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The season of giving is upon us, Pandas! It can be a lot of fun not just for the recipients, but also the givers themselves. It’s nice to feel appreciated and to show appreciation in turn. However, let’s not be naïve. Not all gifts are made equal. Far from it!

In a thread created by content creator and story writer u/dylan1111111112, the r/AskReddit online community vented about the very worst gifts they’d ever received. If you think you’ve ever been disappointed by something you’ve unwrapped, then this might give you some perspective. Scroll down to see what you should never ever get someone as a present.

#1

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received It was such a random thing. I was around 7/8 I think I really wanted a doodle bear for my bday. My ‘aunt’, whom I share a bday with asked me a bunch of time leading up to my bday what I wanted. I finally told her I was hoping for this bear mostly bc she kept asking, prior I’d always keep it polite ‘oh ty whatever you get I’m sure I will love’ ‘you don’t have to get me anything’ yadda yadda bc that how my folks raised us. So my bday is in the summer so we’d normally have a pretty big bbq. Mostly everyone gives money and my siblings and I never really expected things from ppl other than our parents, but I noticed my aunt came in with a gift bag so I was low key excited. I got a new bike, super exciting, and I go to open her gift and it is a castle statue, like those ones you would get at the dollar store in the 90’s. I couldn’t hide my reaction…confusion. I politely sd thank you and moved on. As they day went on my aunt asked me where I was going to put the statue? She told me it deserved to be showcased. Went on about how she loves it and knew it was something I would want.

Her kid’s bday was a few weeks after they had a party, my sibling went to dollar store bought another castle and told my parents she got the gift already. When my aunt saw the castle her daughter got her face was priceless. My sibling told her ‘you told us how much youh loved the one you got for metemgee so much we thought we’d get daughter one also’

Metemgee , Kampus Production Report

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#2

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received An expensive and lovely gift basket full of gourmet foods, none of which I could eat because of life threatening food allergies. The person who gave it knew about the allergies.

doublestitch , Freddie Collins Report

#3

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received A gift basket of cucumber-melon bath goods from my ex-MIL. I'm severely allergic to cucumbers and certain types of melons. She knew about my allergies.

Slight_Literature_67 , Cynthia Donovan Report

Giving someone a gift isn’t just a nice thing to do—it has a tangible positive effect on the givers, too. The American Psychological Association points out that gift-giving activates key reward pathways in our brains. Especially if the recipient is someone who we’re close to!

To put it bluntly: when you spend money on people other than yourself, you boost your own overall happiness. Broadly speaking, the more generous and kind we are toward others, the better we feel. Ironically, there are very selfish reasons to be altruistic.

#4

I was in a Secret Santa gift exchange at work. We did 4 days of little, inexpensive gifts. I received NOTHING but an insincere apology on the last day from the person who was *supposed* to be my Secret Santa. It kinda sucked because it was my first Christmas away from home and my family punished me for not coming home for the holiday by ignoring my existence for a few days. Not a gift, not a card, not a phone call.

Happy ending, the next year my Secret Santa was AMAZING and gave me the most thoughtful little gifts, cleverly hidden for me to find on the job. Laura, you're one of the best coworkers I have ever ever had.

jedikelb Report

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Bored something
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In a ast job secret Santa we had a $20 budget. I was a library technician in a school. I received $2.50 swimmers ear plugs and a $1.00 card that said "Shh, it's a library." My co library workers received a nice bottle of wine, and a decent size potted fruit tree. Both worth much more, probably twice, the budget.

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#5

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received For my 16th birthday, my grandmother gave me a rain bonnet, the kind that is folded like an accordion to the size of a quarter and you buy from a fishbowl on the counter at the drugstore. They are clear plastic and have one snap under the chin. You used to see old ladies with wash and set hairstyles wear them, if they got caught in the rain. It still had the 25-cent price tag on it.

Ten days later, my cousin also turned 16, and granny gave her a new car.

enriquetta-la-espia Report

#6

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received My divorce papers came in the mail on my birthday, does that count?

Fretless-Fingerman , RDNE Stock project Report

“Oftentimes, people refer to it as the ‘warm glow,’ this intrinsic delight in doing something for someone else. But part of the uniqueness of the reward activation around gift-giving compared to something like receiving an award or winning money is that because it is social, it also activates pathways in the brain that release oxytocin, which is a neuropeptide that signals trust, safety, and connection. It’s often referred to as the ‘cuddle hormone,’” Emiliana Simon-Thomas, PhD, science director at the Greater Good Science Center, explains.

