The holidays are supposed to be enjoyable, not scar a person for life! These poor people have some real monsters in their lives, and these monsters went on a rampage once everyone gathered together for a celebration. Seriously, where did these weirdos even find these gifts? Content has been edited for clarity.
"Back in the early seventies, I was six years old and still believed in Santa Claus. At this time, I had severe ADHD that wasn't being properly treated, so I was extremely hyper. I also routinely wet the bed several times a month as a result of the ADHD too. My mom claimed to know what I was getting for Christmas, and she told me I would be on Santa's naughty list if I didn't fix my problem. We were planning on a huge family gathering at my uncle's farm out in the country, where people would open presents in front of the entire family. I was terrified of what I might open in front of people if I was on Santa's naughty list. Well, when we all got together and opened presents, my mom made me sit and wait until I was the last person to open my gift. I grew more anxious as my turn came near. When it was my turn, I actually told my mom I didn't want to open anything, but my mother demanded that I open it. I ripped off the paper and opened the box. I found a pacifier and baby bottles and cloth diapers, along with frosted plastic pants and diaper pins with bunnies on them. There was a letter on top from Santa that said I was too old to be wetting my pants, and that he was bringing me diapers. According to Santa, I would be wearing them until I stopped having accidents. All the other kids watched as I pulled the items out of the box one by one.
By the time everything was out of the box, I was crying hysterically. My sisters were asking my mother if I was going to wear diapers again. All my cousins were laughing and teasing me. My mother told my sisters that I would in fact be wearing diapers again. They asked when and my mother told them right now. I was in complete shock and didn't even notice my mother had started taking my clothes off. I was laid out on the floor, and my pants and underwear came off. I begged and pleaded, but my mother told me I did this to myself. All of my cousins and siblings were standing around laughing at me as my mother diapered me on my uncle's living room floor. I started fighting, and I got a couple hard slaps to my bare butt. I was defeated at that point and was crying so hard that I couldn't even catch my breath. Mom finished pinning the diapers on and then pulled the plastic pants up my legs. I was told to stand up and show everyone what a baby I was. All I did was cry, and my mother shoved the pacifier in my mouth. I spent the next six years wearing diapers off an on as the accidents happened. I pretty much hated Santa from that point on, until I learned that he actually wasn't real. They I realized how cruel my mother truly had been towards me."
"It was the office Christmas party, around 2007. At our offices, we would get a lot of fancy holiday gifts from clients and vendors. You know, those giant baskets of gourmet food, numerous bottles, $100 chocolate assortments, and personalized laptop bags. The execs select the things they want, and the rest is held for our corporate potluck, held on the Friday before Christmas. At the potluck, everyone gets a ticket, and the stubs are taped to the bottoms of the various gifts. After lunch, the VP goes to the 'prize table' and starts reading out ticket numbers. Whatever stub your ticket matches, you get to keep. Some of the gifts are jokes, like outdated calendars or items with vendor logos on them, but some of them are seriously nice.
At the time of this story, I was the administrative assistant, and the VP of HR was my supervisor. My job was to catalog the gifts as they arrived, so that thank-you cards could be duly sent. I would then to place the items the execs didn’t want into the VP’s closet for safekeeping. One day, the execs received an enormous food basket, consisting of bubbly, crackers, jarred spreads, cheese, and salamis. I mean, this thing must have cost about $500 and would have fed a family of four in style for a couple of weeks! I duly cataloged the contents and gathered the things the execs didn’t want for themselves, including a nice little wheel of cheese, vacuum sealed in plastic. I walked into the VP’s office and put all the non-perishables in the closet. I turned to tell her that I was going to put the perishable items in the fridge in a box labeled 'office party'. She told me to just put it all in her closet and leave. She would look at it later. I tried to protest that the items would spoil, but she was adamant and becoming angry, so I just put the stuff down and left.
Three weeks later, it’s time for the office potluck. VP handles this setup herself, so I didn’t see the gift table. That is, until she calls the number that matches my ticket. And she hands me what looks like a snow globe.
Only it’s not a snow globe. It’s that cheese. Unrefrigerated for three weeks, it has inflated its packaging as it rotted, turning into a small, greasy-looking ball of white muck in a slimy plastic sphere.
Everyone is laughing except me. I’m horrified. It was bad enough to waste the cheese, but to give it out as a prize?! I’m still not convinced that it wasn’t done on purpose. That woman was one of the most toxic supervisors I’ve ever had, and she could easily have set it up for me to get that specific item. It was qithout a doubt the worst gift I had ever received."
