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‘Tis the season for giving and receiving gifts but as we all know sometimes our friends and family miss the mark on the present choices. We have all received the really bad or awkward gift. The Bay Area on-air personalities of CBS Radio reveal their most memorable “Worst Present Ever.”
The Fernando & Greg Show
Weekday Mornings on 99.7 [NOW!]
When I was in 7th grade there was this girl that really really liked me and she kept promising a great Christmas gift. I was so excited on the last day of school before break because she brought this huge box to the English class that we shared! I was so excited but had to wait until after class to open my gift. As soon as we left the class, the girl gave me my gift. I ripped the box open and inside-.A three foot tall ceramic replica of ET! YES, the ET from the movie! OMG, I was so disappointed! I am not sure what I expected, but as a 7th grade boy, I didn’t have much use of a ceramic ET statue that was half my height!
On the Fernando and Greg show, I’m the one known for being a very bad gift giver. I’m taking ownership of that label because I come by this dubious trait honestly. My father was a HORRIBLE gift giver. To be fair, he wasn’t always awful at placing the right gifts under the tree. There were years in my childhood when I’d score a present haul that would make the Kardashians envious. But as I got older, giving his only son the perfect gift slipped way down his list of priorities. By the time I hit my teen years, Dad had given up on his gifting game completely and settled on giving me a 1.5 oz bottle of Coty Musk cologne spray – purchased with a coupon. It truly was the gift that keeps on giving because I received a fresh, new bottle each and every year. His reasoning was very simple – economics. This great smelling gift was something we BOTH could use and lasted a long time – usually until the following Christmas or the bottle “accidentally” fell out of my bedroom window. And wouldn’t you know, the packaging has changed very little over the years.
When I was about 10 years old, for some reason I really wanted to collect stamps. Obviously, I loved Nintendo and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but stamps was just one of those odd things I wanted to do.
Now for Christmas, I wanted Nintendo games and toys, but my Grandmother, hearing of my stamp collecting interests, thought it would make a great gift for under the tree. She recruited every person in her office to take every stamp from every envelope that passed through the place, and put them in a giant box. The box was the size of a pretty large TV. She wrapped it up and everything. Think about how stoked I was to see this huge box on Christmas morning! Then think about how sad I was when it was filled with about 5,000 stamps!
When I was like 12 years old my aunt bought be a few pairs of lacy G-Strings and thongs for Christmas! I had no idea so I opened it front of my entire family, grandparents – the whole nine yards and everyone was shocked! I didn’t even know what they were at first so I held them up for everyone to see and when I finally realized how racy they were I must’ve turned bright red. It was terrible! Everyone was whispering and my mom pulled my aunt to the side. Super awkward!
Sarah And Vinnie
Weekdays 5:30AM – 10:00AM on Alice@97.3
For years, my Nana would get my husband, John and me a fruit cake. It came in a decorative tin and was hard as a rock with all these sticky, candy-like “fruits” in it. We tried to gently hint that it wasn’t necessary, but year after year it would come to the house like clockwork. We started hiding it around the house – out of the tin – to surprise each other and crack each other up. Like you would open a cabinet door and it would fall out at you. We would do this until it inevitably disintegrated. One year, John balanced it on a ruler over the water in our toilet and closed the lid. It was too heavy or was there for too long and broke apart over the ruler and fell into the water. Certainly surprising when the lid was lifted … super gross and we had to fish it all out of there…
The worst gift I ever received was when I was about ten years old. The family tradition was to gather at grandma’s house in Visalia, California. Being in that town was bad enough-as kids-cause it’s cold and boring! On Christmas Eve we would sit in the living room around the fire and the tree. All parents and kids would have to open up gifts one at a time. It was a very long process. And, it was after midnight—-I was never a night person. Anyway, my turn came and grandma hands me my gift to open and show to everyone. To my horror, it was a matching training bra and undies!!! Now, as an adult it doesn’t sound that bad-right? Well, as a kid and in front of the entire extended family-it was the most embarrassing moment in my little life. Everyone was laughing at me as tears streamed down my ten year old face. I ran crying to the bathroom and stayed there til my mom talked me out.
As I think back at the hundreds of Christmas gifts I’ve received its hard to specifically pick one that was THE WORST. Here’s one that sticks out, it was given to me when I was in 7th grade. Transformers were very popular when I was a kid and they seemed to fly off the shelves as soon as they arrived.
