The year is winding down, and many of us are getting ready to unwrap our presents, and possibly practicing our very best Gosh This Is Exactly What I Dreamed Of Getting faces.

What are the worst presents you’ve ever gotten — or, GIVEN, either knowingly or only to realize it later? Other than some truly hideous grandparent sweaters, I can’t remember getting anything especially awful myself. My Dad always liked to give people things he wanted for himself, which he knew no one would buy for him and/or nobody could be TRUSTED to buy exactly what he wanted. For example, when we lived in Miami and he had a power boat, my mother’s last Christmas present under the tree was… nautical charts of the nearby waterways. Or there was the year she received a painting of one of his favorite — a.k.a. most profitable at the bookies — racehorses. (He collected those.)(The paintings, not the horses.) Rest assured he got my mother plenty of other good stuff, but the jokes were the ones I remember the most. Somehow, though, they weren’t as amused when we snuck out to the shed, stole two pieces of coal, and wrapped them up and put them under the tree with their names on them.

Your turn!