Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Worst Christmas Gift

For the Humorbloggers, it was requested that I write about my worst Christmas gift ever. It's part of a carnival, so you can visit my friends and see some of their entries.

I have been fortunate enough to have gotten some really great Christmas gifts in my lifetime. In fact, I could tell you about my favorite present ever without hesitating. My worst gift? That takes some thought.

You know how "they," whoever the heck "they" are, always say it's not the gift, its the thought that counts? What if one receives a gift that leaves one wondering, "What the heck were they thinking?"

Right in the running would have to be the bread box I got one Christmas. I mean, an appliance is a pretty bad gift, so where does something not quite up to the standards of an appliance, yet still kitcheny, rank? Pretty low, if one were to venture a guess.

But the worst gift ever is one that most would consider a pretty good gift. Does that make me some sort of gift snob? Oh no, far from it, gentle reader. This horrible gift, one that even someone as magnaminous as you may consider a good gift, is...Macy's Gift Cards. Hang on and I'll explain why they suck.

What does a Macy's gift card say? It screams "I had to get you something, and really didn't want to put the effort of finding out what you want or need. I have completed my obligation. See you next year." And as the ultimate passive aggressive gift, it does not allow the opportunity to shop where I want, as I am limited to one store. A nice, relaxing dinner out? Nope, they don't accept "Macy Money." Drop a few bucks in Atlantic City? Nope, Donald Trump won't allow me to place a bet using a certificate normally for 600 thread count sheets.

And every single year, I got the same thing from the ex's family. You could just feel the love. And, what do you buy for the people who buy you a Macy's Gift Card? That's right, the exact same thing. And every Christmas, we all exchanged $25 Macy's Gift Cards. One year, I suggested that we have a grab bag, and buy one really nice gift for someone special. I was pooh poohed as if I were some sort of Grinch.

And that Christmas, we all dutifully cheerfully exchanged our Macy's Gift cards.


I guess it was better than the darn bread box.


A New Yorker said...

You won't believe this BUT...ready? My brother and sister in law gave me...dare I say it? YES! A $25 gift certificate to Macy's for being in their wedding party. That and the necklace and earings she wanted me to wear for her wedding. OH DEAR...they just keep stepping in it more and more. Apparently my Chanukah gift came while I was in the ER and so it is in the PO waiting for pick up. I'm wondering what it will be this year. Hmmm what can $25 buy these days. HEEHEE!

Swirl Girl said... (says while tracing rug weave with her toe)..ahh, so what you're saying is you don't like my gifts this year?

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Well, it DOES beat a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

Lola said...

I don't care for Macy's Gift Cards either, but that's because I'm boycotting Macy's. Awhile back I got a $100 Macy's Gift Card from an agent as a thank you for all the nonsense she put me through. No doubt I more than earned $100, but I don't shop at Macy's because they would not honor a guarantee on a very expensive Marshall Field's purchase. Oh, and I know that boycott is REALLY hurting their bottom line, not. It's just the principle of the thing.

I tried to trade that card with other staff, but no one wanted it. It took me a year before I spent the darn thing. I caught an Expresso Machine I wanted on sale, ended up costing me $3 out of pocket.

I love gift cards, just so long as it is anything other than Macy's.

Michelle said...

Hey old man, here is what you should do...instead of you all exchanging $25 Macy gift cards, just buy yourself your own gift card and your family do the same so you don't even have to see them to exchange the gift cards, you will have your own...get it????

Cause i just confused the heck out of myself!!!

I think i need some coffee!!!

Dude, i concur!!! Gift cards suck!! Except of course for itunes or any sort of music!!! ALl else sucks!!!

Have a great Sunday old man!!!

Da Old Man said...

@ Lauren: Wouldn't 25 bucks have been better than a Macy's $25? You feel my pain.

@ Swirl: I can always use another bread box.

@ Nanny: Yes, it does. But neither really says Merry Christmas.

@ Lola: I like the idea of those universal gift cards. May be AE or Visa, or MC, but they can be used anywhere.

@ Michelle: That is basically what it was, which made it so silly. Have a great Sunday.

ReformingGeek said...

That's funny! I would not mind a Macy's gift card. I could buy new pots and pans after destroying them trying to cook the zucchini. Check my latest post for details.

Gift cards have really become the thing, even kids are putting them on their wish lists. They are listing specific retailers which helps so at least you know that they will use it.

As adults for extended families, I think the gift-giving thing can be a bit silly and tiresome. I like the grab bag idea or let's draw names folks or how about not worrying about gifts and just have a nice meal and visit for awhile?

Uh oh. I'm ranting again.

Donnie said...

Hell I ask for Wal*Mart gift cards! Yeah, I hate going there, but I love the DVD deals they have.

Da Old Man said...

@ Reforming: I stopped by and left a couple recipes for you. And I agree that gift giving among adults is usually silly.

@ Don: Noted.

Paul Eilers said...

I've always said that Christmas is used by big business to get you to emotionally spend money you normally would not spend. It is a marketing ploy, and obviously it works.

This is why the spirit of giving ain't always so special. Too much stress to find the right gift, the hassles of shopping during the holiday season, etc.

I say celebrate the Christmas season, go to church and visit with friends, go to all of the parties, and on Christmas morning, don't give presents, unless children are involved.

Many people love to say "Jesus is The Reason For The Season", but He ends up way down on the bottom of the list. The reason being is all of the obligatory distractions associated with the Christmas holidays.

Merry Christmas!

Da Old Man said...

@ Paul: I'm right with you. I'm just thinking about some past Christmases when I heard about $200 Elmos (a $30 toy) and $1000 Wii systems (a $200 toy,) so little Poindexter wouldn't be disappointed on Christmas morning.

Kevenj said...

Does this mean you're going to get all crotchety because I sent you a $10 spot card from Dollar Tree?


Anonymous said...

A few years ago, I received 3 gift cards which was fortunate because I got them before Christmas and was able to turn them around and provide 3 friends with Christmas gifts! Nothing like the personal touch to say how much a person means to you!

BTW, I enjoy dropping by and reading your "rants" - all the best for this holiday season!

Chat Blanc said...

let's hope you're not unlucky enough to get any gift cards this year for stores that will soon be out of business! :)

Da Old Man said...

@ Kevin: I'd rather have the 10 bucks

@ Robin: Thanks. I don't know why, but I have been extra crotchety lately

@ Chat: The card exchanging group has kind of left me out of the circle.

Nicole said...

Although I would prefer cash, gift cards are a lot better than some things I have gotten.

Such as the really awesome mitten and scarf set I got when i was 17 and had grown out of those sort of things when I was 5 or when i got some detective book made for children ages 5-9 when I was 15.

It's also better than having that person pick out something that you won't like/use/wear from that store and as someone else said you can always turn around and give them to someone else or use it to buy a gift for someone else. But don't worry about getting a gift card from me-I'm giving you the ultimate gift- my love =) lol

Da Old Man said...

@ Nicole: It works for me. Regifting does, too.

Anonymous said...

I live hundreds of miles from the nearest mall. Why would someone think that a gift card that would require me to spend more in gas than the value of the card is a good idea?

I have since picked up on the fact that you can sell those cards in auctions for slightly less than face value. It beats sticking them in a drawer which amounts to little more than a donation to the retailer.

Merry Christmas COM!

Claire at
Christmas Menus, Parenting and Environmental Rants.

Unknown said...

Crotchety Merry Christmas carnival! I got three gift cards this year, but that is ok. I won't tell anyone what size clothing I wear. Plus this way I can buy the book I never get.