Gifts that Missed the Mark

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

Millions of gifts will be exchanged this Christmas and while most of them will be greeted with real delight, others will cause little more than stunned silence. Not because the gift is good, but because it’s so bad, words won’t come. It’s the thought that counts as the saying goes, but it is good to know that somebody was thinking!

My daughter-in-law is playing Santa Claus here and I’m sure none of the packages under the tree are worst presents ever. Maybe just worst for a week or two. 🙂 I want to buy good gifts for my kids and grandkids, but often the price tag is a problem. Other times, I just can’t find those perfect presents or have no idea what the perfect gift might be.

Here are a couple of stories about gifts that missed the perfect mark. Carla was trying really hard to give the best present ever, but it didn’t work out that way. Here’s her story.

“I can say that I am good at reading people, listening to the little things they
say, picking it up, and surprising them with gifts made especially or
picked especially for them. All year I will look find something, store it away,
or work on something and hide it away knowing the joy it will bring. How is it
that after (at the point of this tale) five years – each Christmas with my
husband, his surprise, the well thought out gift, was more of a questionable
look on his face wondering who I was shopping for – maybe I should just stick
to socks and underwear, pants and shirts – but each year I search for the big
That year he was reminiscing about high school, being in a band, playing a
guitar… ummm. I took this nugget and began my search. He played acoustic, so
I began a search with the music stores and dropped at the prices, next the pawn
shops – no luck there. Unfortunately, I was rushed in for surgery and found myself
bedridden for two weeks but with remote in hand caught myself staring at the
magic of Esteban and his guitar with monthly affordable payments.
    The box arrived three days before Christmas, I was so excited and made my way
downstairs (against doctor’s orders to not take stairs) to put a bow on it. Christmas
morning, my dear husband, who had been eyeballing this rather large box both in
anticipation and horror, finally found it his to open. The look on his face, I
wish I had thought to take a picture – oh, he was surprised, and he tried
to like it – but the truth was written right there. Thank goodness for the
return policy.

Love that, Carla. Reminds me of when I sneaked around and bought my husband a horse. He was always talking about the horses he’d ridden as a boy. That horse turned out to be problem after problem and one my husband didn’t want to deal with. He didn’t really want a horse. He just wanted to talk about wanting a horse! A perfect horse. Our little horse was far from perfect.

But Carla’s story can’t match Jackie’s.

“Worst Christmas Gift:  In the early years of
our marriage my husband gave me a new shower head for the bathroom and running
boards for our vehicle.  Yes, we needed the new shower head, and I wanted
the running boards since I am so short, but as my Christmas gifts?  I did
not appreciate very much the “community” gifts, shared by my husband and two
stepdaughters.  It has been many years now since then, and we usually just
shop together after Christmas for something that each of us would like to
Jackie knows when to cut her losses and just figure out how to get something she wants. And I like that they wait until after Christmas to get more bang for their bucks. I think that shower head gift tops my husband’s worst gift of a floor polisher a couple of Christmases after we married. I had absolutely no interest in polishing the floors in the old farmhouse where we lived at the time with that big floor cleaner machine he gave me. But I did. What a person will do to prove her love! Of course, he really thought he was helping me as I’m sure Jackie’s husband did too. Practical guys, but sometimes practical gifts are not what you want under the tree.
Here’s something I put in our church bulletin this week for a smile.
Wife to husband: This year let’s give each other more practical gifts like socks and fur coats.
Hope all your gifts are the best yet and if you get one that’s the worst, maybe a refund or exchange will be possible. 
My Christmas Fun contest is still going strong with more entries coming in. Remember, you can enter by contacting me from my website, There’s info about it on my News and Events page.  Deadline for entering is midnight EST on 
December 30. And keep the stories coming.