My ex had been in an oil painting course so I'd bought her all the gear for Christmas: Easel, oil paints, fine art brushes, the lot... and that sh*t ain't cheap either. I'd bought it over several months and got her the best of everything. Brilliant present...or so I thought.
Cut to Christmas day and the big present opening. She opens all this stuff, bursts into tears, runs out of our flat, gets in the car and drives off nearly crashing said car into the neighbour's wall. It took me eight hours to track her down and find out what happened.
Turns out she hadn't been in an oil painting course at all. She'd been f*cking some married bloke every Wednesday in a hotel down the road.
One year, back in the '70s, my Mom did not get much of anything from my Dad. All he bought her was a lighted slide sorter (for pictures), which would be fine - if she took pictures. After all the presents were opened, she went to her room and cried, while my Dad set up the slide sorter and organized HIS slides.
This was actually really funny. It was from my Grandmother. I unwrapped it and it was a little tin box. I opened the box and there was a fake gift card there, like an indication of "this is where you put the gift card." And I just looked at her like...what is it or what's going on? And she goes "It's a gift card holder. You can put all your gift cards in there." And I just started laughing saying noooo, you are supposed to put a gift card in here to give to someone! It was really cute though. Bless her heart.
A fairly distant relative once gave me three promotional (freebie) vouchers for a clothes shop I didn't really like. Each gave £5 off a purchase, per £50 spent. 15-year-old me didn't have enough money to be spending £50 on clothes in one go, and the vouchers had actually expired on December the 23rd.
A few years ago, my aunt gave me a rock. She gave presents to me and my two older cousins and said "it's time for the big girls to open their gifts." She made my cousins go first and they got scarves. I opened my present and pulled a rock out of the package and looked up waiting for her to laugh and she said "isn't it wonderful?" So I had to be like yeah, I loooove it! She then told me that she had dug it out of her garden the previous summer and she knew that I would think it is so cool.
The following year she gave me acorn tops because "some people know how to use them to whistle and I don't know how to show you or explain, but I'm sure you can figure it out." She is a tad eccentric. Both were pretty terrible presents.
When I had gotten home from college, I found myself with some excess cash. I decided to invest in some new video games for myself and had them sent to my house. The strange thing was I had only received half of the games. I emailed the suppliers and told them I hadn't gotten my packages yet and was growing quite sad. Well, Christmas morning came around and I was opening up my presents. I got to the one from my older brothers. I tore the paper away and open the box. Inside there were several other packages that had been mailed to our house. With my name on them. My brother had taken half of my games and hid them from me until Christmas. Worst present ever.
The worst present I ever received was a white, button-down shirt by my grandmother. It was from Sears and of actual good quality. It wasn't so much the shirt that was a problem, it was the fact that I was the only one to get a present. My brother and sister (from a different father but my father adopted them when he married my mother and they still think of him as dad) did not, nor did my stepsister or stepbrother. I was always the favorite grandchild. I don't even think my cousins got anything. Now, my siblings didn't care. We all knew how grandma was and she was old and we were expecting it. No big deal.
My stepmother, however, did not understand. While I can see why she was upset, her explosion was not necessary. She was always trying to push me and my older siblings out. So she exploded. How dare my grandmother bring presents for one child and not anyone else. How could she possibly think that was appropriate. My grandmother fought back. She didn't have a lot of money and she felt bad not getting anyone anything and her children have so much and I do not.
We children sat there listening to all of this until my father yells at both of them, "Stop it!" and slams his fists on the counter. "It's Christmas!" He stares at both of them for a few seconds, then gets his keys and drives off. My grandmother leaves shortly after.
My father doesn't return until the next day. He had to work that night and calls my stepmother from work. He drove to West Texas (from Abilene, TX) to see the snow.
My brother asked for nothing from my parents but a single pair of socks for four years straight. Fifth year comes around and he pulls a wild "This year I want a MacBook." When my dad replied that it was too expensive, my brother quickly shot back, "Well I know you have the savings from only buying my socks for all those years." He was 14 then. F*cking schemer.
I'm ALWAYS grateful for anything I receive, so I wouldn't call this the "worst" gift, just the least useful. Every year for the past three years, my boyfriend's mother gets me a brand new Black and Decker rice cooker. I don't even make rice that often but I now own 3 rice cookers. And yes, I act surprised every year.
