I just love those videos you see on YouTube of parents deliberately giving their kids the most awful Christmas presents so they can watch their reactions. There is something truly hilarious about seeing a small child unwrapping a potato or a can of sweetcorn and then bawling their eyes out! At the heart of the humour is probably the fact that we have all received gifts that we really didn’t want. I am also sure that everyone has a relative with a knack of buying the most naff gifts imaginable.
When I was younger I certainly opened my Christmas gifts in a particular order. Anything from my grandmother or one of my aunts I opened first to get the disappointment out of the way before moving on to more promising territory. After all, why would you buy a 10 year old a silver plated candlestick? I really didn’t know what to say about that special treat and wondered what I should do with it. The solution to this conundrum occurred to me later in the day when I was playing Cluedo!
Murderous thoughts aside I was genuinely disappointed that so many of my gifts were simply the opposite of anything that I would ever want. Other triumphs of naffness included a hideous floral ceramic photo frame (I was 11 for heaven’s sake), a glass tray for nibbles (when I was 12) and a series of ridiculous jumpers. None of these ever fit which let me out of actually having to wear them.
The Wish List
My mother became rather sick of the rubbish I was given too as she inevitably ended up with the task of disposing of it and so she started to ask me for a wish list which she could then circulate. From that day forward I wrote a list every year but even that didn’t work as it was generally either ignored or misinterpreted. One year I asked for a Queen album and got a photograph album with the Queen on the front! (My Nan again!).
Reading about other people’s gift disasters I am amazed to see that I actually got off quite lightly. I was amused by one guy online who as a teenager asked for anything to do with Eminem and ended up with a truck load of M &M sweets! Another kid who was a keen musician asked for guitar amp and got a guitar lamp and one poor chap who was into music production asked for a mixer and received a Kenwood food mixer! There was also a 10 year old who was given a beard trimmer and a profoundly deaf boy whose Nan bought him an MP3 player!
I think the funniest story I read was posted by a guy who had been flummoxed by a gift from his parents. He had made a wish list on Amazon which featured the music, DVDs and gadgets that he most wanted. He was, therefore, rather surprised to receive a Le Creuset Kettle. He acted suitable pleased and then conducted an investigation which revealed that his best friend and hacked into his wish list and added a few extras!
What I have never quite understood is how people manage to choose such completely inappropriate things. They say that it is the thought that counts but clearly some people aren’t thinking at all! There are many great gifts you could buy anyone no matter what their interests and in today’s world you don’t even have to leave home to do it so what is the problem?
Article by Sally Stacey