The Worst Christmas Gift Ideas, Ever

Back when I was a newspaperwoman, the calls, emails and letters from public relations folks touting their products for Christmas gift-giving began in July. Many times, they would send the product itself, which led to me collecting a lot of random stuff. Jigsaw puzzles, books, travel guides, wrapping paper, even a Build-a-Bear with a recordable voice chip.

My favorite by far: YakTrax. It’s a traction device that slips over the sole of your shoe to keep you from slipping on snow and ice in the winter.

Maybe the product is more useful for someone in an area that receives a lot of snow, like Colorado or Vermont, but I had no need for it. Most days, I can handle walking from the front door to the car in inclement weather. I guess they were really trying to market the thing. Seems like they’ve found a niche, since there’s even a YakTrax website.

It’s just something I would never give as a present. I rate it up there with other unwanted Christmas gifts, like that knitted turtleneck you got from Aunt Sue or the regifted vacuum-bag sealer.

Other terrible Christmas gifts I’ve been told about:

  • An Andy Gibb doll (my personal fave worst gift)
  • A broken glass candle-holder
  • One oven mitt from a dollar store (not a pair — just one!)
  • A brown wallet gifted to a grandpa — then given back as a gift the next year.
  • Smoke detector (useful, but not really Christmas-gifty)
  • Deodorant and soap (trying to tell someone something?)
  • Badminton set
  • Small cat figurines
  • Rubber scrapers for the kitchen
  • A bottle of olive oil (I assume nothing fancy!)
  • Cabbage Patch earmuffs (given to a grown man in a grab bag)

What was the worst Christmas gift you ever received?

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