My parents went on a cruise, and they won a whole load of money in the ship's casino. They bought me for Christmas a gigantic gold chain necklace. I mean, Mr. T style, but with the thickest links I had seen. With a matching bracelet.
I have never worn any form of jewelry or anything around them, and never given any indication I would wear a thick ass(-)necklace. I opened it and chuckled like it was a joke, but their faces said honest present. They left the price tag on it, and it was surprisingly expensive.
They also told me how good I look in it, so I don't have the heart to cash4gold that b*tch. I've worn it twice, both times in a Flavor Flav costume style.
This year the big gift from my parents was a 1.5 foot tall penguin statue. What am I supposed to do with that?? It's not like my house has a penguin theme. The saddest part is I would feel bad getting rid of it because my parents were so excited to give it to me. It's now sitting in the closet of my spare bedroom.
When I was 13, my parents divorced. My father never took care of the Christmas thing before; he had no Idea what to get me and my younger brother. He got us pens, pencils, paper, staplers, staples, rulers, and the like. Not to be ungrateful, but it was the worst Christmas ever.
Every Christmas at my grandparents' house (on my father's side) is always an interesting clusterfuck. My grandparents badger us all year for extensive Christmas wish-lists, then end up completely ignoring the list and buying tons of dollar-store crap to give the appearance of tons of presents. Then, inevitably, they open the gifts we bring them and my grandmother always gives the same disappointed little sigh for each gift, followed by a comment like, "Oh, we already have one of these. Oh, these clothes don't fit at all. Oh, why would I ever want one of these?" Gotta love family.
The worst Christmas present is more of a memory since there was the lack of present.
My grandmother had a rough life and wasn't sure how to deal with it. She was bad with her money, a hoarder, and an alcoholic. (She is much better now.) One Christmas several years ago I'm picking her up Christmas morning for the yearly get together. On the way to our house, she asks if we can stop by the liquor store since she can't drive there and it's been too cold to walk there lately. I oblige and she spends $30 on liquor. She then asks if we can hide it in the trunk so my mother doesn't find out. Okay, sure. Later, when we're opening presents, grandma drops the line, "I wasn't able to get you and your mother anything this Christmas because I've been too poor. I feel so bad..."
I got an expensive makeup kit from my SO's aunt. I don't wear makeup and I dress like a tomboy. She was my secret Santa and nowhere on my list was there anything to indicate that I wanted or would use makeup. There was definitely not a gift receipt involved.
When I opened it she said, "Now you can look pretty!" Now I stipulate "NO MAKEUP" on my list every year.
A jar of pennies from my grandma. She said my grandfather was saving them FOR DECADES. I didn't see one with a year below 1990 and I got it in the early 2000's, there was exactly $10 in the jar, and it was in a coffee jar with an expiration date that was a few months after that Christmas. She went to the bank and asked for $10 in pennies.
When I was first dating my wife, she didn't have very much money but wanted to buy me a guitar. She found one at an antique store. I wish I had a picture, but imagine what a guitar would look like if you found one in the dump. Cracked, warped, the wood was horribly scratched, unstrung. Missing pieces.
I felt bad for her but it was less than useful. I think I put it in the corner as some sort of eclectic decoration until she left for college again then just threw it away. She did buy me a proper guitar after we got married, which now sits in the corner, unstrung with pieces missing.
Christmas 2005. I'm 15. My younger brother, 11 at the time, gets $100 in his stocking and 5 new games for his xbox. I get a $25 gift card to Wal-Mart. He was also presented with a 4wheeler, a new 22 rifle (he likes to squirrel hunt), a complete new wardrobe. I mean new shoes, pants, shirts, jackets, belts, etc. I get another $25 gift card to Old Navy a pair of socks and a pair of shoes.
When I was fourteen, my mother gave me a plush toucan toy for Christmas. It turns out she didn't even buy it, it was donated to her. My other siblings got reasonably good presents (which she did buy). She then gave me $200 to go buy an iPod Nano, but took it off me two hours later and spent it on drugs instead. I was pretty devastated and haven't let her live it down since. Since then I've pretty much gotten IOU's for Christmas from her.
Also this year I specifically asked my fiancé for Halo 4 and Xbox Live Gold for Christmas, and he still bought me jewelry. I don't even wear jewelry but that's been my present from him for three years now.