"My husband bought for me this cross between a hat and a mask for our anniversary. Oh, and it is a replica of a moth's actual head. It is literally an anatomically precise moth's head replica with protruding antenna, consisting of rigid pipe cleaners that can be arranged to convey my indignation. It also has bulbous eyes embroidered with iridescent fabric to imitate a moth's compound eyes with hexagonal lenses. The embroidery is sumptuous, but the wool of its fur is somewhat pungent. It smells sort of weird, but the craftsmanship on this thing is truly exquisite. Whoever made this was an absolute pro! I even joked that next he needed to get me some moth wings to complete the look. Sure enough, for my birthday, he got me these massive wings, which turned out to be proportionate to an actual moth's wingspan! Now what I like to do is to wait in these inconspicuous places for my victim to walk by. Suddenly, I screech and fly at my husband with breakneck speed. His terror made me laugh uncontrollably. I saw myself in the mirror, and I looked pretty terrifying as a moth woman! My husband really regrets his impulsive gift purchase now that his life his filled with the moth woman. Is it messed up? Sure, but it is seriously so much fun!"
"My grandfather, who I genuinely miss dearly since he's passed away, really got a kick out of sending his grand children the strangest sort of stuff. For example, he would send me a package containing a half-eaten bag of chips and a flat bottle of soda pop. Sure it was strange, but it was always done in good humor. One of my favorite weird things my grandpa ever sent involves my unsuspecting cousin. My cousin was a freshman in college, so my grandfather has rthe idea to send her a care package after her first few weeks over there. Now, most of you might imagine that family would send a freshmen things like toiletries or gift cards or snacks or candy. Nope, not my grandpa! My grandpa sent my cousin a few of HIS OLD TEETH! My cousin happened to open this package in front of her suite mates. She was absolutely mortified, but the rest of the family thought that it was hysterical. She eventually found the humor. Seriously, how many people can say they've been mailed human teeth before?"
"I grew up pretty broke, so getting Christmas and birthday presents was a bit of an enigma for a long time. I remember when I was younger, I had woken up to a present under the tree and it was such an oddity since there were two of them. Not only that, but they were large, larger than I’d ever seen for a long time. I must have been eight. What I usually got for Christmas was scented lotion from the dollar store. Before I reveal what was inside those boxes, I need to explain some important context first. My father and mother separated. I was a kid that spent every other weekend with their dad for about a year, and then as far as I knew my dad disappeared without a trace. Once that happened, my mother found a guy she was absolutely infatuated with. His name was Ken. The problem with Ken was that he hated me and wanted nothing to do with me. So, once my dad was out of the picture, my mother dumped me with my grandparents because she wanted Ken instead. That Christmas was really lonely. Grandpa and I had set up an old train, and it was the only interactive thing I had. I played with it all hours of the day, just going around and around under the barren tree. Ken didn’t have a tree, and I was never with dad for Christmas. In fact, this was right after my dad had disappeared. At the time, I felt like the train was all I had.
So, I wake up Christmas morning. No mom, no Dad. I only had grandparents that treated me awful since they had no reason to make me like them more in the divorce. But there are two presents there, both for me. I was shocked. One was a barbie-like doctor set. You know the kind. Blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, and a pink box to carry it in. I adored it. I was 'playing pretend' for probably more than the acceptable amount of time, but not having many friends will do that. Eventually, this was unfortunately lost due to my mother. The second gift though, that one launched a career. I got paints, crayons, colored pencils, and oil pastels even. There were hundreds of pieces packed up in a treehouse-looking box with neat shelves. I was in love. My grandparents gave me a sheet of printer paper a day to use with this fantastic set, and even as I was older and gained an easel, I still continued to use it. This set outlasted almost every pet I’ve ever had, out of sheer fear of running out of materials. Both gifts were from my Aunt Barbara, my great aunt in North Carolina. Usually she’d send some money that my grandparents would take, so I was very, very shocked. Shocked, but immeasurably grateful. So, you may be asking how this was offensive?
Well it didn’t become offensive until almost fifteen years later. My father and I reunited and started swapping stories. I wanted to know more about him, and I got the impression he was curious at first, but it didn’t exactly make him happy to know what happened. A lot of things had been done by my mother that pushed him out fully, and while there were chances for communication, he decided to keep his distance until I had aged out of the home. Knowing my family, I can’t say I blame him. So we drank well into the night during a visit, and we talked Christmas. It was a melancholy subject for all involved, but I remembered Aunt Barbara’s gifts. I rambled about them happily for a few minutes, not noticing how angry dad looked suddenly. He asked me what the toys looked like, so I told him. Apparently, those gifts had been from him. At that moment, I lost all respect for the entirety of my maternal side of the family. My grandparents had told me my father was dead and wouldn't have wanted me anyway. I'm just so grateful that I could reconnect with him as an adult! It doesn't make up for my childhood, but it's a start."
