Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as a bad Christmas gift. Yes, the thought counts, but there’s not enough well intentions or pretty wrapping paper in the world to make up for certain gifts. Mostly everyone has a bad memory of a present they have either given or been gifted. We dug into our deepest, most repressed holiday memories to share with our readers some of the worst presents we have received, seen received or gifted ourselves.
Marilyn Ramirez, Opinions Editor
I was going steady with this fellow for quite some time, and the holidays were rolling around, so I decided to put a bit more effort into my gift-giving rituals. I painted a picture of a red ‘64 bug with his name in the license plate. I spent eight hours on that thing. And all the money for the acrylics, the canvas, the brushes, the setting paint — but I digress. Anyways, I finished the little piece of art, placed a stolen cloth napkin from Olive Garden around it and tied it with a white ribbon. It might’ve been the beginning of a beatiful, art-filled relationship.
After all that work, that son-of-a-b***h got me a Barnes and Noble gift card.
Hunter Lee, Assistant Photo Editor
All my life I’ve been a huge fan of the “Final Fantasy” series, especially the seventh installation. The game had already come out years ago for the PlayStation 2 but I’d never gotten the chance to play it, so my parents went on eBay to buy me a copy for Christmas. After opening presents Christmas morning I rushed to get the game disc into my PlayStation 2 only to watch the console start up, and then die forever. I had to wait three months before I was able to finally play the game, which made it a bittersweet gift.
Sabrina Flores, Photo Editor
My uncle’s newest girlfriend had braved the backlash of being at our family Christmas, and was hesitantly opening presents from my side of the family. She came to the present that my grandma had gotten her and opened it to reveal a horrendous christmas sweater three sizes too small. Needless to say, my grandmother didn’t really understand that ugly Christmas sweaters don’t make good Christmas presents.
James Chow, Assistant News Editor
In high school, I had all two of Michelle Branch’s albums. So when Secret Santa came along, my friend gifted me one of the promo CDs that they give to radio stations, the ones that have only one song. Yeah, high school was a bad time. I also had a bowl cut.
Samantha Diaz, Arts and Life Editor
It’s 2003. The PlayStation 2 is still fairly new and my brother and I have been playing it at our rich cousin’s house. My brother unwraps the last gift under the tree, a rectangular box, to see the shiny PlayStation 2 logo. He immediately starts crying tears of joy as our mom urges him to open up the box (we grew up poor, so it was a pretty big deal). He finally gets the tape undone and out rolls out a dozen new pairs of socks and underwear. Our mom thought it would be funny. We cried. Our mom consoled us. We went over to our cousin’s house and bitterly played on their console.
Miranda Andrade-Ceja, Editor in Chief
During a wild Christmas Eve party that took place at my grandma’s big house, all 15+ of us gathered around the Christmas tree at around 11 p.m. in my abuela’s living room. Most of the adults and older cousins over the age of 17 were drunk, because we’re Mexican and know how to have fun. Anyway. I was not drunk, because I was 13. My 14-year-old cousin was gifted these really nice, really plush fleece socks from our Tia. As my cousin admired her socks and thanked my Tia for the gift, the socks were plucked away by our drunk uncle.
He then proceeded to interrupt the gift exchange, take off his own socks, and speak in a weird drunk mumble while he put on her brand new Christmas socks. The whole episode took like four minutes (because he was s**t-faced) and by the end of it my cousin was bawling. So that might have been the worst gift she’s ever received.
Drew Mametsuka, Assistant Design Editor
The worst gift I have ever received was an emoji pillow with the tongue sticking out. Apparently, to the person who gifted me this, it reminded them of me. First of all, why? Secondly, what am I supposed to do with that? Lastly, I think I’m more of the sunglasses emoji, but I digress. I wanted to find a positive solution and to recycle the gift, so I left it in someone’s car that night.
Mac Walby, Managing Editor
I honestly can’t think of a bad gift I’ve received. Holidays are easy for well-off white kids.
Amanda Recio, Social Media Editor
A few holiday seasons ago I was a cashier at a Barnes & Noble, and we decided to do a Secret Santa amongst co-workers. I gifted the person I got a homemade beer kit and some cool mason jar shot glasses, and the person who got me gifted me a Modern Family day-by-day calendar for the year that was about to end in less than a month. He bought it at Barnes and Noble we worked at on sale for $4.
Kat Schuster, News Editor
Because my name is Kat, I will forever be doomed to receive endless amounts of cat accessories and trinkets every birthday and Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, cats are cute and all but I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do with all of this stuff. The sheer volume of cat knick-knacks I’ve gotten from my boyfriend’s 93-year-old uncle at Christmas every year for the past three years have taken over my shelves and every other nook and cranny in my house. I’m talking ceramic cat tea kettles, cat figurines, cat purses, Cat tractor hats, cat flags, cat earrings, cat shoes (yes, shoes) and cat coffee mugs. I suppose it’s time for a garage sale.
Bobby Yagake, Multimedia Managing Editor
One of the worst gift ideas I had was giving my high school cross country coach a Starbucks gift basket. Although my teammates do love Starbucks, we are discouraged from drinking coffee, especially before a big race. What adds insult to injury is that I found out my coach really likes boba. Maybe I should get him a Tapioca Express gift card this year.