I was chatting with Cameron Huddleston of Kiplingers yesterday about how to tell if your gift is going to be returned when I had a realization. I have given some truly terrible gifts. So bad that the recipient should have cut me out of their lives. Have you ever given a really bad gift? Please tell me I’m not alone!!!
Can you believe I gave these terrible gifts?
1. I spotted a blue T-shirt at Goodwill that said “Say HI to your Mom.” Remember the Mark Wahlberg joke on SNL? The T-shirt was funny and really soft, and so I bought it for my husband, who loves quirky T-Shirts. When I showed it to him, he reminded me, “My mom died.” Um, right. Still not sure how I *forgot* that one.
2. See’s candy for my Mom, who specifically said she is trying to eat less candy. I convinced myself that it would be okay because I know she still loves candy, and I knew she would end up eating it. I should have supported her new pledge instead of tempting her to return to her candy habit.
Update: I skipped the chocolate this year for my Mom in lieu of a pair of socks and restaurant gift certificate. However, I’m still hoping to receive a lot of See’s candy in my stocking!
3. A newborn onsie that said “I’m the little sister.” Only problem was, the baby was a boy. AND I KNEW THAT! Somehow, in the flurry of the baby store, thinking of the baby’s big sister, the onsie made sense. I was also pregnant at the time, and you know how that scrambles your brain. My friend later gave it back to me, after my second daughter was born, and said gently, “Maybe you can use this.” Included in the gift was a brand new outfit for a boy. I think that was her way of forgiving me.
4. A useless box, similar to the one in the video below. You flip a switch to open the box and from inside the box a little arm reaches out and hits the close switch. The box pops shut. As tempting as it may be to try to get this box to stay open, it never will. I think this gift for my brother-in-law will be the nudge he needs to go over the edge. *I’ll update you after Christmas to see if I succeed.*
To buy a useless box go to ThinkGeek, which currently has free shipping with no minimum, and type in “useless box.”
5. A cookbook for a master chef. Before I met my mother-in-law (from my first husband), he told me this about her: “She is a master chef.” Everybody thinks their Mom is a great cook, I thought to myself. But no, she was the real deal. Her food was amazing. She could pull together a full dinnerfor 10 people with fresh rolls, salad, and three courses in an hour without stressing out.
So for Christmas I thought a cookbook would be a great gift. I even gave her one that I had used myself, so I knew the recipes were good. (It’s still one of my faves –> Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home.)
Well it turns out a master chef doesn’t need cookbooks. She was quite happy with the ones she already had and was a tad offended that I had implied she needed another one. Oops!
6. A book that called my sister fat. Years ago my sister mentioned wanting to train for and do a triathlon (swim, bike, run). A tri would help her get in shape, which was something she really wanted to do. What would encourage my sister to reach her goal?
A book about running a tri! I searched and search until I found the perfect gift: Slow Fat Triathlete: Live Your Athletic Dreams in the Body You Have Now.
I latched onto the second part of the title, not realizing that in essence, I was calling my sister fat. I still can’t believe that she didn’t chew me out.