According to her, giving and receiving a gift have more or less the same powerful effect, so long as both people care about each other.

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#7

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received The time I realised my ex MIL hated me. She told me all the things the family wanted for Xmas and I spent about a hundred dollars on everyone individually. I woke up Xmas morning to see all the presents already opened and breakfast was eaten. One present was under the tree for me; a dog mug. I'm a cat person

Also i was involved in the family/with her son for 5 years at that point. I was out by may

Neekyf215 , Vlada Karpovich Report

#8

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received One Christmas, as my wife and I visited her dad and step-mom, I was amazed at the gifts bestowed upon her younger half sisters by her folks: new MacBooks and iPhones were among the presents under the tree. As we were leaving, they handed us a gift, which we opened when we got home. What treasure awaited us? A decorative tin from Costco containing flavored popcorn — which had expired two years prior. 

Fleemo17 Report

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candymimi13 avatar
Chihuahua Mama
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Expired flavoured popcorn must be a common bad gift, because I have also received this

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#9

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received Not to me, but a coworker was gifted a colon cleanse kit.

meganhughess , PV_Pathfinder Report

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However, this doesn’t mean that gift-giving is stress-free. Many people are worried about getting the ‘perfect’ gift for their loved ones. Meanwhile, others hope that their presents are going to leave a positive impression. All of this anxiety can dampen the winter holiday mood.

Ideally, we’d all match the presents to other people’s personalities, passions, and current needs. But after a while, it can be tough to come up with something considerate and creative. In these moments, it can help to take a step back and reframe the pressure you’re placing on your shoulders.

#10

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received I had a Grandma who was obsessed with dieting & consistently attempted to give me advice & try to get me to diet as an overweight teen. One birthday I got a threadbare XXXL shirt from her she picked up at a thrift store & coupons for what was known then as "diet" bread. I was maybe a Large in shirts at the time and was very insulted. I remember unwrapping the box she mailed to me with family around and my father, her son, saying something along the lines of "Christ Mom, why do you act like this with my kids?!" out loud.

beachblanketparty , Towfiqu barbhuiya Report

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Gardener of Weeden
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That would be the last Holiday she would be "alive" to them - Sorry she is dead and living with Satan. cut my mil off when she got mad at me and punished my kid by ignoring him on the holidays - she died alone in a hospital (none of her 5 kids were with her)- my husband passed holding my hand and our Son's

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#11

My boyfriend once got gifted scrabble from EVERYONE for his birthday. As in, celebrated his birthday with his parents, scrabble, went to visit his cousins, scrabble, went to visit his grandparents, scrabble, he got seven copies of scrabble for his birthday, and no, it was not a funny prank or something, literally just the entire family got him scrabble without checking what other people were getting him. The kicker? He hates scrabble.

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Diolla
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I first read this as, everywhere he went, he scrabbled (played Scrabble).

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#12

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received The gift I gave them last year.

yumsilly , Any Lane Report

Yes, the quality of the gift itself isn’t something to ignore. However, it’s all the effort that you put in, as well as the act of giving, that is more important. It’s not the amount of money that you spend, it’s your kindness and thoughtfulness that has to shine through. 

So if you feel like your imagination has been completely wrung out of any remaining creative juices, why not keep things simple? Talk to your loved ones, explain the situation, and ask what they’d like for Xmas this year. 

#13

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received Lol my ex bought me a gift card to a steakhouse but I was a vegetarian.

Unique-Film-8367 , wikipedia.org Report

#14

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received My uncle Tommy gave me soap and a razor as a Christmas present when I was 13. Not the best message from my weird uncle to a young girl starting puberty.

mangoesonaplane , Brent Ozar Report

Alternatively, sit down and think about what they love the most in life. Maybe they’ve recently picked up a new hobby that they’re always gushing about. Or maybe you remember them complaining about how they can’t find any decent scented candles anywhere. Your gift doesn’t have to be ‘perfect,’ so long as you do your best to show how much you care for the other person. Don’t just buy something at the gas station because you’re desperate!

Meanwhile, if your budget is too tight to splurge on anything big, consider making something using your skills. Though some might find it slightly cheesy, we think that poems, songs, and arts-and-crafts projects can be a ton of fun when done with a lot of cheer and plenty of smiles.

