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This is a question Shoddy Presents

I have an aunt who for many years would send me the same christmas present every year. A Biro. Each year I wrote inevitable "Thankyou so much for the Biro. I am using it to write this letter" letter, each year a new one arrived.

Tell us all about the rubbish that has been foisted upon you over the years.

(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 10:14)
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Many moons ago...
My uncle is usually alright at choosing presents - on the occasions that he remembers birthdays and christmases he usually gives us money, and you can never go wrong giving money! - but one christmas a long time ago - when shell suits were in fashion (for all of 5 minutes) - me and my brother had said that we wanted shell suits for xmas.

We received Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle tracksuits.

Nice one!
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 12:53, Reply)
When I
was about 3, we had one of those Father Christmas clones come to our playschool. I had sent my letter only a few days earlier (in my house we used to burn the letter in the fireplace, and all the little sparks going up the chimney were fairies taking the note to Father Christmas. Was it just my Mum and Dad being cheap, or did anyone else's parents do this?) and asked for a train set, toy guns etcetc.

I got a book

"The Magic Porridge Pot"

So I punched Father Christmas as hard as I could on the nose, in front of all the other kids and Mums. My Mum was dead embarrassed. Serves him right though. Git.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 12:35, Reply)
My Gran
once got me one of those golf putting machines for christmas. I couldn't figure out why as:-

A) I hate golf,
B) I don't have putter
C) I don't own any golf balls,
Grans, you got to love them for trying.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 12:34, Reply)
Christmass, about 15 years ago, my brother gave me a half empty box of Kleenex tissues. All wrapped up so I thought it was a proper present.

Good thing he gave me the box, as the tissues from my parents' bathroom had strangely disappeared.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 12:32, Reply)
I am the shoddy present princess!
My great aunt is absolutely loaded, but insists on buying me and my family tatty wrongness from carboots. One such speciality was my 16th birthday present: a second hand glass jelly mould and a pair of springy, self-tying shoelaces. Mortified. My mum also once got a pair of two left handed gloves, would have been ok, had she not been blessed with both a left and a right hand at birth. Dad's was the best though, Christmas a few years ago, all the family gathered round, he opens the big box (wrapped in wallpaper samples i add) and he is presented by a fuck off box of mushroom compost and six heavy-duty garden refuse sacks. I had to immediately leave in a fit of hysterics. It's coming up for my 22nd birthday, i'm thinking of getting the parents to tell her i've died, as i am not sure if my delicate soul can take any more!
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 12:23, Reply)
Crap presents
I once bought my wife, fo Christmas, four 1 litre bottles of various dayglo coloured poster paints. Apparently this is not a good present. S'funny, because I thought they would be great fun.

My family has a tradition of recycling presents, y'know, taking that pointless present you got last year off Auntie Bob and sending it to someone else the next year. There's one paricular book that was in circulation for about 15 years until someone wrote "Christmas 1998" on the inside cover, essentially making it non recyclable.

The present that pissed me off the most was from my father. One year he bought me a Black & Wrecker Workmate which really irritated because I thought I'd never use it. Needless to say it turned out to be the most usefull present I've ever had, still going strong 8 years later.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 12:21, Reply)
I have had the usual run of birthday crap from demented relatives,
but if you want truly useless gifts, you need to get married.

I am 37, once divorced, and re-married last year. Despite having lived with Mrs Godstar for 7 years and owning everything we need and then some, we decided to spoil it all and actually wed. (When I say "we", you understand......).

Did a list. A sensible list of affordable items that would actually be used and thus stir fond thoughts of donors. Spoke to all guests individually. Put a reminder with the invites. And the travel directions. Invited those who didn't want to use the list to donate to the charity of our or their choice.

We still received some fucking unbelievable tat. China figurines of hideous ugliness. Several sets of poorly designed glassware that would destroy the flavour and bouquet of any wine (I am a renowned foodie, and have all the glasses I will ever need from working in retail) - including a set of "goblets" that cannot be drunk from as they are square and do not fit the human mouth. Pewter cruet set that rusts at the mere thought of salt. Picture frames - at least they can be recycled as gifts to distant relatives - except the 12" high china ormolu one, which I am keeping to frighten future offspring with. Best of all - the wrought iron THING. We don't know what it is. Nor do the people who gave it - I called them up and asked what the fuck it was supposed to be, and was it something from their recent wedding that they were dumping on us - no, they bought it from a trendy shop thinking it was artistic. It has gone into my mother-in-laws basement and is staying there until the world ends.

I should also make it clear that we live in London, but got married in Ottawa as my wife is half Canadian, half Italian. The iron THING alone weighs more than our combined baggage allowance.

As with most things in life, I draw the conclusion that people mean well, but are daft cunts at heart.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 12:21, Reply)
The jokes on me!
Many years ago, during the school Xmas holidays My grandparents were looking after my brother and me while my parents were at work so we had left toys and stuff round there house to play with.
My Grandad thought it would be funny to wrap up all my toys and books and give them to me mixed up in all my real presents.
On Christmas day my look of shock on my brother and all my cousins faces to see my pile of presents considerably bigger than theres and I made sure they knew it.
When opening my presents I didn't twig at first. It wasn't until not only were the majority of my presents stuff I already had, but were also unboxed, that the penny dropped.

