The winter holidays can mean different things for different people.
It can mean spending time with the people you love, remembering what to be thankful for or having awkward conversations with relatives. But it also means enjoying the consumerism associated with the holidays — presents. Sometimes people hit a home run with what they get you and other times they just fall flat.
These are the stories of some of The Journal staff’s worst presents they’ve ever received over the holidays.
When I was nine years old, the first night of Hanukkah fell on the same day as my birthday. I logically assumed this meant I’d get double the presents from my parents and I prepared to swim in a pool of new iPod Touches. Instead, my parents got me and all my siblings socks and a CD entitled “School on a Disk”.
—Josh Granovsky, Assistant Lifestyle Editor
It’s not necessarily the worst gift in the world but it’s definitely the worst in comparison. My Nana plays extreme favourites when it comes to her grandkids. We’re all in our 20s and there are five of us in total: me, my sister and my three cousins. We always celebrate Christmas together in one house and open all of our presents one at a time in front of the tree. Last year, one after the other, my sister and I opened our Nana’s gifts and found a set of cozy plaid pajamas. They were awesome. Then two of my cousins opened their gifts and got the same pajamas. Cute right? We were all going to match. That is, until my oldest cousin’s turn came around and he started to laugh, because Nana had bought him a fucking iPad.
—Ashley Rhamey, Editorials Editor
I was around eight when I received my worst present ever. From what I remember, I really wanted a Game Boy Advance and I almost fell down the stairs on Christmas morning because I was so excited. I remember seeing a box that looked Game Boy-shaped under the tree and obviously grabbed it. But when I ripped off the wrapping, it was not a Game Boy Advance. It turned out to be a copy of the New Testament. I got a bible.
—Nick Pearce, Arts Editor
My worst present is actually a lack of a present. For my whole life, I’ve wanted a puppy more than anything. One Christmas Eve when I was 11 or 12, I was getting home from a friend’s house and immediately heard barking in my backyard and noticed paw prints leading up to the front door. I could barely breathe; I was so excited to finally get my dream present. But when I walked in, it was just another Christmas Eve and my mom had no idea what I was even talking about. All the dog signs were just coincidence. It wasn’t until five years and a signed contract with my mom later that I finally got my dog.
—Shivani Gonzalez, Lifestyle Editor
When I was seven years old, my mom got me a purple watch for Christmas. I was obviously going through some sort of boyish phase because I was absolutely outraged by the frilly lace it apparently had. I only remember this because I wrote a thrilling account of the whole thing in my diary as if it was the biggest injustice that had ever happened to me. I was definitely a huge brat and I feel bad about it now — but it didn’t help that the next year she got me an alarm clock, which was honestly probably more of a punishment than a present.
—Julia Balakrishnan, Photos Editor
When I was eight or nine, my step-grandfather gave me a used set of Tchaikovsky cassette tapes and a mechanical bird with real feathers in a cage that squawked when you walked past it — I feel like that kind of speaks for itself.
—Meredith Wilson-Smith, Copy Editor
During the Christmas season of my second year, I had four different Secret Santa exchanges, one with my house-mates and others for the different clubs and groups I was a part of. For all four exchanges, I received four different mugs; an elf mug, a book-themed mug, a generic white mug and a sharpie-decorated mug. I don’t have anything against mugs per say. I love them. But four mugs are more than one girl needs, especially one who didn’t ever drink tea and made coffee at home perhaps once or twice a month, if that.
—Sarina Grewal, Assistant News Editor
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