hideous lobster plate

The Best & Worst Christmas Gifts We Ever Got

I don’t know about you, but around this time of year I become psychic. I can determine – down to the hour – the exact moment when I will switch from Festive & Seasonal to Homicidal & Over It.

And I’ve finally identified the reason for this rage: it’s gifts. The finding, the buying, the wrapping, the schlepping. It’s a b*tch, and I’m tired of it. Plus, I’m in the worst age range for gift giving: I’m not young enough to give something cheap and homemade, yet I’m not senile enough to give something bizarre and have people take it seriously.

So, I’ve decided to do what I do best: Talk loudly about stuff and force others to do the same. Thus this list of the best and worst gifts we ever got. It’s sure to make most of you feel better about what you’ve got under your tree. Except for those of you who bought socks. Again.

Merry Christmas, folks!

The Good

Kid Sister – Jackie

We’re going back to the 80’s for this one; I think I was about five. I ran out of my room to see what Santa brought, and there she was… Kid Sister in her own little cradle. I went absolutely nuts.

Enjoy that theme song running through your head all day.

American Girl Doll – Candace


Direct quote from Candace’s description.

Singing Machine – Ashley White

Aunt Linda and Uncle Henry gifted me with a recorder and a keyboard. It was like the childhood gods smiled upon me! I sang. I talked. I yelled on it until the grown-ups shut it down. I was really proud of my Fisher Price singing machine.

The Bad

College T-shirt – Matt P.

My older brother was notorious for throwing gifts together at the last minute. His freshman year of college he got me a “gently used” t-shirt – unwrapped and very wrinkled – that featured the university mascot and the words “Spring ’92 Intramural Champs.” What every boy has always wanted.

Complete with free delivery & ostracism.
Complete with free delivery & merciless teasing.

Shoe laces – Andy

The worst gift I ever got was definitely the curly, glittery shoelaces I got from Aunt Marion. They were terrible on many different levels.

Soap on a rope – Joe

My parents were determined to have a musician in the family, so I took piano lessons for eight years. Every year my piano teacher gave me soap on a rope (the entire Jovan scent line was represented). I swear two or three of them can still be found in my parents’ guest bathroom.

The Shake Weight – Tim

A few years ago I was lucky enough to take one of these bad boys home from Dirty Santa.

Are we 12-years-old or is there something inherently NSFW about these things?

Blooming Onion Maker – Matt T.

My mom’s best friend gave it to me when I was around 12 years old. Needless to say, it was never used. Notice: it’s really just a big slicer.

For the fat person who is too stupid to figure out how to cut an onion with a knife.

The Both

Branding kit – Carlton

When I was six my aunt gave me a wood-burning kit. Within an hour I almost seared off one of my fingers with it.

Disney toilet paper caddy – Brantley

One year my grandmother gave us all toilet paper caddies. They were made out of stacked coffee cans with the bottoms sawed off and were covered with carpet samples and lace. Each had a theme. Mine was Disney, so it had a Mickey Mouse Pez dispenser on top. Because there’s no better place to store your Pez than beside the toilet.

Nothing – Eric

Christmas is irrelevant to me.

Water bed – Michael

hideous lobster plate
The Plate. Off which nothing shall be eaten.

When I was in high school I begged my parents for a water bed (hey, it was 1970). Christmas came and I got one! It was so cool, except that sleeping on the thing was awful. I see why they never caught on.

The plate – Nancy

My mother-in-law, who has amazing taste, went nutty one year. She gave us the most hideous “decorative” plate I’ve ever seen. It almost got put in a closet forever, until we decided it was so terrible that we had to hang it up. We’ve moved twice since then, and that plate has always had a place on the wall. Now I consider it one of the best gifts I ever got.