At-home DNA test kits are being advertised everywhere as the perfect gift idea, playing on people’s natural curiosity about themselves and promising closer connections with family as they learn of their shared connections. This knowledge can quite easily turn out to be a curse, however, as skeletons in the closet can emerge to tear families apart. Some secrets are kept secret for a good reason.

Image credits: Steve Garfield

This story, shared on the subreddit TIFU is a perfect example of why a Christmas gift of DNA kit to your family members is probably a terrible idea. I mean, 99% of the time the most groundbreaking thing you are likely to find out is some interesting Lithuanian heritage, but what if you were to discover something that you weren’t supposed to discover accidentally? There are a time and a place for a paternity test and the inconvenient truths that comes with it, and around the family Christmas tree certainly isn’t it!

So this time, there was a happy ending for this family. But let this be a warning as to what could happen! By all means, treat yourself to a DNA testing kit and enjoy exploring your ancestry and heritage. But maybe stick to books and socks for the fam, skipping the uber unique gifts?

Here’s how people reacted to the cautionary tale, some shared stories of their own