My Grandad found this side splittingly funny and I looked like a twat.

Looking back on it now it was funny and I'll probably do the same thing to my own son when he gets a bit older!!
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 12:17, Reply)
Not me exactly
One christmas my dad gave my mum a griddling iron.

That was it. The rest of us got good, decent christmassy presents like lego and chocolate. But my mum got one, singular griddling iron. I believe she may have tried to give him the same present back a while later but with a larger impact. Gives the name 'boxing day' more punch I think you'll find.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 12:09, Reply)
I'm pretty sure
last year at Christmas I received a free gift from a packet of Rice Krispies from my nan. In fact, I'm sure I did. She wrapped it up and everything. I was 23. I think she may well have lost her marbles completely. Having spoken to her last week merely confirms this.

It's not so much a case that it's the thought that counts, I wonder if she even knows she did it. It's a wonder she doesn't piss herself. More often.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 12:06, Reply)
My parents once bought me, for christmas,
a small rucksack that opened out to become a stool.
It was impossible to wear it as a rucksack for more than 5 minutes, because the metal legs dug into your shoulders, and anything you wanted to carry in it would get squashed if you sat on it in stool-mode.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 11:58, Reply)
My Aunt and Uncle "gifts"
Aged 11 to 18, they would give me leggings
Size 12. From Marks and Spencer's. Shaped for middle-aged ladies with huge hips, big arses.
I weighed 4 stone until I was 15, then went up to the HUGE size 8...SIZE 8.

19 to 22, they gave me boxes of acrylic paint and charcoal
Apparently they understood I was 'artistic'. Yes. At 19 I was on a graphics degree course, using a Mac.. Durr

23 to present £5 book vouchers
I told my mum they should have bought me these for all those years. Only name me a book that costs a fiver these days.

Insult to injury: they have loads of kids, all "in the professions", and yet still rake in over a million between them a year. Mum buys them hardback books, expensive perfume etc. on a breadline, and I get £5 leggings. WHO WEARS LEGGINGS. EVER

Mind you, my brother got given Argos £5 novelty watches for every year running. Cheap bastards
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 11:54, Reply)
christmas time in the MBar household
an aunt of mine once sent me a polo shirt which must have been xxxxxxxxxxxl sized. now, i'm no small man, but it was a bloody tent and reached down to my knees. i didn't know they made clothes that big. i think the automatic response for the parental units was "oh, you'll grow into it". didn't know whether it was an insult or not. gits.

oh, and i once received from my parents a book about Star Wars Collectable Figures. i'm 22 and do not own any collectable figures, not to mention Star Wars ones, and have never shown an interest in such things, but yeah, great present, thanks.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 11:53, Reply)
For my birthday last year
My father bought me a door-stop in the shape of a large, fluffy duck. I am 38.

In hindsight, this probably has something to do with my own reputation for shoddy present-giving which has included: a handful of walnuts (my sister), a packet of polos (my sister, again), a washing basket (Mrs Duck) and a hairnet (my mother).

In my defence, the polos were picked up at Charles de Gaulle airport as a memento of a tumultuous school trip, and the hairnet was top, top quality from Boots. The washing basket tied in with the wife's other present - an outrageously expensive washing machine which was also received with a certain amount of disappointment. There's no pleasing some people.

And while we're here, I never got the chance to thank my insanely rich great-aunt for the start she gave me in life with her annual gift of a one pound WH Smiths token.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 11:53, Reply)
my aunt is Finnish
I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it, but over my teenage years I received a variety of lame Christmas presents.

4 pencils in a box.
A flannel.
A hairbrush. With hairs in it. I presume it was bought at a charity shop. Eurgh.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 11:46, Reply)
Double mix up
My ageing (and now rotting) gran once gave my sister and I stockings bought from the local supermarket filled with little toys and sweets. Unfortunately she managed to get them muddled up, and i got the "Good Girl" stocking and my sister got the "Good Boy" one. To make matters worse, my gran had forgotten we were human - the stockings, containing mini marabones and jingley toys, were for cats and dogs. Bless.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 11:42, Reply)
Rich Aunty
One of my aunts is fairly rich - £1 million plus, I reckon. Here are some of the presents she's sent our family:

To me - A ladies leather key fob, quite obviously one of her old ones.
Again me - A set of ladies hankerchiefs - at least these were still in the box, unopened.
To my sister - the end of a roll of curtain material (sis doesn't sew or anything like that).
My brother & his wife - A set of place mats ("Only been married 3 years, we haven't got round to buying PLACE MATS yet!" said my sis-in-law).

And the last birthday card she sent me featured cartoon animals and a rhyme about 'these jungle friends have come to wish you Happy Birthday!'. I'm 41.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 11:37, Reply)
My worst present was given to me by a Shopping Mall Santa.....
I was too young to remember, but this is what mum tells me happened. I know it's true because the photo was brought out for my 21st birthday.
I had shoulder-length hair at the time.
The conversation between Mum and Santa went like this:

Santa: What a lovely girl. What's her name?
Mum: HIS name is Adam!
Santa: That is such a beautiful name.