We had a neighbor friend who prided herself at being the best gift giver. She came over our house the morning of Christmas and handed me a bag. As I looked in and pulled out the toy – it only took 10 seconds to figure out she had bought me a fake transformer – I think it was called Aqua Blaze. I could tell immediately that it was fake – so I just starred at it silently. My mother quickly covered up for me and was overly gracious on my behalf. I recall looking at my mom after the neighbor left and saying over and over again “this is fake” there isn’t an Aqua Blaze in the world of Transformers.
Aqua Blaze ended up being re-gifted
When I was six, my uncle gifted me the Nintendo gaming system for Christmas. It came with “Super Mario Bros” AND “Duck Hunt” (it included the gun to shoot ducks too!). The coolest gift ever until the next day when my father returned it to Toys R Us because he didn’t want his children glued to the TV. My dad received store credit and bought a bunch of “educational games” that involved math, typing, spelling and more! A bunch of lame ass gifts that were supposed to make me smarter. I would have rather gotten a box of rocks, than to have received this dreamy gift – and have it snatched away the next morning.
For Christmas, one of my aunts used to make my sister and I matching sweatshirts with the iron-on pattern and puffy paint outlines. They were cute, but I am ten years older than my sister and used to hate having to wear matching outfits with her. My mom would always have us pose for a picture wearing our presents that she could send to my aunt. I was definitely not one of the cool kids!
Weekdays 10:00AM – 3:00PM on Alice@97.3
I don’t remember a present that I disliked enough to scar me for life enough to make this list, I do however have a “Christmas Story-Red-Ryder-BB-Rifle-esque” story about a present I wanted so badly I will remember it forever. I was 7 or 8, and I’d played the board game Battleship my whole life and loved it, and one day … in the toy catalog that came to our house… I saw a picture of my new Holy Grail: Electronic Battleship.
It lit up when you made a hit and it made little exploding sounds and it had whistles and OHMYGOD I wanted it so badly. I’d never wanted anything so badly in my life.
I remember so clearly that it was $40. That might as well have been $500 to us at the time. I thought there was no way that I was going to get a $40 toy and I didn’t know how to balance my 7-year-old lust for this toy with the knowledge that I couldn’t even ask for it, it was out of our reach. So I made little hints here and there and mentioned how cool it would be to get that if only it weren’t so expensive. (In my memory it was “little hints” but in reality I probably threw myself on the floor begging.)
AND THEN. Christmas Eve, which is when we open the presents, I run out to the tree… and there it is… with a big red bow on top. I picked it up and danced around the room.
I have no idea how my parents afforded it, I should ask them that. I know they remember it ‘cause I played it approximately 476,000 times over the next few years and ‘cause I always talk about it when subjects like this come up.
I still love you, wherever you are, Electronic Battleship.
Weekdays 3:00PM – 7:00PM on Alice@97.3
I love wine. My husband has worked for some great wineries so I’m fortunate enough to have experienced some pretty good bottles! But one holiday we got together with a couple of friends who, bless their hearts, are wonderful people but don’t know much about wine.
So they brought us a bottle that one of them had picked up on their travels somewhere in the Midwest – I wanna say Indiana or Illinois. I forget because I’ve apparently I’ve repressed it from my memory! Well, it was *not* a good bottle of wine – long story short, there were sugar crystals in the bottom of the bottle! Thankfully they had a sense of humor and we all laughed about their blunder – and proceeded to open a bottle of the good stuff to toast with. :-)
Weeknights 7:00PM – Midnight on Alice@97.3
The worst Christmas present I ever received? It’s a toss up. One year my mother gave me Kathie Lee Gifford’s autobiography called, “I Can’t Believe I Said That.” My mom really doesn’t know me very well. Another year, in a Secret Santa gift exchange, I received a box of Saran Wrap. You know what? Now that I think about it the Saran Wrap was pretty useful. I’m going to award the title of Worst Gift Ever to the Kathie Lee book. Sorry, Mom.
Weekdays 3:00PM – 7:00PM on Live 105
I’ll never forget the worst X-mas gift I ever received. It was one of those massive tins of assorted meats and dried fruit. The ones that pop up at a mall only during the holidays.
I’ll never forget this one, because it was loaded with all these sausages. So I open up the basket and of course start devouring all the fancy food while me and everyone else opened up the rest of the gifts. I must have been on my eighth helping, when I noticed the discoloration of the sausage I was eating. It was greenish yellow at the bottom! I looked over at the basket and examined the meats more closely. I then noticed a haze of mold over the rest of the meats that I was gonna unwrap next!
God knows how much rancid meat I had already eaten, needless to say my stomach turned and I spent a good portion of Christmas morning in the bathroom.
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