30 Of The Worst Gifts People Ever Received, As Shared For Jimmy Fallon’s Challenge
Do you feel the holiday spirit? It’s time to finally take out your comfy sweaters, blast the Christmas music, and write a personalized letter to Santa. You don’t want to end up getting something weird and useless this year, right? Unfortunately, often people find it tricky to get the perfect holiday gift for their loved ones. Even if you know them well enough, it’s hard to be creative and original every single year.
So when Jimmy Fallon announced his #WorstGiftEver challenge, the most ridiculous stories started pouring in. From shower coffee makers and mop buckets to half-completed coloring books, each one is better than the last. Just by looking at them, you can’t help but scratch your head trying to figure out what was the idea behind them.
Get ready to see some of the most entertaining tweets Bored Panda has collected from this Twitter thread. Scroll down, upvote your favorites, and make sure to share the worst present you’ve ever gotten in the comments below!
This week’s challenge on The Tonight Show is all about the #WorstGiftEver. Jimmy Fallon kicked off the thread himself by tweeting: “My friend thought her boyfriend of five years was going to propose on her birthday. Instead, he wrote her an original song called “You Make Me Oh So Love Crazy.” But it seems that the people of Twitter have had it way worse. Imagine a wooden toilet seat with a golden eagle on it. Pretty weird, right?
Well, in real life, such things are being gifted quite often. Although when you think about it, it’s really not a big surprise. During the holiday season, many people feel heightened levels of stress because they tend to spend more time and money preparing for it. Also, gift shopping can be really nerve-racking, even without thinking about the possibility of buying a terrible present.
In a study called Why Certain Gifts Are Great to Give but Not to Get, the researchers state that givers mainly think about the moment of exchange, whereas recipients primarily focus on how valuable a gift will be in the future. It seems that the perception of the present is at the center of the problem here. Givers want to charm others and make them feel surprised and touched but do not think about the long-term enjoyment of the gift.
Bored Panda reached out to Jeff Galak, an associate professor of marketing at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business and co-author of the mentioned study, to get some insight on what are the main reasons people end up choosing bad gifts for others.
It can get pretty challenging and exhausting to constantly think about what the other person would enjoy most. Trying to remember successful gifts you have bought or made in the past, scrolling through online shops or wandering around at the mall, yet still not feeling assured. "Most people make mistakes because they simply don't ask the recipient what they want," Galak said.
"There's an odd cultural taboo that exists which makes people uncomfortable asking someone what kind of gift they want. But that taboo is entirely inappropriate," he continued. "Gift recipients know what they want and they are eager to tell gift givers. There is nothing wrong with sharing that information and there's nothing wrong with asking for it."
Another thing is, a bad gift can signal a lack of care: "If a giver gives a gift that isn't well received, there is a chance that the relationship will be strained. Gifts act as a social lubricant that signals care for another person... but that is undermined when the gift is bad."
We all know that receiving a terrible gift is uncomfortable, to say the least. However, there are ways on how to avoid these kinds of situations. One very important piece of advice from Jeff Galak to you, dear Pandas—just ask! "The easiest way to give a good gift is to ask someone what they want. People appreciate the fact that they are being asked as that signals that the giver really wants to give something that is well liked," he explained.
Giving bad gifts is not only impractical but can also hurt your relationships. Elizabeth Dunn, a psychology professor and co-author of Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending, told the BBC that it can be risky because it shows that you and the recipient might not share the same interests.
She suggests starting by thinking of anything you two have in common. Sometimes we think of stuff that we would enjoy getting ourselves and then try to adjust it for the receiver. “People are better at choosing something for themselves,” Dunn said. “So if you have something in common with somebody, get something that shares the same affinity, because something you would like will more likely be something they like.”
No matter how much thought we put into the perfect present, the psychology professor said, that “the better gift will be whatever it is they say they want.” And this research only confirms it. Several studies show that gift recipients are more appreciative if they get the things they explicitly request than those they do not.
If you already have an idea of what your loved ones would enjoy, good for you! But if you don’t, try not to stress about it. During this time of the year, we should not obsess about things like presents. Instead, make sure that your holidays are all about feeling calm, cheerful, and loved.