And the winners are …

by Erin on December 31, 2008

So, it's taken me FOREVER to decide just whose present was the WORST (or best, although "OMG, WTF, what the hell were they thinking" outweighed "OMG! You didn't!" by about 493 to 1).

A lot of the presents were what I call "bowling ball presents" — stuff people get you because they want it for themselves (qv: pepperdove getting a VCR … at age 15 … when there was only one TV in the house … after the family VCR broke. Elizabeth getting an air conditioner — then being told they couldn't afford to install it!). And then some were "I love you, you're perfect, now change" presents. (qv: Riva getting offered laser hair removal! Mickey being given a can of Slim-Fast!)

Then there were a lot of "I don't know what the word "present" means, so I'm going to give you this random item" (like Ann's boyfriend giving her a RED LACE TEDDY FROM A PREVIOUS GIRLFRIEND — seriously, wtf? — and Colleen getting a PLASTIC TRAVEL URINAL, Beth B getting PAPERCLIPS, Denise getting USED MAKEUP).

Some presents seem to have been thinly-veiled assassination attempts: MsManners got two bottles of Fen-Phen (from an ex, natch) and Angel getting a basket of hair clips and dollar-store scented soap from her sister-in-law when she A) had no hair after undergoing chemo and B) was highly allergic to everything, which the chemo exacerbated. (I would have pressed charges on that one!)

"I think you must have meant this for someone else" seems to have been another theme — Neighbourhood.Gal got (at age 11) a Teddy Ruxpin (remember those?) and a remote controlled monster truck and a skateboard (and she lived on a street with no sidewalks). Cookie got what sounded like the Worst Coat in the History of Coats: "VIOLENTLY acid-washed denim, knee-length, lumberjack style jacket with BRIGHT white, puffy fleece lining." Mere got a BOX of DICKIES. In 1987.

I was heartened by all the folks who got ironing boards, dress forms, sewing machines, and sergers … except for poor RavenzTarot, whose daughter got a new sewing machine (after trashing RavenzTarot's old machine). That machine REALLY should have been Ravenz!

Is it any wonder it was hard to decide? I chose two bads and a good. The good-present-winner is anthrokeight, whose parents had her kindergarten art project of an angel professionally framed … (altogether now: AWWWWW). The bad-present winners are La BellaDonna, who got a necklace and earrings SUPPOSEDLY from her husband, but since he conveniently didn't have any cash on him when it was time to pay for them, ended up being bought on her own dime … … and Sewducky … well, I can't give you details of what Sewducky got that was so awful, but let's just say this: If you are going to give someone WWII memorabilia as a Christmas present, you might want to pick some FROM THE WINNING SIDE. Just a tip, there. [So, guys, email me your mailing addresses and I'll forward them to Rita so she can send you a copy of that pattern!]

It was SO hard to decide, though, that I am going to give out more prizes. If you left a comment about a bad (or good!) present, email me and I'll send you a free Dress A Day measuring tape! (Let me know what comment was yours, and don't forget to include your mailing address!)

Here's what they look like, iffen you don't remember:

Happy New Year!

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

sewducky December 31, 2008 at 2:36 pm

How awesome!Thanks, I’m so excited about it!


CEMETARIAN We Dig Memories December 31, 2008 at 2:54 pm

LOL..they are sitting here just waiting for addresses……….Happy New Year to all who posted……….and to those lurkers who didn’t………..HugsRita


Lisa December 31, 2008 at 3:43 pm

Maybe I should have included that my husband of less than one week gave me the used bathmat! Would that have moved me up (or would that be down) on the list????Thanks anyway!


Anonymous December 31, 2008 at 5:15 pm

Is Sewducky’s so horrifying that we wouldn’t be able to handle it, or is it a privacy issue? Cause I’m dying to know, unless, you know, it would emotionally scar me forever.cherylc


sewducky December 31, 2008 at 5:41 pm

Nah it’s just really offensive I didn’t want Erin to have to face any public fall out over a friend being completely clueless and insensitive.


Angel - Having a Nemesis December 31, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Reading all the stories, most of them horrific, has made me realize just how good I’ve got it. You know, now that I’ve grown my hair back ;)I hope you all have a fantastic time ringing in the New Year (I know I will, we have a Firefly marathon planned). See you in the new year!