"My two boys got a tube of toothpaste each for Christmas from their grandparents. My kids were aged 10 and 7 at the time. They didn't even get toothbrushes! Apparently, my mother-in-law got all the grandsons that year the same type of toothpaste. The granddaughters got a gift bag full of little goodies, wrapped up with their names on it and everything. The adult women of the family got similar gift bags. The adult men in the family got literally nothing at all. This included her son, my husband. I was upset because my husband and I repeatedly talked to my mother-in-law that Christmas was for the Kids! My husband and I didn't mind if we didn't get a gift, but we wanted the kids to receive something thoughtful! What my kids were gifted said to use, 'I didn't think of you. I suppose these tubes of toothpaste I got for a discount show that I occasionally think of you. But I think of my granddaughters more.' This turned out to be the only Christmas we spent at my in-laws' place, for good reason!
When we first arrived, my father-in-law was out running errands, and he accidentally locked all of us out of the house. We couldn't even get into their backyard, so the neighbors gratefully let us use their backyard while they were out of the house, since the gate was unlocked. Now this whole thing took place in Australia, so this happened during the height of the summer. We were all crammed under a very tiny shade umbrella, beyond sweaty and waiting for my in-laws to come back home. They had not been responding to all of my texts and phone calls. It was a mess.
My mother-in-law is now 92. She blamed her husband for how mean-spirited she could get around the holidays. It's been many, many years since we celebrated the holidays over there, but my mother-in-law still has disdain for boys. She'll straight up tell you all about it! Is an unwrapped tube of toothpaste a better gift for a child then nothing? The answer is no, but at least we all got a very bizarre family story out of the entire thing!"
"For context, I am Jamaican and my ex is German and Canadian. When we were together, I got pregnant and was overjoyed. Unfortunately, on a routine visit to the hospital, I was told the devastating news that I had lost the baby. Of course, I was devastated, guilty, and full of so much emotion. Having no family in Canada except for my horrible in-laws, I told my husband that I wanted to take some time off and go to Jamaica for a few weeks to visit my family. I ended up spending three weeks there. Once I got back and reunited with my husband, I quickly became pregnant again. It really wasn't planned at all. After the unexpected news, I noticed that my husband was acting suspiciously whenever I brought up my Jamaica trip. I had to ask him what was going on, and he eventually told me that his mother told him the date of conception didn't add up. According to her, the baby would not be his, and it belonged to someone from my trip to Jamaica. My mother-in-law was directly working against me.
The worst part about all of this? My mother-in-law got me a DNA kit for Christmas. I was so furious. This was after my baby had been born, so I told my husband to take the baby to the in-laws and do the test there. That way, there was no possible way anyone could accuse me of tampering with it. If him and his parents truly felt like that test was necessary and actually did it, then it would be the last thing I had to do with any of them. They performed it, and the baby was biologically his. I took my kid back and we officially separated. I've never allowed my feelings towards any of them to interfere with my son's relationship with them. I couldn't believe those people, and frankly, I am so much better off without them!"
"I received makeup and a dress. When I was fourteen, my aunt gave me makeup and a poofy pink dress. For context, I'm transmasculine. I came out months before the holidays, and everyone in my family knew my name, pronouns, and the fact that I despised anything feminine. I was presenting as masculine as I could and would break down crying if someone tried to disagree with me, I have grown a lot since that time, but I was in an especially vulnerable spot back then. At that time, most of my family lived on the same thirteen-acre plot of land. This consisted of me, my mom, my dad, my little sister and brother, my maternal grandma, my maternal aunt and uncle, three of my cousins, and my paternal aunt and her girlfriend. We all piled together in my grandma's living room for the holidays and started opening presents. Because I was the oldest kid, I went last. Everyone received gifts they were super happy with, and then it came down to me. My aunt and her girlfriend had already given me a pronoun pin and an affirming t-shirt. I was pretty happy as it was, and I was never expecting what happened next.
