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Best and Worst Presents You've Received?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by GarrAarghHrumph, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. leesaleesa

    leesaleesa Active Member

    I'm not one for holidays, but I remember one Christmas when I was underemployed and my roomate's business was slow. He re-gifted me a pair of Florida Panthers flip flops, and I got him a 6 pack of tightie whites. I needed flip flops, he needed underwear. We went to Taco Bell and picked up a bottle of cheap wine at Chevron after. One of my favorite Christmases ever.

    His Mother got him a plastic bucket from the dollar store. I guess we were all on a budget that year.

    Oh, there was the year a friend got me a cheap wig at the Swap shop. I sort of loved it because it looked like Dr. Ruth's hair, and I wore it on a few dates I knew wouldn't go too well.
  2. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    She really wasn't. She died a year ago in March. I went to the funeral for my dad's sake, not for any other reason. When my dad's sister, my dear aunt, was killed in a horrific car crash last month, and we went for her funeral, I found that I felt more part of the family without her presence hanging over everyone. It was a nice feeling in spite of the awful circumstances of the visit.

    My grandfather was a piece of work but he was loving in his way. My fondest memory of him was when we were at their house the summer I turned 14 and I was in an incredibly awkward stage with thick glasses, braces, and bad hair. He came in the house one morning with a red rose cut from his garden and presented it to me and said that he did it so I would always remember that my grandpa was the first man to give me a rose. I will always remember that. So I guess that is the best gift I've ever been given. :)
    Habs and (deleted member) like this.
  3. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    One of the BEST gifts we ever got was all the tool essentials from my FIL for our wedding gift: hammers, sets of screwdrivers & pliers, a ratchet set, wrenches, you name it. He went all out with really great quality stuff that we still have 17+ years later. (Funniest gifts, on a related note: Old family friends all threw me a "garden party" because I'd be moving into dh's and my new house after the wedding--I kid you not, I got shovels, pitchforks, pruning shears, etc. AWESOME.)

    Dh's paternal grandparents always gave us the weirdest gifts. They were extremely frugal, so usually it was a cheap phone that said "TIME LIFE BOOKS" on it (which they'd gotten free with a subscription) or an "as seen on TV" cheapo. In our minds, though, the Tater Twister takes the cake. Yes, you too can make 1 curly fry from a potato and waste the rest of the potato. :lol:
  4. ChelleC

    ChelleC Well-Known Member

    Worst gift---the year my mom bought my underwear for Christmas.

    Best gift---Every year at Christmas, my grandparents always bought one of the granddaughter Hallmark keepsake ornaments, and had it on their tree. I had no idea about them, until the year they boxed all of them up, and gave them to me as a Christmas present. I still have them, of course.
  5. ballettmaus

    ballettmaus Well-Known Member

    I don't really remember a "worst" gift. Though I guess it would be underwear for me as well. My aunt always gave me underwear of some sort after she started drinking. Fortunately, there weren't so many more birthdays she was invited to afterwards.

    I remember one year of Christmas when I didn't get anything from my wish list, I was very disappointed. It wasn't that I didn't like what I had gotten but my wish list almost always had things I really wanted and were saving for my Christmas list as they were either too expensive or something else to get "just because".

    My grandfather stopped giving gifts altogether a couple of years ago when he decided not to get out of his bed anymore despite being a healthy man. My parents did get some pralines for Christmas (my mom's cooking for him more or less daily and she's "only" his daughter-in-law) but that was it and it wasn't his initiative but the person who takes care for him (doing everything else but the cooking). He didn't even call his son on his birthday or gave him a card. Needless to say, I don't get a call or a card either. And I guess it's not so much about the gift but wanting to be remembered/thought of.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  6. lmarie086

    lmarie086 missing my cat :(

    PDilemma, that's heartbreaking! I can never understand how some people can be cruel to a child, but unfortunately it happens. Was your grandmother a fan of your mom? I only ask because my mom's mom has never liked my dad, and it's reflected upon my brother and I. We are the only ones she's never wanted to encourage in anyway, though he and I have done well in school and have never gotten in trouble. But that's a long story, and not one for this thread.

    My best gift actually might have been from this past Christmas; I've always wanted a cameo necklace, and my mom always said she wanted to be the one to buy one for me once I found one I loved. We haven't had too much luck until last Thanksgiving, when we were on Etsy and found this beautiful vintage cameo necklace! My mom and I both loved it, and it wasn't terribly expensive at all. So she went ahead and ordered it once I was back at school and I got it at Christmas, and I wear it all the time now. I have a few others that I consider "best presents," but that sticks out in my mind at the moment.

