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Best/worst Birthday/ Christmas present ever received (lighthearted)

(127 Posts)
mamaa Tue 27-Oct-20 10:29:25

Following on from a comment I made on another thread I began to think of presents I've received over the years for Birthdays/Christmas. I think one of the best birthday presents was a balloon flight off my husband for my 50th (once it actually happened, the constant re-booking due to weather/work constraints was a bit of a pain). One of the worst Christmas presents was also off my husband. We were still newly weds ( so early 20's) and I can still remember how excited I was when I saw the large present under the tree. The excitement was short-lived once I'd torn off the paper on Christmas morning, full of anticipation of the contents within...there were lots of little presents which when unwrapped revealed: a small thermos flask, a plastic red rose, teatowels, etc etc. you get the picture shock. I tried to be pleased as he had made such an effort, and eventually we saw the funny side! Over the years his present buying has improved as he realised that such things as kitchen scissors and pyrex bowls would never be things I'd want for special occasions. smile

dahlia Tue 27-Oct-20 14:34:03

Looking in a kitchen shop, I pointed and said "Isn't that lovely", meaning the colour of an item in the window. As my birthday was coming up, DH misunderstood and bought me the oven cloth which was on sale! I eventually forgave him, but
prefer earrings!

Grandma70s Tue 27-Oct-20 15:15:15

These threads always shock me a bit. Presents are presents even if you’re not thrilled. It seems very spoilt-childish to complain about them.

An aunt sent my son a shoe-cleaning set when he was about eleven. That was not well received, but luckily it arrived by post so he didn’t have to act.

The present that most thrilled me was a leather shoulder bag when I was ten. My aunt had made it herself in a handicraft class. I’d never had a bag other than a school satchel, and it seemed very grown up. This was in 1950. Another good one was the gold bee necklace my son gave me quite recently. Pity my neck is not what it was to show it off.

Presents I didn’t really like included a length of dress material my husband bought in Hawaii or somewhere. I don’t sew, so it was never made up. It wasn’t my taste anyway. I was also not keen on some mauve nail varnish, from the same aunt who gave me the shoulder bag. I just wasn’t a mauve nail varnish type.

I feel so mean now!

EllanVannin Tue 27-Oct-20 15:22:51

It has to be the wooden drainboard ! One Birthday in the 60's. The one in-situ was getting worn down and it was scrubbed to death.

Large wrapped present and I though that H had really gone over the top with a" box of chocolates " that size----until I lifted it up and realised it wasn't what I thought. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
I did laugh in the end and as the years went on he more than made up for it.

sodapop Tue 27-Oct-20 15:32:00

I don't think its shocking Grandma70 I'm sure all of us at some point have been given a present which was in no way to our taste. Often there is a lack of thought from the donor which can be hurtful or sometimes funny.
I had a friend some years ago who could be relied on to give me the one thing I would never want in a million years. It was almost as if she went out of her way to find it.
The most welcome presents for me are things like home made jams/chutney etc which is so personal and enjoyable.
I'm sure we all have strange objects made by our children and grandchildren which we would never part with.

Witzend Tue 27-Oct-20 16:35:29

Best present as a child was 2 goldfish in a bowl - first pets I ever had. Birthday money bought them a better home in the form of a small fish tank.

As an adult, one of the best was identical copies of 2 very old, long out of print books I’d treasured as a child - which my mother had got rid of when they moved house and I was away at university.
Somehow dh had tracked down copies that were so similar, they could have been my own.

Nanawind Tue 27-Oct-20 16:39:19

Every present from my mum.
Last year I got an empty box. It was from a market stall which most people bought to put a gift in.

Out shopping before Christmas one year and saw a lovely Pink jumper pointed it out to mum who replied
we'll see if FC will bring it. On Christmas morning I opened my present to yes a pink jumper from a charity shop
nothing like the one I pointed out.

Dh plays a sport and she got him a new back pack with Thomas the tank engine on the front.

It's not just me and Dh she gets stupid things, my Sil was given 24 toilet rolls and a tin of talc.

My DD and DN share a birthday and for their 21st they were given coat hangers which the charity shop were giving out for free.

It's not as though money is tight.

Lucca Tue 27-Oct-20 16:42:01

Ex husband... I said I fancied some pyjamas (I was in my thirties at the time), Clearly I meant silky pretty ones.
I received light blue tracksuit style ones with red cuffs. I’m sorry but I didn’t hide my disgust !

Lucca Tue 27-Oct-20 16:43:07

Nanawind. Those are actually funny !!

Witzend Tue 27-Oct-20 16:44:53

Another ‘best’ Christmas present was my first pair of lovely sheepskin house boots from Celtic Sheepskin - but in that case I’d told dh and left a printout on his desk with style and size clearly circled!
At least it saved him racking his brains that year.

GrannySomerset Tue 27-Oct-20 16:48:19

Worst present, aged about eight, was two pairs of beige school socks from a family friend who obviously thought it would help my mother. Best present was a fabulous fiftieth birthday weekend with party, band and a hotel full of people I loved. Not a surprise since I organised it but generous in the extreme.

yggdrasil Tue 27-Oct-20 16:56:18

Long ago we lived in a 3 storey 'town house' tall and thin with the kitchen up the stairs. I had great difficulty cleaning the windows, both because I don't like heights and at only 5ft I couldn't reach over the work surfaces. So I asked my (then) husband would he please help with the windows. He did once or twice, and then when Christmas came round he gave me an extendable sponge/scraper.

