With visions of the ultimate holiday gift dancing in her head, Circle of Moms member Nikki S. says her daydream was shattered the second she sat down next to the Christmas tree and started unwrapping her gifts. She got: a big pack of size 16 granny undies, the same horrid handbag from the previous year, and a pair of poofy football slippers from her husband. "I live in fear at Christmas time, I swear my family has no idea who I am. While I really do appreciate the sentiment (and it's the thought that counts), it would be nice for once to get something I like."
For many moms, it's hard to keep dreaming of that special gift waiting under the tree in the aftermath of last year's fiascos. Desiree R. says at least she has some help with the challenge of staying excited about the surprises that await her: Last year her worst gift was "a self help book on having a positive attitude."
It may have come wrapped with love, but Holly says she was shocked when she opened a gift from her aunt – who used give innocent stuff like Hello Kitty key chains – "right in front of my parents, grandma, aunts, uncles and oldest daughter," to find "super lacy, sheer, skimpy" lingerie. "There was no warning on the box or anything. That was embarrassing."
And it could be worse, says Lucy F. Last year her mother-in-law gave her "a dust pan and brush." Her MIL "clearly thinks the chain attaching me to the kitchen sink is a little too long," she says.
Gifts from Mothers-in-Law
The list of gifts every mom won't love seems to be dominated by the thoughtful efforts of our spouse's mother. Tracy H.'s worst gift ever was "a mini pack of wet wipes from my MIL. She thought it was a good idea in case I needed to wipe my kid's faces when they came out of school."
Jessica L. and Jocelyn S. both bemoan gifts of clothing they've received from theirs: "My MIL got me a couple of, I think they're called popcorn sweaters? Or popcorn shirts, or something. They are this silky kind of material and are all scrunched up and so small they look like they could fit a baby. But then they stretch out and fit an adult. I don't know, I never told her this but they're horridly ugly and not something I would ever ever wear."
"My MIL gave me a scarf," says Jocelyn S. "Normally I love scarves; but this one was trimmed with rabbit fur, and I'm a vegetarian."
Mother-in-laws also seem to love giving house gifts. Heather L. remembers an "ooooooogly hand-painted wooden candleholder" she received from her's. "It's all painted black with spots of other colors - pink, yellow, turquoise, 'vomitous' purple. And it's huge - like 18 inches tall and all fat so you can't hide it. I'm sure it wasn't cheap. But it represents her need to make my house look like her's so it really pisses me off. She's been to our place a million times. She knows that everything is decorated in sages and reds and wood. There is no pink, yellow or turquoise and certainly no 'vomitous' purple. Oh wait - there is some pink. On the chair covers because she covered them for me before we moved here in a fabric that she would want in her house."
File Under "Um, Thanks"
In the practical category, Kate C. not-so-fondly remembers, "a cold remedy pack from my mom one year. It had zinc tablets, nasal spray, Echinacea, and other crap in it. Thanks, Ma."
In the where did this come from category, Rebecca T. says: "I got a book about people who dance with cats. The people were all dressed up like their cats, with makeup and everything. Grown men with tails and a tabby cat twirling ribbons. It would have been kind of cool if it weren't so creepy. That, and I'm allergic to cats."
Then there are the inappropriate gifts that people give your children. Amber M.'s husband once ignored her dislike of guns and got their five-year-old son a real rifle for Christmas. "He would not tell me what he got our two boys. He wanted it to be a surprise for all of us. Well I was looking at the box, and it hit me what it was. I thought it was [a] pelt gun, but he told me it was a Youth 22 Rifle. Our oldest son is almost five and that is who the gun [was] for. I was so mad. . . ."
Just remember, it could always be worse.
What's the worst holiday gift you've received?
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.