'The Worst Holiday Gift I Ever Received': 6 Funny Stories

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Nerdy Geek Christmas Man holding wrapped holiday gift
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By Kristin Colella

NEW YORK -- What were they thinking? If you've ever had this thought when opening a holiday gift, you're not alone. Most of us can recall a time when we received a present that made us blush, cringe or burst out in laughter because of its downright bizarreness. Ugly sweaters are a common tale, but some gifts really tip the scales in terms of inappropriateness. MainStreet spoke with folks around the country to find out the absolute worst holiday gifts they've ever been given -- and their answers didn't disappoint. Read on for six of the strangest stories we were told.

Elastic Boundaries

Name: Patrick Gevas
Occupation: Public relations professional
Location: Miami, Florida

"The weirdest gift I ever received was from my sweet, if a little misguided aunt. At a conference, she picked up a condom in a key chain that had an outdated '90s Nike logo on the side that said: 'Just use it.' For some reason, she thought of me, and I honestly didn't know what to think, but giggled uncomfortably and thanked her. The last thing you want at Christmas is for your family to think you're a man-whore, especially when it's unfounded. However, it made for a hilarious re-gift, so it all worked out in the end."

All That Remains

Name: Stephanie Freeman
Occupation: Arts & Humanities professor
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

"Once, an old family friend who was in his 70s gave me a Bundt pan. It was wrapped in old, wrinkled paper. When I took off the paper, I saw a box that looked like it was at least 30 years old. It had turned brown and had obviously been opened before. Inside was the Bundt pan that was pictured on the box along with the crumbles and outline of a cake that had been baked in the pan. My initial thought was: 'How dare he give me a used and dirty pan?' However, after some thought, I remembered how his wife, a woman I loved dearly, loved to bake. I imagined her using this pan and baking one final cake before she passed away. Then, that pan became one of my favorite kitchen items. I keep it in a place of honor in my kitchen with the crumbles still intact."

Sticker Situation

Name: Sheila Rodriguez
Occupation: Digital marketing specialist
Location: Greenwich, Connecticut

"At my previous job, we had a holiday party where everyone drew numbers to a corresponding gift. I 'won' press-on sticker nails and a bar of soap. Compared to the masses of store and iTunes gift cards, movies and cute office décor exchanged amongst staff, I wondered what this person was thinking. I no longer work there for various reasons, but sticker nails got the ball rolling."

Now Bring Us Some Figgy Pudding

Name: Dan Greenberg
Occupation: Lawyer
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

"Every Christmas, my grandfather would send us a fruitcake purchased from a regionally famous Texas bakery. Some say fruitcakes are an acquired taste, but nobody in our house ever acquired it. Each year, the fruitcake would just sit there, growing more stale and inedible, until we pried it out of its cylindrical tin and threw it away. At least now its container would be useful to store things in."

Holiday Chicanery

Name: Valerie Cudnik
Occupation: Blogger for DollyDomestic.com
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia

"I'm a woman of bizarre hobbies, including chicken keeping. Last year several of my Christmas gifts were really for my hens, like a heated water dish to keep their water from freezing. I did find the water dish useful, though. My husband was definitely looking out for me when he bought that gift. Trudging out to the chicken coop when it's freezing to check their water is no fun."

Cutting-Edge Technology

Name: Welmoed Sisson
Occupation: Home inspector
Location: Boyds, Maryland

"My most memorable 'weird' Christmas gift was when I was 10 years old and fascinated with biology. My parents gave me a dissection kit wrapped in 'Happy Birthday' paper, with instructions saying 'Don't use this on the birthday baby,' meaning Jesus. I used that kit for years to dissect dead guinea pigs that my parents brought home from the lab where they both worked."
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