A few days ago, we told you about the Christmas gifts that were the most memorable and most meaningful to us over the years.
This post is a little different.
Today we’re going to talk about the gifts that didn’t quite hit the mark. It’s time to dish about those moments when we had more questions after opening the gift than before. Consider this your guide to gifts you might want to avoid purchasing during the holidays this year!
- Dawn Aiello, Account Manager: About 15 years ago I participated in my first White Elephant gift exchange. I am from Iowa and had never heard of a White Elephant exchange. I assumed it was like a Secret Santa gift so I got really excited and spent more time on this than almost any other gift that year! I finally located the gift of the season: a small music player that was running out at most of the stores. After kicking in a few dollars more than I was supposed to I wrapped it carefully, and my husband and I went to the party. When I drew my number I was even more excited as I was number 2 out of 28. I picked up a great big box, opened it, and it was… a disgusting, stinky, old, used gas can.
Well obviously no one wanted to switch with me and all of the other gifts including the one I bought were really awesome. I was the only one with a used smelly gift. To this day no one has admitted who brought it.
- Mary Martin, Banking Executive Recruiter: My worst gift was some tacky plastic pink Flamingo yard art.
- Nina Patel, IT Researcher: The worst Christmas gift I ever received was a stuffed Easter Bunny.An Easter Bunny.
It was from an ex-boyfriend who forgot to buy a gift and thought it was a cute way to make up!
- Arely Peña, Staffing Coordinator: The worst Christmas gift I received was a blow dryer from my mom. Basically, it was not a gift for me; she said it was, but it was actually for her. Still to this day she uses it more than me and keeps it in her bathroom.
- Sheila Mallynn, CFO: A candle. Check that – a USED candle.
- Laura Lestus, Houston Branch Manager: My worst gift is a Thighmaster an ex-boyfriend gave me back in the ‘90s. Let’s make sure we emphasize ex-boyfriend!
- Carol Swirczek, Staffing Specialist: When I was 9 years old my grandmother gave all my cousins board games like Life, Scrabble, etc. Well, that’s not what I got. She gave me a crocheted toilet paper cover and a crocheted hot dish carrier. I was not a happy camper – who wants those things when you are 9? In fairness, I still use my gifts and I bet my cousins don’t have their board games any more!
- Kristi Riddle, Staffing Coordinator: On December 23, 2011, I received the worst Christmas news. The Liberty offices were closed, everyone else was on vacation, and I was on the phone with a new client working on an urgent job order. Suddenly I see my mom at my door with a grim look on her face. Knowing that my grandmother was in the hospital, I knew right away what she was going to tell me.When the client finished giving me all the details of the order, I assured her I would start right away and get back to her ASAP. Since it was the day before Christmas Eve, I wasn’t sure who I could find to work the assignment. Then I took a moment to talk with my Mom who indeed delivered the worst news.
We couldn’t speak long because within a few minutes my on-call cell was ringing. I was still in shock, but took the call. Friends have asked me why I kept working at a time like that, but I think no matter what is going on in your personal life, when clients call they’re in a time of need as well.
After a few hours, I found people to work all my job orders and finally dealt with the pain my heart was trying to fight. The emotion and heartbreak hit me, but looking back I’m also so proud I was able to finish my job. In the time that followed, the family rallied together and helped me realize the importance of the holidays, which is not just about the gifts, but more about bringing families together to celebrate, cheer, and sometimes even mourn.
This Christmas, let’s remember that though we may have work to do and gifts to unwrap, we must put our families first and appreciate the ones we love both past and present.
- Sharie Flores, Accounts Payable: Kida, my tabby. (Yes, the same one I listed as my best Christmas gift ever.) She’s the devil.
- Angie Lavrack, Sales Associate: After explaining a little about my out-of-state background in the last blog, my worst Christmas gift needs little explanation. I’ll just point out that it was given to me from a relative on one of our Christmas trips to Maryland after moving to Houston – an electric ice scraper. I guess they didn’t realize that it doesn’t snow here!
Have you ever received – or given – a truly horrible gift? The world wants to know! Tell us all about it below in the comments.