Deirdre December 31, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Yeah! I am so glad that the framed angel won — that is an AWESOME gift. Congrats to all three winners!And Happy New Year all! You too Erin.PS Erin I saw you on the television the other day! Telling that spunky brown haired cook that you added EEOV to the dictionary — I screamed “Hey! That’s Erin! I KNOW her!” (I supposed that’s stretching the meaning of the word “know” — but I didn’t feel like yelling “I KNOW OF her!) For the life of me I can’t – Rachel Ray. Nevermind.


I have an idea... December 31, 2008 at 8:47 pm

Just in case anyone’s reading this tonight…Ikea had some beautiful 47″x118″ blue and white print all-cotton fabric for 2.49 two days ago. It was with their discounted hannukah items.Have a safe New Year’s Eve and a productive 2009!


RavenzTarot January 1, 2009 at 8:54 am

The closest ikea is 3 hours away! I wish we could order the fabric online!!!!!Happy new years everyone!


Eileen January 1, 2009 at 9:21 am

The year I had no hair from chemo I got a “Chia” head for Christmas. I loved it because at that point you have to laugh, so you don’t cry!


Danika Paige Myers January 1, 2009 at 12:00 pm

yay anthrokeight!


john January 1, 2009 at 12:22 pm

i just read on another group that some woman’s mother in law gave her for last Christmas 5 coupons to Chico’s that were worth 20$ -only problem she would have had to spend 50$ to get each 20$ -and her mil that it was a good gift-


Anonymous January 1, 2009 at 4:29 pm

OMG! I MADE a coat exactly like Cookie’s for a friend whose original one was worn to shreds. She loved the old coat so much I had to take it apart and use it for a pattern. Fortunately, acid wash denim was no longer available. Congratulations to the winners!


anthrokeight January 1, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Yay! Hey Danika Paige: I was going to give the pattern to my mom, but you know… if you’ve always wanted a pair of these trousers, I’d be happy to send it to you as a little engagement congratulations pressie!If anyone has an interest in seeing the glitter-drool angel project, here is a link: the best to you and yours in 2009.


anthrokeight January 1, 2009 at 5:00 pm

PS: Sew Ducky…This gets worser and worser (and more and more intriguing)!


Shay January 1, 2009 at 5:46 pm

I’ve never gotten a really, really bad Christmas gift, but an in-law gave me a green polyester macrame owl for a wedding present.S’ok, though; for her son’s eighth birthday I gave him a bugle.


mickey January 2, 2009 at 6:10 am

What a fun contest this was! Happy New Year everyone!


Sal January 2, 2009 at 7:07 am

Holy cats! Makes me grateful for all the cutesy kitty crap my mom-in-law has given me over the years. At least none of it made me break out in hives.


Rachel January 2, 2009 at 10:11 am

Wow–the WTF presents are truly awful. Thanks, Erin, for making me appreciate my friends, family, and Christmas loot even more now!


Anonymous January 2, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Wow! I never imagined that I’d be a runner up in the worst Christmas gifts contest (re-gifted red lace teddy). I really thought the plastic travel urinal would win. Glad to see I’m in good company.The sad thing is that that “gift” was not at all out of context in regards to the relationship with said ex-boyfriend.Thank goodness for my hubby. He’s such a good guy that I can look back and laugh at such awfulness from the past.Thanks for all who posted. Some of you really made me laugh.Ann from Maryland


Beth B January 2, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Giving a bugle to an 8-year old! Wonderful revenge!Beth B, whose mother continues to give paperclips as gifts this year


La BellaDonna January 3, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Yay! I know I thought my circumstance sucked at the time, but it is now confirmed as prizewinning suckiness! If it’s any comfort to you, Lisa, I think yours is right up there. What on earth was your husband’s excuse? I hope you beat a better gift out of him for the New Year – seriously. For the life of me, I can’t think of the excuse, reason, or explanation that would have prompted it. But I also felt that way about the handful of grass someone else got as a Christmas present, too.I am now starting to wonder if someone gave Sewducky a genuine Nazi vibrator for Christmas that year … And I plan to make up those wrap trousers, too! Many thanks, Erin!


