Gifts not to give this holiday season

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We know times are tough, so we decided to make gift giving a little easier this year for three lucky readers. We asked you to send us the worst present you’ve ever received (and there were a lot of crappy gifts to choose from). The winners will receive a bundle of goodies worth more than $2,000, including a one-year membership to Crunch Gym, a Radley shoulder bag, an 80 Minutes in Haven facial at Haven Spa, a Lucid Absinthe gift set and more. Read below for the winners' stories.

Theresa, 34, preschool teacher
“For many years I worked as a home-visiting preschool teacher. Most of the families would give gifts during the holiday season ranging from thoughtful and functional, i.e., scarves, pens or chocolates, to completely ridiculous; a porcelain hand with red painted nails holding three plastic roses (for decoration of course!). This is not the worst gift. The worst gift I have ever been given was given to me in front of a three-year-old, his father and seven-year-old sister. The three-year-old came into the room proudly holding out a gift bag for me. He sat and watched as I carefully unwrapped the box that was inside. I opened the box to find an olive-colored lace thong. Yes, thong, as in inappropriate underwear! The child just looked at me expectantly, but I quickly closed the box and could barely conceal my embarrassment. I mumbled a thank you and could not get out of there fast enough. The parent had never acted inappropriately towards me and I was stunned, but I never brought up the subject again. Luckily, the family moved out of the area shortly after so my uncomfortable meetings with them didn't last very much longer.”

 

Ally, 24, marketing associate
“When I first met my ex I was an unhealthy size one, I was going through a difficult time and hardly ever ate. Things started to get better, I gained weight, started going to the gym and eating healthy, and eventually I was a healthy size four. I had packed my size one clothes in a box in the back of the closet and left the bad memories there. On Christmas Day I opened my present from my ex, and it was a pair of my size one jeans with a note that said ‘Getting into these jeans should be your New Year's resolution.’”

 

Joyce, 37, high-school art teacher
“Other than the gym membership I received one Christmas from my boyfriend who thought I was gaining too much weight, the worst present I ever got was this Superfly Screaming Monkey (left) with a pink hat and cape. Not only was there something overly disturbing about flinging the monkey through the air like a slingshot and hearing it scream when it hit the wall or floor; but this gift was from my parents.…The only gift from my parents that year.…The only gift from my parents for whom I traveled from NYC to Indiana to spend time with for Christmas. My dad said that he saw the monkey while waiting in the checkout line at the auto parts store and thought of me.”

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