Worst gifts ever?

An article I read on gift-giving and gratitude reminded me of a funny story I heard this year. I’ll keep it short, since I suspect few people who celebrate Christmas have time to read emails and blog posts on December 23. A respected professor and researcher whose studies focus on gratitude and its physical and mental health benefits made a conscientious effort to practice what he preached. However, one Christmas he found himself speechless when he and his two brothers-in-law opened gifts from their mother/mother-in-law only to find the same red plaid sport coats. He confessed that words of gratitude did not come easily in this situation.

This anecdote led me to a search for lists of bad Christmas gifts, which I found on the City Room blog of the New York Times from December 23, 2010. Included were “a plastic brown mushroom with things glued to it,” “a large brown stuffed toad,” a “box of straws and a tube of mustard,” “ice-cube trays,” and “a can of haggis” (my on-line dictionary says it’s a traditional Scottish dish consisting of sheep or calf entrails and organs mixed with oatmeal, suet and spices, boiled in a bag made from the animal’s stomach).

Happy Holidays to all and here’s hoping the season brings you family, friendship and love, and that the only gifts that leave you speechless are the wonderful ones.


About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
This entry was posted in friends and family, humor, seasons and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Worst gifts ever?

  1. Kathleen Poole says:

    Love you Ann, you’ve always got a perspective that makes me pause, and usually, laugh. Thanks for the good wishes, hope you’re enjoying this time of year with loved ones as well…..

  2. Evelyn says:

    This was fun to read–partly because it was amusing but also because of a recent experience. When we have dinner guests, we usually ask about allergies or food preferences. Earlier this month the reply included an “especially strong aversion to haggis.” Didn’t know what it was so figured there was no danger of my preparing it for a company dinner. Now that I’ve read your blog, I not only know what it is but I am doubly sure I will never be serving it to guests.

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