Friday, December 16, 2011

12 Days Till Christmas Countdown #4

 The Worst Gift Ever?

What's the worst Christmas present you've ever received? For me it has to be one I received 10 years ago--a dinky little picture frame for which I had absolutely no use. JUST AWFUL!  This  happened right after I got everyone something from the Dollar Tree, when I began working there that year.  This was on my dad's side.  Long story short:  My uncle's then 9-year  got a gift card from Borders, which was what I wanted. And I overheard one of my paternal aunts saying that she was burning her CDs of Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan, for a 9-year old kid in 2001? She and his then 6-year old boy just a lot of stuff  since they were just kids then.  Luckily my uncle on my mom's side all gave the grandkids on that side $50 dollar checks or I might never have gotten the CD the group Yes put out that year.   A better way of spending a gift card for a bookstore/music retailer rather than wasting it on crap like Brittney Spears CDs, which someone her age was likely to do in 2001. I believe my paternal uncle got this frame as a free sample from the dealership where he'd gotten his then-new car. An example of bad gift giving, per this article:

5. Anything that looks like you got it as a free sample. I’ve gotten these gifts before, and believe me I’ve been able to tell. Oddly enough, when you give someone who hardly ever wears makeup Clinique cover up it’s kind of a clue that you didn’t buy the gift for that person. Oh, hey, is that a complimentary tote you’ve got there on your arm?
I just chucked the frame eventually.  For god sakes, if you get these free samples, don't try to give them as Christmas presents!  If you don't want them, donate them to the frigging Goodwill!  And apparently I'm not the only person who says a picture frame is the worst gift you could ever receive.  

Thankfully, I've never been given a Chia Pet or an "As Seen On TV" gadget.   Although on my mom's side of the family since about 1996 has been doing a present game. All of us have to buy something, up to $20, that anyone can use.  We then place numbers at the dinner table under the plates.  After dinner we play the present game.  We draw numbers and when each person's number comes up, that person picks one of the presents up for grabs.  They can steal a gift from another person.  Each item can be stolen up to three times.   This is a sort of a "white elephant" kind of game.   Among the items that have been bought over the years for the present game there have been bottles of Heinekin and Jagermeister, DVDs,  funny toys, and some "As Seen on TV" gadgets (I bought the George Foreman grill  for the game one year) but so far no Chia Pets, as far as I can recall.   Who knows if someone in the family will ever get one for the game, though? In the end everyone winds up with something, which may or may not be useful to them, but at least it's not something deliberately or directly given to them.  I didn't particularly like the one I ended up with 10 years ago, but it was nothing compared to what happened the following day (my mom's family celebrates on Christmas Eve).  

I now have to get a Secret Santa gift for work. I'm considering a gift card since those are a good idea 
when you don't really know what that person likes.  And I cannot wait to see what I get from this next Friday.  I'm also eager to see what silly gifts the family has for the game.  Maybe a Sponge Bob DVD,  a board game, a barking stuffed dog, who knows? Anything goes, but no one ever, to my knowledge, ever bothered with a boring old picture frame, which come to think of it, is often less than 20 dollars.  And another thing they've managed to avoid is the ever-dreaded fruit cake.  From this link:

4. Fruit cake. Yes, people still give these. And yes, the clich√© is still very, very true. No one wants a fruit cake, even if it is homemade, because chances are, it’s not very good. As for a peanut butter cup cheesecake….that’s a dessert I can get behind.
I have never gotten one of these things, and I hope that fact never changes!  I cannot even imagine how upset and angry I will be over seeing something as dreadful and awful as this thing known as fruit cake. Many have asked over the years, "Does anyone really like fruit cake?"  Yeah, really do they?  Does anyone ever eat the stuff? On second thought, I don't want to know the answer to that one.  Give me a gingerbread cookie over fruit cake any Christmas season!  Candy canes, Christmas Funfetti cake, sugar cookies, anything but fruit cake!

What the worst gift could you ever possibly receive? 

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