What’s the best or worst gift you ever received?

American consumers were expected to spend more than $430 billion on retail purchases this holiday season. Some of that money went to buy the perfect gift, and some of it didn’t. What’s the best or worst gift you ever received?

  • beryl john-knudson

    The worst gift I ever received was a doll that was NOT a soft cuddly baby doll like my little sister received but being nine or was it ten years old, I received a more ‘mature doll’, A WAVE doll; a new extension of WWII in the toybox that Christmas…all part of that time period..troop trains rattled through our village headed to the coast with soldiers going to war and we saved old newspapers and tin soup cans and mom’s old rayon – or was it nylon- stockings “for the war effort.”

    The WAVE doll was the new doll of the season – yes, women could go to war too I quess it said – yet only reminded me of all my uncles somewhere in the Pacific who sent us cards that sounded like they were on vacation but we knew they were somewhere landing on a beach with bullets sailing over their heads according to the movie news reels.

    Wave doll complete with busts was a first; preempted the almost anantomically correct Barby doll. I should have outgrown dolls I suppose when war was all around us in books and toys also and baby dolls were for the innocents and we weren’t innocent anymore for war was our constant companion even it it never touched us beyond airraid practice drills etc..

    Best Christmas present…disovered this unexpected one last night for it is another Christmas and we are not innocents anymore .

    Read if you can:

    “My Christmas and New Year Present” by Nesreen Melek a poet and essayist and reminds me of another war… a portion…”I will place a green branch in remembrance of the palm trees, orange trees and other trees which have burnt during the continuuous bombing of Iraq and in remembrance of the birds that lost their nests which were built in these trees” Nesreen Melek


  • Al

    I got a Green Bay Packer jacket from my dad a couple of years back. The part that was upsetting was that it showed just how out of touch he is with my life. I haven’t watch any football games in over a decade!

  • James

    Best, A Colt AR-15 M4 HBar 5.56mm with 10- 30rd Pmags and 1,500rds of ammo:-)

    Worst, A “Yes We Can” Barack Obama Commemorative Collector Plate:-(


  • Moira

    Check the essay on this topic by Cheryl Strayed in the December issue of Allure magazine.

    Her first true love gave her a case of diet coke in 1985. She was not impressed.

  • Anna

    The worst gift ever given to me was from an ex-boyfriend who gave me a plunger because HE always clogged up my toilet. Merry Christmas, me!

  • Margaret

    Worst gift to a lactose-intolerant diabetic: ice cream maker from my sister-in-law


    A hand-held key board that could also serve as a calculator.

  • Steven

    I don’t recall ever receiving a Christmas gift that had a major effect on me, either for good or ill. Perhaps it’s a sign of our spiritual dysfunction that we think things have the power either to make us happy or to ruin our lives. I strongly suspect that Nicholas, Bishop of Myra (d. 342), famous for his generosity to poor children, would vehemently object to the way his memory is being used to inflame the greed of rich North Americans.

  • theSilentH

    worst – christmas in July. My mom was eager to defeat the 24/7 search capacities of 5 kids. My gift ( a pair of nike tennis shoes) was hidden so well – even mom couldn’t find it. she claims one of my siblings “moved it” – which had a certain plausibility…. but stilllll…. when cleaning out a storage closet for a summer garage sale … voila!

    Best … my 9 year old daughter, rembering a deep injustice I committed earlier in July (made her attend a family outing instead of riding horses with her friends) and knowing my love of anise candy, she found some that looked like a shiny lump of anthracite coal. It included a note describing the crime and a warning – next year it would be real coal. I’ve been behaving since then.

  • Gerald Myking

    My worst and best gift came all at the same time. I had asked my parents for a Bow and Arrow set for Christmas. I had my eyes on a gift under the tree for a long time because it had the size of what a bow and arrow set would look like gift wrapped. On Christmas Eve us kids dove into our gifts like we were looking for gold nuggets. I went directly to the one that held my dream. I ripped it open only to find a childs rubber tipped bow and arrow set. To hide my disappointment I stood facing the wall with a tear in my eye when suddenly I heard the thud of a real arrow penetrating a box next to me. I turned to see my father laughing and holding a real fiberglass bow with real arrows just for me.

  • jody

    from my husbands family over the last few years: a two foot statue of the pope – yes we are Catholic but really????? where do I put this thing. a 3 ftoot tall stuffed chili pepper that sings ‘hot, hot, hot’ when squeezed. Very funny, not! and this year – a 4 foot tall black stuffed bear holding a welcome sign that reverses from english to french that they think I’d love to put on my front porch!!!!!! Notice how everything is getting taller???? They are not being rude just really tacky people with no sense of humour.

  • TYoung

    Worst gift: an adults only Twister game, made into a bed sheet and meant to be played naked in bed. Given to me by my brother-in-law who I believe had a crush on me and presented in front of entire, prudish in-laws family. Ee-Gad.