7 Gifting FAILS That Almost Ruined Christmas

giftEvery season we try our very best to give people in our lives meaningful gifts we think they'll enjoy. Most of the time it works out. But every once in a while we suffer a massive gifting fail. What happened? You thought you'd nailed it -- but you were so, so wrong. It's the thought that counts, right? As awful as it is to be on the receiving end of a gifting fail, I think it's even worse to be the gift-giver who blew it. Some may disagree with me, though. At any rate, here are a few tales of gifting fails. Do any of these sound familiar?


1. My Grandfather bought me a "personal massager" for Christmas ... who knew Sears sold vibrators? He was mortified when my uncle burst out laughing and I turned red. It was so well intentioned, I had injured my back during the tennis season (high school varsity). He just bought the wrong sort of massager.

2. We had a personalized sweatshirt made for my uncle's birthday -- a play on the Heinz 57 bottle since he was turning 57. Well, he didn't want people to know how old he was. We had his name embroidered on the front--spelled differently than he spelled it. And it was a light blue sweatshirt, which turned out to be his least favorite color.

3. I bought my wife a nice set of knives, because she'd been saying for a long time that she wanted them. But when I did, she was offended that I had purchased a domestic item as a present. So I said fine, give them to me. And that's what we did.

4. My mother, bless her well-meaning heart, lives in fear of buying me gifts because I take them quite personally (it's like when you set someone up on a blind date and they're all, THAT IS WHO YOU THINK I'D GO WITH?!?). So this one time she bought me this really lovely bath-y lotion-y set ... rose-scented. BUT waahhhhhhh (literally, crying -- yes, I was in my 20s kthx) I HATE THE SMELL OF ROSES IT'S LIKE YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW ME!!!

5. I spent more money than I should have on airfare for my mom. She double-dipped and got airfare free from somewhere else. She felt guilty about the lie and gave my gift cards back. Here I come San Diego!

6. When I was in middle school, my friends and I would all exchange gifts with one another. My best guy friend and I were talking on the phone one night, and I asked him, 'What do you want for Christmas?' He must have been looking at the TV or something, because he joking said, "A Simply Red CD." I hadn't ever heard of the band Simply Red, but I thought he was serious, so that's what I bought him. When he opened it up, he was like, "What is this?" He'd never heard of them either!

7. Every year I buy my husband an article of clothing that doesn't fit.

Have you ever been on either the receiving or giving end of a gifting fail?


Image via Arman Zhenikeyev/Corbis

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