I can safely say the buzz word that has been bouncing around the FatWallet office would have to be: gifts. What should I get my husband? Do you think my daughter would wear this? What should I bring to throw in the office gift pile? There are just way too many questions and ideas floating in our heads during this busy shopping time. If you are lucky, you could be the one receiving the gift and not the one trying to figure out what to give. Whether you scored the hottest Nintendo game as a child or received that much anticipated holiday bonus, there are plenty of gift memories to be shared as well. However, sometimes the weird and obnoxious gifts stand out more than the ones we liked the best.
Every Christmas, my husband’s family and I hold our annual “Yankee Swap” gift exchange. Each family member brings an unmarked gift and we all pick from the pile. The past couple of years, we’ve had some themes like “As Seen on TV” products, but the end result always is a pretty terrible gift. I ended up with a robot microphone last year which consequently turned in our favor after a few cocktails. “Robot Ann demands you to get her a sugar cookie from the kitchen. Everyone must listen to Robot Ann”
After reflecting on some of these memories, I started asking a few people around the office to share some of their holiday gift stories. The responses I received back were hilarious, interesting, creative, and worth passing along. So without further ado, here are some FatWallet’s favorite gift memories (the good, the bad, and the ugly)!
Most Memorable/Favorite Gifts
- “My Mom and Dad took an amethyst necklace that was my Grandma’s to a jeweler, had it disassembled, and remade into four separate necklace and earring sets. My sisters, my Mom, and I all received a set for Christmas. I love that I have something that reminds me of my Gram, and it’s beautiful and unique. No one except my sisters and Mom have anything like it.” – April K.
- “Money” – Katie W.
- “It was my first watch, and it was a mickey mouse watch with a white face, and red wrist band. My aunt & uncle who got it for me spent the entire holiday weekend teaching me how to tell time. I think it was more them teaching me, than the watch itself, but it’s still one of my best Christmas memories.” – Bryan M.
- “Anything my kids make for a gift” – Andy F.
- “A Dracula and Wolfman Bobblehead, given to me to my fellow Walleteer Alex Rodriguez” – Richard P.
- “A Ryne Sandberg signed baseball. I always admired him as a player growing up, and it was cool to have something of his like that.”- John T.
- “The Babysitter’s Club Dolls. I remember looking at the ToysRUs catalog every night, and praying to Santa that I’d see a doll box wrapped under the tree. My prayers were answered!” – Ann H.
- “a Nintendo 64 for Christmas. I’d never had a video game console before and was just told that I’d not be getting one. I was sure surprised!” – Melissa S.
- “A book called, “The 5 Love Languages of Children” by Chapman and Ross. I highly recommend any of the 5 Love Languages books to anyone who loves and wants to feel loved (and can read). Secondly, a daily calendar: The Heart and Soul of Leadership by Larranaga. It continues to inspire me now, after more than a decade of daily review. Also, the gifts you can’t buy online – Jesus and my son being born on Christmas Day” – Steve K.
- “Diamond Earrings from my husband!” – Michele H.
Most Funniest/Weirdest/Worst Gifts
- “A bread tie in a ring box. My husband wanted me to be able to choose my own engagement ring, so for Christmas I received a bread tie with a note promising the real thing.” – April K.
- “I gave out a bad gift and made it look so pretty by wrapping it with great disguise: a branch from the backyard, a pile of lint and plumbers putty.” – Katie W.
- “A smoke detector and the “Clapper” to turn on and off the lights from my in-laws” – Andy F.
- “A belly dancing kit. It came with the little finger cymbals, a CD and instructional DVD.” – John T.
- “A bag of neon, floating flower petal candles from the thrift store. It was a white elephant gift to say the least.” – Ann H.
- “Back in the day when I was young and very impressionable, I was a Packer fan. My uncle, a Bears Fan, gave me a ceramic Packer helmet bowl. It was obvious that he had used it as a ash tray, as there were still some ashes in it. It also came with some Packer earrings in a plastic baggy.” – Melissa S.
- “Memories my mother-in-law cleans out of her basement to give to my wife …which becomes stuff for me to clean out of my basement.” – Steve K.
- “Massaging Slippers in a grab bag” – Michele H.
- “It was a toy in the shape of a house fly with flashing lights on it. It had a handle and a trigger so you could point and flash it at people…. I received three of the same dumb gift which really stinks for a kid because that’s three less chances for something cool.” – Zach S.
Now these have been some entertaining answers! However, it’s your turn! What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received? Was it a leg lamp like the one in The Christmas Story or an ugly sweater from Aunt Betty? Or – How about the good ones? Any fun and memorable gift stories you can spill with us? Please share any and all memories, whether they had to do with holiday times or not.