#16

When I was in my late 20s, I received a r*pe alarm key ring from my mother in law at Christmas. For context, I’m a 6-foot tall, fairly muscular bloke. We laugh about it now. She saw “personal alarm” and remembered my wife saying how bad I was at getting up in the mornings; it never occurred to her it wasn’t an alarm *clock* of some description!

signalstonoise88 Report

#17

My now ex sister in law gave me a clear makeup bag. She made sure to tell me that it was free with her purchase, and that she had thrown it away, but fished it out of the trash to give to me.

Jenny010137 Report

#18

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received My mom gave me her high school diploma one year for Christmas when I was 24.

Buscuitknees , Karolina Grabowska Report

#19

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received For a secret Santa I received two free promotional tickets to the science museum that had already expired.

Rose-Heartt , cottonbro studio Report

#20

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received My step-dads dad and much younger wife always give us used presents at Christmas.

One year I got a tube of body wash (already a cop out), only to find some crusted product on the squeezy hole.

Another year (13 at the time) I got a pair of Aldi women’s lacy underwear with the size scribbled out (they were XL). The woman came over to me after present time and said ‘I got them for myself but they were too big, I just blacked that out so you didn’t feel embarrassed’

Fkn kuntz I’d rather not get anything than have to say thank you for that

Life-You9887 , penki .ir Report

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Alexandra
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sometimes I wonder at what point is it the best choice to go low contact with family. For me, the above story would be that point. No one has the right to insult you, family or no.

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#21

My mother has given me the same cheap boxed crystal chess set 3 times for Christmas over the last 12 years.

I have no idea why but apparently she keeps buying them every time target or macys puts them out on display at Christmas.

KnocDown Report

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Katie Lutesinger
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I accidentally gave my bro in law the same novelty bar of soap twice, but at least that's something you would eventually use up and need to replace.

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#22

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received a beautiful angora sweater that was 4 sizes too small and I couldnt exchange it. he wouldnt tell me where he got it.

Fluffy-Hotel-5184 , Victoria Berman Report

#23

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received I remember this one as a kid. I vaguely remember being a little kid over at my grandmother's house, and we had a random conversation one day about out how I liked the squishy toilet seats better than the hard toilet seats because they aren't as cold at night. Well, that year, for my birthday, I excitedly unwrapped the present she gave to me, only to discover...a squishy toilet seat. My grandmother gave me a toilet seat for my birthday. I get the logic but.....really, Nana?

dee62383 , jinswoon_ Report

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Chihuahua Mama
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I don't get why this is a bad gift. She knew it was something you liked and is something very useful. Even if you already have a squishy toilet seat, those thing rip and need frequent replacement ETA: completely missed that this was a kid. My bad

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#24

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received My mom forgot my birthday one year & bought me a pond light from the thrift shop. it immediately started to smoke & almost caused a house fir. We don't have a pond.

troublexing , Chris Karidis Report

#25

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received The first year my husband came to Christmas with me on my dad’s side, my daughter and I each got a gift card and they gave him a ziplock with 2 pics of me as a child. He was like WTAF.

miss4n6 , Nicole Michalou Report

#26

45 years ago my husband gave me an ironing board cover for my 1st anniversary.

In all fairness, I had mentioned that I wanted one. I guess I should be grateful he listened to me.

PS we’re still married and this gifts got better!

nekomom2 Report

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Dillon Sizemore
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hey you did say you needed it. If you want something as a gift from a guy tell them because otherwise we will miss the hints at what you want and buy the last thing we heard you said you need.

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#27

Dad's wife bankrupted two businesses where all she sold was Christmas c**p, year round, in a very small town in the middle of nowhere.

After the last bankruptcy, she sent us an absolutely hideous nutcracker which is partially broken. Excess stock from her store that didn't sell. We have at least made it a joke in our chosen family where we sneak it into someone's bag on Christmas, and they sneak it back into our house at some point.

JimJordansJacket Report

#28

A plastic tub of assorted cheap candy like Tootsie Rolls and peppermints from Walmart and a little teddy bear in a paper sack that emblazoned across the front of the sack was, “Get Well Soon”. This was a Valentines Day gift to me from a very cr*ppy high school boyfriend who had been cheating on me with another girl. I was 17 at the time and he was 19. I didn’t find out until a year or so after I dumped him that the girl he had cheated on me with was 12. TWELVE. And he had gotten her pregnant. Her parents had him arrested for statutory rape. Then they forced them to get married. Then they had three more damn kids! So, honestly, now that I think about it, I guess the s****y candy and nonsensical teddy bear wasn’t so bad after all.