The best present I ever had was a disappointment when I first saw it. I was 10 and an advanced reader, and I opened the parcel and said 'oh no not another animal book'
My mother said take another look and then read it.
It was Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Books, complete and unabridged and I still have it :-)

B9exchange Tue 27-Oct-20 17:06:01

Best present ever was when I was struggling to get four children to two different schools and get myself to work each day. My 'pipe dream' was an old banger car so that I could drive the distances when DH needed our one car for his work.

On Christmas day I opened a box containing an old piece of drainpipe. On seeing my puzzled face, DH told me to look inside, and there was a set of car keys. Wildly excited, I was led to a neighbour's garage, where my present was hiding. It was a recent Volvo in immaculate condition. My father had spent some of his life's savings, and DH had chipped in too, to give me my 'pipe dream'!

MamaCaz Tue 27-Oct-20 17:17:11

Your kitchen scissor story has remained me how I felt when my mum gave me a teapot for my birthday one year. Yes, it was a good teapot (one that doesn't dribble as you pour), and it is still going strong, but really, as a birthday present?

I don't always dislike practical presents though - for my 40th birthday, I actually asked for and got a heap of sh*t from OH (though he took some convincing that I really meant it). I had taken on an allotment and was absolutely delighted when I saw the huge heap of manure that he had dumped on it ?
Definitely a strong contender for 'the best', and most certainly the most memorable. grin

Ladyleftfieldlover Tue 27-Oct-20 17:35:48

On my 60th my younger son gave me one of those wooden collapsible trays for eating breakfast in bed. He had seen me admire one on an old Poirot. OH bought me an ice cream machine - one of those where you don’t have to keep the bucket in the freezer. It was rather expensive but as I have made so much ice cream, it has probably paid for itself. Worst present: in my 40s I worked with a rather odd lady (the same age) who bought me and a colleague a pair of the worst slippers ever. The sort even a really old grandmother wouldn’t wear. My much loved late grandfather bought me a bottle of Baileys every Christmas. I can’t bear it.

Oopsadaisy4 Tue 27-Oct-20 18:14:53

Best birthday present was for my 50th, I wasn’t long out of hospital, dosed up on painkillers and unable to walk, DH came home from work early and behind him was my Mum! He’d travelled 3 hours to pick her up, I burst into tears , happy ones though.

Aldom Tue 27-Oct-20 19:07:48

A present I treasure is a manicure set in a beautiful, dark green leather case. I use it regularly and it's now 53 years old.

Urmstongran Tue 27-Oct-20 19:08:58

Some lovely tales here ❤️
And quite a few have made me giggle!

My best?
A Christmas present. Himself has been on a 3 day week for weeks during the Thatcher years. Money was tight. Christmas morning, we were watching our little girls open their parcels and Himself said to me ‘shall we put the radio on?’. I went over to switch it on and draped over the knob was a beautiful gold bracelet. I cried.

A box of ancient unbranded liqueur chocolates from an elderly neighbour where the chocolate has bloomed (badly) and the sticky mess inside had leaked into the plastic pockets.

honeyrose Tue 27-Oct-20 20:13:20

I’ve had some wonderful presents and some not so wonderful, but I get SO embarrassed when opening presents in front of people in case I don’t like what they’ve bought. If I genuinely like what’s been bought that’s fine, I’m ok (and relieved!) but if I don’t - I try to pretend I do, and I don’t think I’m a very good actress. Aaaagh!

mokryna Tue 27-Oct-20 20:43:48

For many years my three daughters have got together and have chosen one lovely present for me for each occasion. However, when I was small and my parents had no money hand knitted hat, gloves, mittens and any other sort of clothing that I needed.
One present does stick in my mind. It was from my well off ex MIL for my thirtieth birthday, three small Tupperware containers. I was upset later but ex never reproached her.
When my ex asked, years later, what did I think our daughters would like for their thirtieths from him, I replied, not Tupperware. He said I wasn’t being nice.

Urmstongran Tue 27-Oct-20 21:00:43

mokryna ??

sparklingsilver28 Tue 27-Oct-20 21:44:08

Best Christmas present ever came from my Aunt, my mother's youngest sister. In 1954, aged 16, a pair of beautiful pale green leather slippers lined with soft warm fur and collar and dainty small heel. I felt like a Fairy Queen - oh to find something so lovely today.

All2gether Tue 27-Oct-20 21:48:55

I’m not sure this was the worst or best present but I think it might be the funniest ? as a nurse I get many boxes of chocolates off patients at Christmas but this one year I was given a tin of chicken curry really made me chuckle ?

mamaa Tue 27-Oct-20 23:05:40

Thank you all for your contributions- I very nearly didn’t start the thread in case it offended and people thought me shallow or ungrateful- I’m neither honestly!
Just been reminded of something else I was bought as a surprise from DH when we moved into our new house. It had far more windows than our previous home. They needed cleaning so he bought me an extending brush...a window cleaner was hired the very next day and 25 years later I’ve still never used that flamin brush!

Georgesgran Wed 28-Oct-20 08:07:08

I’ve never had a Christmas or Birthday present from my DH. After 48 years that’s not going to change!

A friend’s (now ex) H once bought her a Slendertone Slimming belt.
A friend once showed me a pair of beautiful diamond studs her boyfriend bought her. Oddly, she didn’t seem very thrilled, then produced an identical box with the same studs he’d bought her the previous year! She hoped to take the second pair back and swap them for something else.

Nortsat Wed 28-Oct-20 08:24:46

One Chr***mas my partner included a set of Joseph Joseph chopping boards in my presents ... He had bought them in John Lewis and they had cost £79.
There were many things I would have loved from John Lewis, but expensive chopping boards were not amongst them.

One of my best presents was when we were first together in the 1970’s, our money was tight and my partner bought me a bottle of Chanel no19. I loved it and thought it was really decadent.
It’s now the only perfume I wear and I often receive it as a gift.