Unforgettable, Funny Holiday Gifts that were Given as Real Presents

Exchanging gifts over the holidays, with family, can be a lot of fun. It can also be the source of a lot of unintended laughs.

An article I came across on Yahoo! listed 19 Unusual gifts that nobody wants, showing a list of products that were clearly not for everybody. To me, they seemed like gifts that were either ill-conceived, or so cheesy, that they would be hard to forget. The list got me thinking about gifts that I had received – or ones that I have heard of people receiving – that were so weird that they couldn’t be forgotten.

First, the list from the article. As I mentioned, 19 unusual items were listed. The 5 that jumped out at me (with my commentary below) were:

  1. Dog Mustache Toy($10). This just seems so silly, to buy a fake mustache that can be put on a dog. Won’t the dog get irritated with it? Is it really that funny, anyway? When I look at the picture, it seems like this is such a dumb idea for a toy that it actually is funny. Kind of like a movie that has acting that so unintentionally bad and cheesy that it ends up being entertaining.
  2. Peekaru ($80). I wouldn’t have put my kids in this thing, if for no other reason that it looks completely bizarre. The kid’s face just emerges out of the parent’s body suit/blanket. Again, though, it’s so weird that a picture of it would be one to laugh at for many years.
  3. Bed Bug Stuffed Animal ($10). With the recent bed bug scare, I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to snuggle up with a stuffed animal that’s supposed to be a bed bug. What gives you the warm and fuzzies, a stuffed teddy bear, stuffed puppy dog……or stuffed bed bug? If you gave this gift, at least you’d be remembered?
  4. Puppy Love Fragrance ($44). This is interesting….buying perfume for a dog. Would Fido really appreciate this perfume, or would he like a tasty bone or delicious dog food instead?  If you’re really thinking of what makes the ultimate gift-recipient happy, this probably won’t be the gift you buy.  It’s also one that won’t be remembered too well either:)
  5. Spray-on Hair ($15). This, I think, should only be given as a prank to a thick-skinned person. Who could possibly give this as a well-meaning gift? At least splurge for some generic minoxidil:)

As for my own experiences, I have seen enough funny gifts over the years.  Now, let me preface this by saying that I truly appreciate all well-meaning gifts, and don’t really want anybody to spend hard-earned money on me. It’s really about the peace, goodwill, and time with close family and friends for me.

That said, you just can’t help but remember some wacky gifts. Here are 3 in particular that I remember from over the years:

  1. Deer Repellent Whistle. Some years ago, I received this cheap looking contraption that was supposed be a deer repellent for your car. It had a discount label still on it, for $0.99. It was given by someone who let’s say was an extended family friend. The price sticker was faux paux #1, though I don’t really care about it much. The person was known to be cheap, and I don’t care anyway. The funny thing, however, is that I live in the Chicago area, and this person lived in a much more rural area. For him, it’s probably a realistic gift. But in a highly urban area, deer aren’t likely to be traversing busy intersections on their way to strip malls.  Just a wacky gift all around.
  2. Chuck-E-Cheese Toys. Ok, this was me. I was a little kid, and Christmas was upon us. We went to a Chuck-E-Cheese (or maybe some knock-off place) a couple of days before Christmas, and I redeemed a bunch of Skee-ball tickets for a little tiny notepad and a plastic ring.  As Christmas Eve came the next day, I realized I didn’t have a gift for my parents. So…you guessed it…I tried to give them these toys! Keep in mind I was very little. They didn’t even try to fake the enthusiasm, and I got the message and learned a lesson. It’s funny to me how unbelievably lame my effort was:)
  3. Leg Shaver. This one comes courtesy of a friend of mine from high school. He was dating this girl, who was his first girlfriend ever. They actually went steady for a few years. He wasn’t the most attuned to girls, and this showed when he got her a gift for Christmas. He told me that he really looked all over the place for a good gift, and tried to buy something he thought she would use. So, he bought her a leg shaver. Apparently, she tried to fake enthusiasm, but he realized his gift was a dud. It didn’t take him long to figure out how unromantic his idea was, and to his credit, he laughed at himself about that for a long time afterward. Of course, if he didn’t, a friend would be right there to help him with that:)

How about you? Have you received (or given) any gifts over the holidays that were well meaning but just so totally ridiculous that you just can’t forget them?


    • Squirrelers says

      Moneycone – this actually seems kind of funny. I like pranks, and would enjoy seeing the reaction of a few people with this one:)

  1. says

    There’s books now about bedbugs who turn into super hero bedbugs… creeeeepy.