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Xenon
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He should have been made to register as a sex offender. Later the parents made them marry? Doesn't make much sense to me.

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#29

My mom bought 2nd row concert tickets for the whole family for my 16th birthday, to a country singer they all liked and I despised (I don’t like country generally, and he was one of the worst to my ears). My mom knew I hated his music, but said the “gift” part was getting to spend time with my parents and brother before he went off to college. Sure….

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Jonny Dio
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They already wanted to go see him, your birthday just came in the wrong day.

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#30

I’ve got two.

When I was 11 my birthday gift was to move houses - across town, leaving the school I’d always been at and my only friends behind. No joke. The new house was ‘my gift’.

Second, when I turned 15 my mother got me Bob the Builder bedsheets. I was a 15 year old girl. I had never even seen Bob the Builder.

Corgi_Infamous Report

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Kabuki Kitsune
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

OP's family were struggling financially... and OP never even realized it. Moving across town, likely to a house with a much cheaper rent, or cost, and schools that don't cost as much tax wise for the kid to go to. Bob the Builder bedsheets because they're on sale, and cheap. I bet OP has other stories like this, where looking back it should be painfully obvious that the family were doing everything they could to save money, and not let the OP realize it.

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#31

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received My sister got my grandfather’s glass eye and what was even better he cut a hole in it and put a string through it so she could wear it as a necklace.

dawli15 , wikipedia.org Report

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#32

I'm a dude, and I received a magazine with Paris Hilton half-naked in it along with a tube of Vagisil. I think it was supposed to be a m*sturbation joke. but it was a really weird gift to get as a teen during Christmas in front of my family.

Justwondering__ Report

#33

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received A fur hat, for me. A vegan. An expansive spa day when I was heavily pregnant (no sauna, no hot steam, basically just the pool) Thanks hubby, you really know me.

Several_Time_ , amanda kelso Report

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Olivia Lisbon
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I can totally picture him going, “yeah, but you’re not eating the hat, are you? What’s the problem?” 😅

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#34

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received My brother once gave me a half-drunk monster and a gas station gift card with like $.20 on it. We were in our twenties.

Inra1nbows , Kenny Eliason Report

#35

My father (old abusive drunk) promised me a car, and some tools for my workshop if I become a hunter... Took me 3 years, but I did it for him. Never heard any congratulations or anything, it took him another 2 or 3 years, to realise that he should do something for me, so he insisted on going to a hunting trip with him and his (over twice my age, I knew no one there before the trip) friends.

I was skeptical about the whole trip with my father, but it turned out, the friends "carried" it, and for first 4 days we had fun without my father intervention.

On the fifth day there were my birthday... The first thing that dude (my "dad) did, was to get 3 bottles of vodka in the morning, said something about having some party, in the evening.

Less than one hour later, he was chugging one bottle alone, without any afterdrink, and calling me little useless s**t, and how regrets impregnating my Mother.... I was 26 years, and crying like a child. He never said "sorry" or anything about it actually.

I never had a rifle in hands since then, he made me HATE hunting (also pushed me into several deppression and few S attempts, but i don't know, if this counts as a gifts)

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#36

years ago, I mentioned that I wanted to see the disney movie fantasia, so christmas comes around and I get an unmarked VHS tape and they (some aunt or uncle, I don't remember) tell me it's fantasia. so I put it in a player, and I can tell it should have been fantasia, but they tried to copy from one VHS to another and the copy protection ruined the picture. I felt like such an afterthought. they didn't even check the copy to see if it was good before they gave it to me.

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Hi
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think a lot of these are impoverished people just trying to give presents. This list is some bad some sad gifts. They might have just been trying.

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#37

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received My niece and nephew gave me a dirty fork a few years back. I still have it in my office being held by my stormtrooper.

myownbeer , Catt Liu Report

#38

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received A CD of his favorite country western songs. I loath country music.

New_Statement7746 , Pixabay Report

#39

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received My mother gifted me her favorite movie on DvD, being full aware that I hated that movie, so she just kept the DvD for herself.

Drendari , JESHOOTS.com Report

#40

40 People Share The Absolute Worst Gifts They’ve Ever Received My late father gave my husband and myself walking canes. We're both able-bodied.

Ambitious-Leopard-67 , Centre for Ageing Better Report

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