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What is the most unusual gift you have ever received?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on November 26, 2007

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Photo of Sarah Williamson

“An antique Norwegian candle clip that goes on a Christmas tree back when people didn’t worry about safety.”

Photo of Andy Davies

“I did receive a toilet brush one time. It was sort of a ‘we’re glad you’re out of our house’ gift from my parents.”

Photo of Austin Rueschhoff

“My mom got me Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots last year. That was pretty strange. It’s a little past my time.”

Photo of Naomi Deechilly

“A package of Ramen noodles that my sister gave to me for Christmas last year.”


Mylantahawk 10 years, 5 months ago

As a Peace Corps volunteer in 1982, in Africa, my students brought me dog (it was a thigh) cooked in a banana leaf, as a gift. It was absolutely delicious.....and (I might add) the ONLY time I've ever eaten my best friend!

jonas 10 years, 5 months ago

An oar. It's pretty cool, though, wooden and carved in a Mayan style. But my grandma shipped it to me, and my apartment manager just put it in my apartment and told me it was there. It was in this long box, and it looked like grandma shipped me a missile.

JJHawq 10 years, 5 months ago

battery powered - hand held bug zapper - looks like a tennis racket.

thanks mom!

Ceallach 10 years, 5 months ago

As a naive, young bride, I thought I needed to insist that my new hubby select my Christmas present on his own. When I received a dark brown parka (with a bright orange lining) I realized that he and I saw the world through two very different color spectrums. After that I gladly embraced and enjoyed our shopping together for my present :) btw, it took me 3 years to justify replacing that coat, it was a well made, expensive coat . . . just horribly ugly.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 5 months ago

Much like Ceallach, I too have been the recipient of the "unusual spousal gift." The most unusual was several old canning jars. I like antiques and I guess he figured I would like them. Now, I just ask that he refrain from giving me gifts. I prefer "honey do's." (Maybe he was just very clever...)

Mama 10 years, 5 months ago

Once upon a time I really wanted an electric shaver and expressed this to my mom time and again. This particular year it was just her and I and we sat in the living room opening our presents (you know, the requisite ugly sweater, and stuff Mom always bought that you "needed" but didn't really "want": underwear, socks, etc.) and when all was said and done she jumped up all excited and exlaimed, "Oh!! I almost forgot one!!" Holy smokes, it was a box about the right size for an ELECTRIC SHAVER!!! Could it be? I actually got something I asked for?!! I opened the box and to my mother's great joy there it was: a disposable Bic shaver that she'd hot glued an old electrical cord in the hollow handle. "It's your electric shaver!!!" God love her....she's a funny old bird if nothing else!

acg 10 years, 5 months ago

My siblings and parents and I have been passing around this industrial sized can of lima beans for about 25 years now. It's traveled all over the US, via UPS/Fedex and people's cars. It's been disguised a million times and wrapped and rewrapped. This year it was my turn to give it to my mom. I took it down to her over this past weekend (she lives in Texarkana) and it's wrapped under her tree. I wish I could be there to see the expression on her face. My sister gave it to me last year, drove it down from Delaware. We sent it to my other sister's in Washington state for her bday this year, and she gave it to me for my bday. This is the most unusual present I've gotten time and time again and the world's most well traveled can of lima beans.

BrianR 10 years, 5 months ago

Jeepers acg, after 25 years, they're has beans.

pomegranate 10 years, 5 months ago

It was a small wood carved man, with a carved barrell around him. He was naked inside. When you pull the barrell up or down, his...............pops out. His name is "big boy".

pace 10 years, 5 months ago

When I was 5 my dad got me a pony, and brought it upstairs to my room. Forever known as the day he and his brother found out you could get a pony to go upstairs but had to carry him down.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 5 months ago

I gave myself a cold, lonely road trip one year for Christmas. It was my only lone Christmas. The other fifty were spent with family. I left Lawrence and drove through the night to Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge, got there in the morning to see the sandhill cranes leave their roost on the playa lakes. I hung out and watched scaled quail, saw a lesser prairie chicken, camped there that night and then left for Carlsbad the next morning. I came down with a nasty flu along the way and ended up spending a feverish Christmas night in a cheap motel. I zombied my way through the cool caverns and vicinity the next day and then drove to the Dog Canyon area of Quadalupe Mountains National Park, still feverish and with chills, sliding about the back roads and watching thousands of mountain, western, eastern bluebirds, solitaires and robins trade about the pinyon and juniper. It was stark yet beautiful...and cold. Snow hung in the air and washed against the exposed Permian reef above camp. By the next day a blanket of frigid white had covered my tent. I met a few new birds, including the plain titmouse and acorn woodpecker. I eyed the beware of mountain lion warning signs and did a little hiking. I shivered. I stared at the massif. I wrapped my gift back up and headed home. It was worthwhile and I hope to open it up again someday.

acg 10 years, 5 months ago

pace, that totally made me guffaw. I have no idea who your dad and uncle are, but I got a mental pic of them carrying a none-too-happy pony down the stairs.

cheer67 10 years, 5 months ago

My family does a similar thing to yours, acg. Except instead of a can of lima beans, we pass around this ugly wooden duck. But we don't just do it on holidays we hide it in eachother's houses all the time. =]

Flap Doodle 10 years, 5 months ago

Good one, pace. I'm told that cows are the same way.

GretchenJP 10 years, 5 months ago

My dad gave me a box of bb's one year when I was a kid. I'd shake the wrapped box and hear them bouncing around in there and couldn't guess, for the life of me, what they were. My dad teased me and said it was a box of dead ants.

True story.

bevy 10 years, 5 months ago

My dad handed me a scab on Christmas day. He has just pulled it off his arm and said "here" (I didn't know what I was getting) He thought it was hilarious but it grossed me out.

My sister and her father-in-law play a similar game to the beans and wooden duck. They take turns hiding a ball of old aluminum foil in each others' houses. (In the light fixture, under the couch, etc. etc.)

PrincessConsuelaBananaHammock 10 years, 5 months ago

Much like the duck and the lima beans, we have a christmas fruitcake that gets passed around our family - it started when my little brother sang a song at his school christmas program called "the everlasting fruitcake" - we now have one that travels around our family. BUT the most unusual gift ever was when I was about 5 years old and I lost my first tooth right before christmas. I was so proud of my "tooth hole" but my family kept teasing me about whether or not a new tooth would grow in to fill the hole. One of my uncles - best known for being the family practical joker - wrapped up his false tooth bridge with my name on it and put it under the tree. It scared the stuffing out of me and I have not forgotten opening that box to this day and seeing those creepy teeth!
My husband's most unusual gift was one he got when he was 23 years old - his parents were tired of being "free storage" so at the holidays they wrapped up all the boxes of his crap that he had stored at their house and gave it to him for christmas!!

Magpie 10 years, 5 months ago

A gallon of windshield wiper fluid and an envelope of psychedelic mushrooms.

We aren't dating anymore.

Kampinqueen 10 years, 5 months ago

As a young women I was given a day-bed, they were called then, for Christmas because I was sleeping on the floor. A man I hardly knew came to my apt. set it up, put me in it, kissed me on the forehead and left...later that year I saw him again at church with his wife and children...True story....

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