    I can't really think of any that are the worst, but the same grandma I mentioned did my brother a Clifford dog for his 18th birthday, just because he's an animal person.
  7. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    She was rather ambivalent toward my mom. She wasn't outright mean to her until the last ten years or so of her life. But she didn't like that my dad married someone not from their little county and not even from the same state. My dad's parents did not come to their wedding (canceled at the last minute which made a mess of the wedding plans as my dad's siblings, too young to travel on their own, were to be in the wedding party) because she was upset that he was marrying someone not from there. And she blamed my mother for their decision to move back here later, even though it was mostly my dad's choice for the sake of a better economy, better opportunities and having some distance from his parents who tended to meddle.

    She favored grandsons over granddaughters, except for one favored granddaughter who made such a fuss of it all when she died that another female cousin and I suggested between ourselves that the obit should have said she had nine grandsons and one granddaughter and forget the other four of us. And growing up out of state away from Appalachia made me the permanent outcast.
  8. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    Apologies if this isn't my business, PDilemma, but I am curious, did she leave anything to her grandchildren after her death? I am curious if the boys got something and the girls, you especially, were left out. That is, if she had anything to leave.
  9. RockTheTassel

    RockTheTassel Well-Known Member

    Aw, that's a really sweet story. :) At least it sounds like your other grandparents made up for your awful grandma.

    I have two best gifts and two worst gifts. One of the best gifts was a restored corona typewriter from the 1930s. I love old typewriters and had been searching for one, but I hadn't found anything. My mom came across a nice one, my dad found someone to restore it, and they surprised me with it one Christmas. The other best gift was a beautiful handmade journal my sister gave me. She knows I love famous quotes and once asked me for some of my favorites because her friend wanted a list of good quotes for an art project. I told her some quotes I liked, and a couple months later I discovered that her friend's art project was a journal decorated with the quotations I mentioned that my sister asked her to make for me. Both of these gifts were so thoughtful and lovely.

    One of the worst gifts I got was the Kardashian sisters' book (I think it was called Kardashian Konfident or something ridiculous). My mom got for me for Christmas, wrapped it beautifully, and then gave it as a joke because she knows I hate the Kardashians. I returned it and used the money to get something extra for my fifteen-year-old brother, who was a bit glum since everyone ended up giving him clothes that year. The other bad gift that wasn't a joke was a huge pack of lint rollers from my mom that included a lecture about taking better care of my coat. :blah:
  10. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    I just found out that there were $200 worth of savings bonds for each grandchild except the youngest. All of us, girls and boys. Since there were none for the youngest, I am assuming that grandpa was the one who purchased those, not her. The youngest grandchild was born one year after grandpa died. If not for that clue that she was not in charge of that, I would have been exceedingly puzzled that there were some for me.

    (My uncle, who was executor of the estate, with the agreement of all the siblings, arranged for an equivalent in cash to be given to the youngest in the interests of fairness).

    She did, however, leave behind lists regarding giving away possessions that gave expensive items to the boys and the favored granddaughter and designated that the other four granddaughters got to choose among the knick-knack type stuff. My dad and his siblings, for the most part, ignored those instructions. I didn't really want anything anyway, but was given a nice crucifix from her house, being one of only three grandchildren who is a church-going Catholic. I'm told my great grandmother, who I remember and had a connection with as a child, bought it for my grandparents when they were first married, so it does have more meaning to me than anything else I could have taken would have.
  11. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

    I don't mind getting regifts or free-for-the-giver, so long as it's appropriate for me and not used.

    What I do object to is when I give someone a gift, like my best friend and I gave her an expensive coffee maker for her wedding..which was on her list. She gave it to me for my birthday and was shocked that I remembered that I gave it to her. SHE WROTE ME A THANK-YOU CARD. It was on my kitchen bulletin board! I spent $130 and I was in graduate school; of COURSE I remembered that I gave her something really expensive. In my graduate program, if we accepted the scholarship, one of the provisions was that we couldn't get a job beyond the penty-ante stipend we received for doing all of the professors' work. I saved for almost a year to be able to afford it and sold back books I intended to keep. I was sooo proud of myself that I'd saved and was able to buy it for her.

    She never did anything like that again after she made the mistake of asking what I thought. :EVILLE:

    Then there was my sister who bought me these expensive, gaudy bee earrings. My lobes are small, and the earrings were so big I couldn't wear them. They hurt. Normally, that would just be a swing and a miss; I do love unique earrings. But about a month before then, I discovered I was deathly allergic to bees. My mother kind of said, oh what an interesting choice, to which my sister said, "oh, didn't you say she collected bees now?" My mom said, "no, I told you she was in the hospital because she was stung by bees."

    But the person who takes the cake is my sister in law. She was a PE teacher, so I always got what was clearly her teacher gifts. I thought about giving her *my* teacher gifts, but the years it was the worst, I taught at a magnet school and got some damn good gifts. The worst of the worst was when she gave me slightly used foot pedicure set--I got one of those every year. But what was even WORSE about the slightly used was it was personalized--the bottle said "Ms. ___, Best PE Teacher!" She didn't even NOTICE until my brother--her husband, said something. Clearly, he had nothing to do with shopping.