For some more context: my paternal uncle had just gotten out of an eight-year stint in prison. He didn't know a lot about me. My aunt, his wife, was pretty new to the family. She married my uncle after he got out of prison, and she brought along three kids she had with three different guys. She was so inconsiderate and definitely thrived off of other people's misery. So this was the aunt who got me makeup and a dress. My dad was super upset with her, because he knew she did it just to start something. My paternal aunt and her girlfriend had to take me outside to console me. Thank goodness they were there for me! Seriously people, don't ever do something like this, it's a horrible way to treat a person!"
"I was twelve years old and had never had a Christmas. I basically grew up in foster care, and after I was adopted, it was going to be my first proper Christmas! My parents showed me Christmas movies, helped me decorate the tree and pick out gifts for everyone, and even cooked some of my Inuit culture's food (as best they could) for the dinner! My adoptive grandmother also decided to come over, which was normal for their family. Apparently, because it was my first Christmas with them, my parents declined going to my adoptive grandparent's house for the holidays. This was to help me feel more comfortable in a familiar environment. Unfortunately, the night started off badly with my grandma saying how disgusting my culture's food looked and smelled, and she physically gagged when she took a bite out of a bone marrow sandwich before spitting it out entirely. She stopped after my mom said she was the one who cooked everything. I remember what each of my family gave me. Mom gave me a sketchbook with a fox, Dad gave me a book about native folklore (and it even had a chapter on Inuits), and 'Santa' gave me my first Christmas tree ornament.
Anyway, my adoptive grandmother decided to give me a 'proper' winter coat for a present. Now, just saying that, it doesn't sound bad, but it's her reasoning behind it that makes it wrong. Like I said, I'm Inuit, and we come from the arctic where it's cold and we have PERFECTED winter coats! I had a big fuzzy one made from caribou and grizzly fur, with an under layer of whale and seal skin. It was one of the few things from my biological family I still had, along with a picture and a necklace of their tribe. My grandmother said that my jacket was, 'Hideous, and looked horrible against my pale skin and hair!'
Thankfully at the time, I still wasn't the best at English, so I don't entirely remember what was said, just that my parents were standing up for me. I remember trying on the coat my grandmother got for me, and twisting and turning in it while my adoptive grandmother smirked. In quite broken English, I told her that it wouldn't be that warm or waterproof. The stitching was entirely open to the outside, which would allow water to get in, as well as tear it easily. The inside wasn't warm at all, nor insulating, and the outside fabric wouldn't block the wind either. I still own my 'hideous' coat, as she calls it, and the book on folklore, and I kept the cover of the sketchbook. The coat she gave me was destroyed after it snowed. The coat got so wet it that became heavier and tore its own stitching at the shoulders. It seemed fitting as a gift from such a hateful woman."
"My parents had this secondhand microwave sitting in their living room, which they got from some family friend who brought it home from college. Every time I visited my parents, they would offer me this free, unwanted, orphaned microwave for my apartment. I would always tell them no thanks, that I really didn't have much use for it since I didn't like to microwave my food. Why couldn't they just give it to someone who wanted it? It got to the point where I was so, so tired of hearing about this stupid microwave. My parents either ignored all of my rejections or refused to believe I could function without a microwave. Eventually, I just caved in. I took the microwave and left it in my car for a week before I got the courage to give it back to my parents, so they could return it. My mom got weirdly angry at me and acted like I was being ungrateful for their supposedly thoughtful gift. It was such a bizarre exchange. There was so much fuss over this stupid microwave, I couldn't believe it!"
"My girlfriend at the time bought me a make-your-own-adult-toy kit. We were in separate colleges, so she thought it would be cool to have me make her one using my privates as a mold. Cool idea, I thought. I would basically mix and pour the mold material into a cylinder, insert my privates for like five minutes, then pull it out. The mold would harden, and then I could pour in the rubber to make a replica. Well I got hard and stood in the shower with my junk in this tube. It didn't take too long for me to realize how silly I felt. This turned into a massive struggle to actually stay hard. Basically I watched the timer go down while frantically trying to think thoughts to keep me going and distract myself from the fact that I looked like I was stuck inside a Pringles can.
Anyway, time was up, and I felt reasonably confident that I succeeded. I went ahead and poured the rubber material into the mold. After a day, I pulled it out and found out I had created just the saddest representation of my completely flaccid privates, shrunk to two inches, listing lazily to the side. My girlfriend thought this was hilarious and insisted on displaying it on her bookshelf. Well a short time later, we broke up for unrelated reasons, and I was never able to retrieve it. So somewhere out there is my junk on full display in its most vulnerable state, and I imagine if I ever become some kind of public figure, then you'll get to see it too."