Saturday, December 19, 2015

My Worst Christmas Gift Ever

I asked my seventh grade students about the worst present they've ever received at Christmas time. The discussion came up while reading my favorite tear-jerker holiday story, "A Christmas Memory" by Truman Capote.

Responses: a phone book, a sack of dog poop, a gift card with $1 on it. Not the greatest of Christmas gifts.

After hearing those, my worst-present-ever story isn't so bad, but I'm going to tell it anyway. Not out of ingratitude, out of humor.

I'd asked for typewriter one year because I loved to type. I had the "every good man must come to the aid of his country" phrase down. Piano playing from age eight came in handy when typing. After counting my errors on an exercise one day, I had typed 90-some words a minute in Mrs. Zieman's business class at HHS

So, I wanted a typewriter. Bad. Begged for one. Really begged. I knew that's what was in the rectangular heavy box under the tree when I was a young high school student.

To my dismay, that's not what was in it. No modern Smith Corona for me.

It was an electronic foot soaker. My dad's idea.

Grandma Katie, my mom's mom who'd lived with us when I was younger, frequently soaked her feet in a tub of sudsy hot water. I would do it too. Read more about Grandma Katie here. Long after Grandma was out of the house, I still soaked my feet. In fact, I still do it today. It's especially relaxing with a cup of hot tea, a dog or two, and a good book or the remote tuned to the Lifetime Movie Channel.

With the foot soaker gift, my observant father believed he was giving me, his teenage daughter, a present she'd appreciate, but the snotty only used it once. Mom was scared I'd electrocute myself.

So that was my worst Christmas present ever.

I did end up getting a typewriter—maybe for my birthday that summer—and in typical Dad-fashion, it was the Cadillac of typewriters. He tends to go overboard on things. Gets the deluxe version when the typical will do. I married a man just like him. I'm lucky, but I admit, the unappreciative girl comes out in me sometimes.

My best Christmas present? If we're taking about material things, I'm not sure I have one. But the best present was Jesus Christ whose birth is celebrated by Christians around the world. I call Him Savior. He is the one still shaping this girl into the woman He wants her to be.

And with that I say, Merry Christmas!

How about you? Want to reveal your least favorite Christmas present? Who was it from? Why did they give it to you? Or, maybe you want to share the worse gift you've ever given. 


  1. I really can't think of a worst. But my favorite was a pair of diamond earrings ... I'd wanted them for so long. Tiny, dainty pair. My hubs had a scavenger hunt arranged for me. They were on the tree. I loved them. Almost a year later, I observed them closely ... they weren't even a matching pair. So ... I guess it turned out my worst gift. But I was able to exchange them for a perfect pair. Boy, were there ever lessons to be learned from that experience. lol. xoxo

    1. And really, after wearing them so long, I should have kept them. Even mis-matched ... lesson to be had in that, too.

    2. How funny they were mismatched. I wonder where he found them--pawn shop. There's a story to those mismatched earrings, Shelli! I can imagine you writing a spiritual blog post about them. :)

  2. He got them at Sam's Club ... can you believe it? I had the receipt and was there to exchange them!! Only me!! ;)

    1. lol...I'm known as take back queen (especially with clothes I buy & get them home & try them all on again), so I can relate a bit. I just think it's funny he didn't notice that when he bought them.

  3. The worst present I ever gave was baking a large batch of "Snickerdoodle" Cookies for a guy on his birthday...only to discover that he owned his own bakery and they sold "Snickerdoodles"! I felt completely embarrassed to his "Awww, great." monotone voice... as I am sure my cookies were completely amateur compared to his, and he has them available to him 2
    4/7. Lol!

    1. That is so horrifying in a funny way, Janet! I can see why you've never forgotten it. Thanks for commenting. (I thought I'd hit post when I found this back before Christmas, but I guess it didn't take!)