Santa gave me a packet of "shopping accessories", which contained a handbag, dangly ear-rings (Shut up! It was the 80s!) and a necklace, which was all pink.

Although my mum came very close to matching it 2 years ago by giving me a "Garden Fairies" calendar (with the 99 cent "clearance" sticker still attached) and a can of deoderant.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 11:27, Reply)
Grandparents are ace, and think that these presents are the best thing in the world for a young chap around town. Over the years it's been...

A hairdryer
A manicure set
Three years of consecutive slippers
Two years of consecutive alarm clocks
without fail (and the first of many posts about) selection boxes.

Just give me a share of your jellies gran!
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 11:17, Reply)
My dad went to *here/there/everywhere* and all I got was this lousy t-shirt
...every time. Great. Cheers dad.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 11:14, Reply)
Invisible Jim
For my 16th birthday I received a present from my older brother known as invisible Jim. Now this present consists of a piece of card and a sheet of plastic over the top in the shape of a man… www.funnyjunk.com/p/jim-jpg.html In retrospect it was actually quite funny but at the time i sent numerous viruses to his pc...
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 11:01, Reply)
shoddy presents
This one year my girlfriend bought me a breakfast pack,it consisted of six sachets of breakfast "food".A mix of porridge,orange juice,coffee.Just add boiling water said the box,needless to say the hot gooey breakfast tasted absolutley foul.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 10:52, Reply)
Christmas 1995
Aged 13, to set the scene of which stage I was at in my life - other presents included A mountain bike and a massive pair of check trousers with a little fella smoking a spliff on the back pocket. Surely my (genuinley) favourite uncle will come through with something just as cool...Nope... I got this - TRAINS WE LOVED - a big, hardback coffee table book about sodding trains... needless to say - there was a new favourite uncle by boxing day.

Although a bit harsh laughing at senile dementure - I've also got an elderly great-auntie who often got confused as to my exact age and/or sex when buying presents - but I always had to politely thank her "yeah - cheers for the Cindy Lunchbox Aunty Jen - that'll come in dead handy at college"
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 10:44, Reply)
My sister is obsessed with photo frames, she has more of them than she does photos (not an exaggeration), half of them are those stupidly small ones that you cant get a full sized photo into. Anyway, one year she bought me a worlds best brother frame, as you may imagine i was not suitably impressed. I asked her what i was suppodes to do with it? i dont have a bloody brother! she seemed suitably dejected so i didnt say anything else and just carried on opening presents.

P.S. whats with gift vouchers? they do exactly the same job as money but you can only use them in one shop and they expire! in effect you are trading your cash for something that is not worth as much!
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 10:42, Reply)
trickery not to plan
my mum liked to disguise presents in various boxes so i could not tell what it was from the shape and size of the package. my mum had some very interesting ways to do this and every year i was baffled trying to figure out what i was to open on christmas morning. i think my aunt decided to employ this technique one year, i must have been about 10. my dad had me on video camera - this huge shoulder mounted thing from the mid 80's! all the attention seemed to be on as i fervently tore the wrapping off to expose a kellogs cornflakes box. sensing that this was surelypart of my aunts trickery i opened the box to find that indeed i had recieved a half eaten box of kellogs cornflakes. as you can imagine i wasnt very impressed but still being the polite child i was i thanked her for the gift. a week later my aunt gave me my real present, which i think was an action man covered in milk with a spoon through his neck.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 10:37, Reply)
When I was 5 my aunt gave me a present. I took it and said 'clothes again' then threw it on the floor and proceded to the next present
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 10:28, Reply)
Repetitive shoddy presents!
Every single year, without fail, I can guarantee that for Christmas AND birthdays I will receive at least 2 new pairs of pants from my Nan. There's nothing wrong with pants for they are necessary things, but she always gets me these HUGE tit-hugging efforts which I'll admit are very comfy, but I have about 28 pairs that have never been worn, they're just stacking up in my drawer. Maybe I could make something with them. I was hoping maybe she'd stop eventually and I could stop having to act happy every time I get some more feckin' pants but I'm 22 now and the tradition is still going strong.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 10:26, Reply)
i think everyones recieved this at some point...
socks... 'nuff said
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 10:24, Reply)
X-Mass Nuts
One year I stole a wall nut of my parents and then stole some paper to wrap it up in. Its become a tradition and now I get them a wall nut each year.

My grandmother, who is an artist, gave my mother a picture of some broken cups and a broken vase with a note saying that there would be a "suprise" next year. Next year she gave my mother one of the broken cups in the picture and every year after that she presented my mother with another of the broken objects.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 10:23, Reply)
Hideous presents
are always worst when you're at an awkward age and you get things designed for 8-year-olds. The year I got my 'hard' leather jacket I also got a dinosaur colouring book with 20-point font.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2004, 10:19, Reply)

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