Years.

"The only trouble is; she came New Year's and stayed till christmas" :-)

Captian_Cataracts writes:

A dog, worst gift ever.

Konfuzius writes:

in response to Genuine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Next Sunday I give you 8 hallelujahs more!

marco97 writes:

My STRP bill when I sold my rental house.

26yearsonmarco writes:

PRESIDENT???? OBAMEE.

Momface (Inactive) writes:

That would scare Santa back up the chimney!

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