Crystal January 3, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Aw, I was out of state with no internet and missed out on this contest! I don’t have a prize winning entry for the bad, anyway, but the worst gift I’ve gotten I actually got this year. It was from a “Secret Santa,” and it was this AWFUL… thing… purse shaped, made out of wire and straw, spray-painted light pink, and covered in little white balls of Styrofoam and glitter. I feel really bad for disliking it as much as I do.


Crystal January 3, 2009 at 11:13 pm

Oops, forgot to add that those tape measures are the cutest!


Anonymous January 4, 2009 at 7:01 am

I’ve gotten some wonderfully tacky gifts from my SOL over the years. Decoupage kittens, macrame in screaming shades of green… My mother actually gave me Kleenex one year – she was so proud of finding bulk cartons of those purse-sized packages and so convinced that, in the entire city, only the grocery store in her own neighborhood sold them. But, hey, they’re family, and I’m certain they genuinely felt these were good gifts at the time. Looking at some of the really bad gifts that were posted on the contest, I realize that mine weren’t so bad. Actually, the gifts I gave family members may have been considered just as unsuitable, which is why we only give gifts to the under-18 year olds at our family gatherings now. Can’t go wrong with a gift certificate to HMV or something like that.


CEMETARIAN We Dig Memories January 4, 2009 at 10:37 am

Just got the Addresses and the patterns will be on the way to you Lucky ducks who won.This was FUN! and you all have to promise to post pix of your creations from the patterns……….HAPPY NEW YEAR!Rita


Norma January 4, 2009 at 3:21 pm

One last bad gift… my friend, who has temoprarily gone insane it seems, gave her brother a HUGE-the-size-of-a-cushion potato as a hint he needs to go on a diet this Christmas.’Tis the season to be jolly eh?Oh, and what did we get from them? Nothing. I’m thinking that’s a good thing!!!


Cookie January 5, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Very good choices, Erin. I, too, thought the set of family “travel urinals” might win…but then, at least Colleen didn’t have to pay for hers…like La Bella Donna had to pay for her “present”. OMG! I MADE a coat exactly like Cookies for a friend whose original one was worn to shreds. She loved the old coat so much I had to take it apart and use it for a pattern. Fortunately, acid wash denim was no longer available. That sounds so kind of you, Anonymous! What fabric did you pick to replace the acid-washed denim? My evil stepmother’s wouldn’t have been SO bad if it were just made in some wide, neutral colored corduroy…WITHOUT the zippers and tabs that were all over it (which Erin didn’t mention, perhaps fearing you’d all throw up) or the mandarin collar (!!) I really wish I’d taken a picture of that monstrosity. But at the time, I couldn’t get it out of the house fast enough.HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE : )


ratiocination January 11, 2009 at 10:51 pm

I dunno…this year my husband of 8 years got me absolutely NOTHING. Not even an, “I’m sorry, I’m a schmuck, I didn’t get you anything.” He just pretended nothing ever happened. All the kids opened their gifts, he opened his gifts, I sat there wondering what happened. Oh yeah–he gave me no end of grief for having stayed up until 5 in the morning trying to get all the presents wrapped and under the tree WITH NO HELP FROM HIM…does that count?I know, I know, the contest is over. :) It’s ironic–there are times when you wish people would stop giving you awful gifts, and then there are times when no gifts is like a kick in the teeth.Can you tell I’m still seething?OK, end of rant. :)


La BellaDonna February 18, 2009 at 11:50 am

Ratiocination, I’m so sorry! That’s totally WRONG! I know there are people (not here!) who get all “How spoiled are you, you wanted a GIFT from your HUSBAND at CHRISTMAS??” but … yeah, you do. You want the person you LIVE WITH and that YOU got something for to demonstrate that they have some feeling for you, and instead you get what you suspected … confirmation that they … don’t. Did you talk to him about it and ask WHY he didn’t get you anything? I hope you freaking well returned his gift and spent the money on yourself.I know you probably don’t need me to tell you this but … it’s not a good sign. It really isn’t.


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