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CHOICE staff reveal the worst Christmas gifts they've ever received

It’s the thought that counts, right? I received a $20 scratchie one year. 1 in a million gamble it would be a good present.

What are some of the worst gifts you’ve received?


Couple coals

“My great-grandparents actually had a tradition of gifting each other a lump of coal each year. It was very sweet.” – Ashley Iredale, whitegoods expert.

I suspect that some politicians will be getting the same this Xmas.


We usually get the stuff out of the Chrisco hamper the dau-in-law doesn’t like and the Lions Christmas cake her father gives her that she equally detests - we will know shortly. Our only gift so far - a New Zealand School Calendar - with term dates & school / public holidays prominent - thanks Old Mate (suspect he’s losing it a bit). We’re too old for Christmas presents and the family won’t be visiting us this year.

My “worst” gift was a pillowslip when my brother got a side drum. In our family, if your birthday came within cooee of Christmas, Easter etc you had a choice of a present for one and not the other. Three of us fell into that category and we were all jealous of the August child who got a present for Birthday, Christmas & egg for Easter. I suppose I should have been grateful that my grandmother sewed me a pillowslip as I was due to get nothing, having opted for a birthday present 2 months before. How different today.


Not having any family, Xmas gifts are a rarity here. I go to a friend for Xmas breakfast, and last year we decided no gifts, which was good. She has so many to buy for, its just mad. So yesterday I’m informed that she got me a token present.(soap)… dammit… then, theres an obligation to find something to give to her. Luckily I had a gadget I bought for myself years ago, and which ought to come in handy for her… its a locking device for when you are travelling, to lock your hotel door. Its extra security, and should be good for someone who travels a lot. and she does.

I hate getting things which are very obviously re-gifted.


… unless I get a specific request of something they genuinely want, I give my kids gift vouchers made by the RBA - they come in very useful amounts, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 dollars, can be exchanged for all manner of goods and services with the added benefit they don’t have an expiration date and can be used at the best times for making cost effective purchases - one of which is immediately after Christmas …


Gone are the days when we appreciated ANY gift and valued the giver’s generosity.

Aquisitiveness seems to be the norm now and no matter how well intentioned, unless the gift is the specific thing desired, it is not appreciated. Quantity, $ value, and on-trend have become the new measure of gifts worth.

Perhaps it is time we went back to just being grateful for the privilege of receiving.


I would prfer not to receive. Its the company of friends I look forward to.


I agree. It is being surrounded by those you love, and who love you that is the greatest gift.


The Gifts of Friendship and Love require both a giving and receiving. While they do not have monetary value, the value of these gifts is immeasurable in their power and reach. May we all enjoy these wonderful gifts in our lives.

The worst gift I ever received I can’t remember so it must have been utterly unmemorable, I have only ever received great gifts because they came from people I care about and who care about me.


You might prefer this one instead.

Not only is there coal in the story. There is a witch dressed in black who rides a broom stick and comes down the chimney.

It’s an acquired taste, if our children’s first reaction is to be believed. There appear to be variations in flavouring and consistency. Sometimes brittle, sometimes a little chewy, sometimes strongly black aniseed.


I don’t believe that would have been the type of coal that the pollies would have found in their Xmas stockings yesterday.


Be careful - the last time I looked Westfield charges a fee for its gift vouchers. Buy gift vouchers where you just pay for the amount you are giving as the gift.


I was being a little tongue in cheek - this is what I was referring to :slight_smile:

Your point is well made though and definitely worth the reminder - as you said and as real gift vouchers can still have a sting in the tail, it is definitely worth checking what they cost (including any overheads) and how/where they can be redeemed and any limitations on redemption (do they have to be used all at once) - I reckon the changes to validity period might have cleared some other stuff up as well, but still, well worth checking and I wouldn’t mind betting there are still some dodgy vouchers outside the new legislation … which is why I give cash :slight_smile:


When I purchase a Gift Card for someone, I go to the “rewards” pages of businesses that have such a thing, such as the RAA, AGL, Youi etc as you can often purchase gift cards at 15 - 5% Discount… so my $100 Gift card only actually costs me $90 etc… well worth investigating before you rush off and purchase, I NEVER pay full price for a gift card…