    I don’t know about any particularly terrible gifts, but I am a broken allergy-ridden person and people are always giving me scented candles and things made out of refined flour and sugar. Both of which are greatly enjoyed by the people I pass them on to.

    • Squirrelers says

      Nicole – your comment on passing along gifts reminds me of a saying that has much truth to it: one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

  2. says

    We don’t exchange gifts for holiday, but I can still remember one of the gifts I got for my wedding. A pink and yellow sneakers. No I didn’t ask for it and I never hinted to anyone that I would like some hideous sneakers. Above everything it was 2 sizes too small. I guess that person just wanted to pass them on. I had to say they were very nice and thank them. I will never forget it though – may be that is the reason for that gift :)

    • Squirrelers says

      Suba – that’s funny. Who would have thought that such shoes would be a good gift? Well, it’s nice that you really did thank them, and ultimately they did give you something that you would remember!

    • Squirrelers says

      101Centavos – I laughed upon reading this one. Yeah, that would be hard to forget. There’s a market out there for just about everything, it seems:)

  3. says

    I loved paper as a kid, and pens. So, I assumed everyone else did too. I gave one of my brothers a ream of paper and some pens for Christmas, and I got mocked endlessly. I cried and cried. (I was only like 7 years old.)

    I learned a lesson for life that year. Don’t project your other likes/opinions onto others!

    • Squirrelers says

      Everyday Tips – that’s too bad that you were mocked. I feel bad for the 7-year old You from days past who was laughed at:) At least you took a lesson from it, as I did with the Chuck-E-Cheese gift. By the way, my 7-year old girl just gave her grandmother (my mother) a birthday card, and she stuck $2 in it as a gift. It was funny to see her do that with such pride, but I encouraged her and was actually quite proud….for the reason that she showed more generosity than I did as a kid with gifts:)

    • Squirrelers says

      Invest It Wisely – yes, I couldn’t imagine giving a gift of spray on hair. Seems like something a well-meaning grandma might give to her adult grandson.

  4. says

    Suba – maybe they thought you will run away from the weddingg using these shoes. LOL

    Post – well, I will never forget a lunch box filled with mashmallows and wrapped in a newspaper. It was a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law.

    • Squirrelers says

      Aloysa – that’s funny, you got a chuckle out of me on that one. Not much more that can be said about a gift of a lunch box filled w/marshmallows and wrapped in newspaper! From a mother in law, too.

    • Squirrelers says

      Ken – yep, that’s the gift of the 21st century. Instead of cash, which is transactional, gift cards are at least a (technically) non-cash gift which are usually directed toward a specific retailer or network of businesses. It seems like a gift, while they get what they want and the giver doesn’t make mistakes.

    • Squirrelers says

      Molly, we’ve all had gifts that seemed like good ideas when buying them, but turned out differently. It’s like a gift for a child that he or she doesn’t care to play with.

    • Squirrelers says

      Crystal – yes, it was funny to receive, as this is not quite the rural area that the gift-giver resides. I should point out, to be fair, that I live in a suburban area that does have trees….I’m looking at a wooded area as I type this:) So, I hope I didn’t give the impression that I’m in the middle of a concrete jungle here….more of a suburban area with parks and nature preserves around, amidst the homes, townhomes, shopping, etc.

  5. says

    Gee, I know I’m late on this but I couldn’t resist…

    While I once got a campbell soup dish when I was 10 years old. Last year my son (then 9) got a toddler’s coloring book that he wasn’t to happy about! After making him feel better (he was sad because he got it), I had a lot of fun ribbing him about being a little baby/toddler :)

  6. says

    Squirrelers, I have two strange ones.

    1- An elderly relative used to give all us children (under 10), scented soap, circa 1940. What kid wants a bar of soap for Christmas?

    2- Have you ever heard of Riddex? This isn’t so funny, just strange. I received this weird electrical device that plugs into your outlet and supposedly scares away bugs and rodents with electrical signals in the walls. Of course there is absolutely no way to tell if it really works and it just slowly wastes power. For giggles I tried it for a few months and then decided it was ridiculous.

    Nice post!

  7. says

    My roommate in college had an aunt who sent the best (meaning worst) gifts. Every year we looked forward to getting her package, which often included the likes of fanny packs (10 years past when they were fashionable), mickey mouse sweaters, and embroidered vests.

    • Squirrelers says

      Lindy Mint – those types of gift givers are always fun to appreciate. I remember getting a backpack when I was younger that would have been totally humiliating for any guy to use…was probably meant for a younger girl. I never used it, and still remember it.

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