What’s the biggest ‘WTF’ gift you’ve ever received?

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When I was like 12 my mom’s boyfriend gave me a holiday card with sexual themes in the text. My mom pulled me aside later and told me that he was almost illiterate and hadn’t read it before giving it to me and to never talk about it again.


16th birthday, then-girlfriend’s dad gifted me a pair of sexy red lacy thong panties. I still don’t know if he was suggesting that I sleep with his daughter, his wife, or *him*.


When I was about 10 my little brother (only 3 or so) was very sweet and told my parents he had a present for me but didn’t want anyone to see and wanted to wrap it himself. Christmas morning comes and I’m very moved by the shoebox sized gift my little brother taped up as best he could and made my Mom wrap for him. He excitedly brought it over and I noticed it was pretty light but his eyes were giddy with excitement for me to open it. I figured it was a hand drawn picture or something and so I made a big show about being excited to see what was inside. As I started to remove the tape from the box I noticed a little odd smell but figured it was just because the old box was in the basement. When I finally got the lid open and my brother excitedly exclaimed “Merry Christmas” I got to see what he was so excited about for the past two weeks. The box contained a dead hummingbird that had run into the window, an earthworm, and a few scattered saltines in case the worm and bird got hungry. Best present ever, but definitely WTF.


For my bridal shower by mother in law gave me an old bikini. How do I know it was old? The elastic was crusty.


I had one of these with my Nana that turned into a fucking Hallmark life lesson. High School, 1998 or so. At some point in October or so I mentioned casually during a visit that my bedroom was chilly at night. Come Christmas, I open my gift from Nana. A space heater. As a teenager who was hoping for video games or CDs or other such things, I put on the forced-smile rictus and thanked her for the gift while internally bemoaning all the loot that could have been. I must have been grossly unconvincing because she got a bit anxiously-defensive, “You said your room was cold! I thought it’d help out!” Later that night we head home, I plug the space heater in when I go to bed because why not? My god. My god, you all. The DIFFERENCE that space heater made. Actual fucking comfortable sleep for once. No waking up halfway through the night shivering, or getting shocked awake by my foot straying too far from out of the covers. The next time I went to her house I gave Nana a giant hug, and told her how much better my room was at night with that space heater, and gave her an actual genuine thank you. I didn’t even mind the following “I told you it’d help!” Ever since that Christmas, when I get something practical for Christmas from Nana, I thank her sincerely, because it WILL be useful. I still use that space heater twenty years after the fact, too.