    My best present ever was this gorgeous, heavy silver hour glass from my parents. The sand was this silvery white, and shimmery, but it did not have glitter in it. It was beautiful, and unexpected. It was one of those things that I didn't know I wanted an hourglass, but once I saw it...IT WAS MY PREEECIIIOUSSSS.

    The other was the year my parents gave in and bought my tickets for Skate America and gave me a portion for the plane ride. It wasn't an original gift,e xactly, but my parents are very adament--dad in particular--that gifts are things you buy and wrap and open, whether you want it or not! Besides seeing skating, it was one of the few years where they gave me what I actually wanted rather than what they wanted to give me or think that I should want. I'm working on them for Nationals. :p

    On the whole though, I've been very lucky in gifting. Some of the stories here are :yikes:
  12. Kruss

    Kruss Not Auto-Tuned

    True, but that is something to give in a less formal atmosphere. "Hey, I was at Sam's and thought you could use this, so I stopped by to drop it off." But wrapped with a bow and requested to open at a party while everyone else looked on? It was just weird.
  13. leesaleesa

    leesaleesa Active Member

    Back in the early '00s, animal prints were popular where I live. A friend was very into them and would ask why I didn't wear them-I remember telling her numerous times i didn't care for them at all.

    I saw a very nice animal print blouse at Express and got it for her. She not only wore it on at least five or more occcasions, she regifted it to me in 2004-Used and unwanted.

    She had her kitchen redone a few years ago, and I remember sitting at the new island idly wondering why the wine rack was put over the stove, and that the big blue wine bottle was really dusty. Guess who ended up with the hastily dusted bottle. Oh, and it was pretty much vinegar by that time.

    Another friend was feeling pretty down, so I found this very nice little sterling pendant with a heart and inscription on it. Not only did she toss it on a side table with an offhand "thanks", she has never bothered to wear it. She often turns up in cheap costume jewelry, but never the little silver pendant. I wish she would regift it to me.
  14. Scintillation

    Scintillation New Member

    This isn't nearly as bad as some of the stories here, but this ticked me off this past Christmas...my sister has been struggling these past few years but loves her some nice skincare products, so I thought I'd be nice and get her a good cleanser and lotion. She returned them and got perfume instead, then told me she had some skincare already that she liked. Okay, fine.
    Turned out she dropped $200 on Genefique, then came back to me like a month later and said she couldn't spend that much again, and could I get her those products I got her for Christmas again...? :mad:
  15. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    My grandmother gave me the same set of books every year for several years running. It was a 4-book set about a girl detective named Robin (my name). She knew I read Nancy Drews and Dana Sisters detective books so it was actually a thoughtful gift except for the fact that she would forget every year that she already gave them to me, and she'd send them to me again. So she was thoughful and forgetful all at the same time. And my mother and I made it into a fun tradition of pretending to not know what was in the box and acting all surprised each time. Plus, my school library got all the extra sets so all the young girls read them.

    I have a friend who gives unusual gifts, but the strangest thing she has ever given me was a small fake Xmas tree with lights strung on it with small "centerpiece" Robins all over it. It did require some thought --I know she made it because the Robins were from the centerpieces at a banquet she threw for a charity, and she was really proud of her idea. I put it out every Xmas in case she comes over, but the Robins fall off so they have wound up all over my attic.

    My dad once made a big deal about what he was getting my mother for Christmas and hinted that it had a motor. She was driving an old unreliable car, so she thought he was getting her a new car. He got her a ride-on lawnmower. She still talks about that and she's 88, plus he's been dead for 38 years. Did I mention that mowing the lawn was his household task, not hers?

    My husband makes me furniture for Xmas and I am never disappointed. He makes beautiful stuff.
  16. Wiery

    Wiery Well-Known Member

    Truly amazing-thank you for sharing these personal and often :wideeyes: stories!

    My husband got me a new dishwasher for my birthday this year-I asked him if he would put it in my closet since it's mine, mine, mine!!!! :rolleyes:

    P.S. I got him a new vacuum cleaner for Christmas. :saint:
    Rob and (deleted member) like this.
  17. victoriajh

    victoriajh trying to ignore rod and find the eurosport feed

    my hubby got me some really nice tiffany earings- all on his own accord! ( i was most impressed) my dad however once bought my daughter a baby bracelet in scotland - it is gorgreous and i love that he did that for his grandaughter- best gift ever and it was not even for me!!
    my MIL never buys me anything (she did not give us a wedding gift even) but once she bought be these bags that you are supposed to use to organise your car items (????) as a christmas gift.... yeah, um thanks
  18. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    That's a memory to cherish, PDilemma!