The Absolute Worst Christmas Gifts from Santa

Updated June 28, 2021
underwear for Christmas

It happens sometimes. A gift giver, whether it was Santa or a friend or relative, meant well... but missed the mark. At the very least, these gifts were memorable. Here are some memories of the worst Christmas gifts people have received.

When Santa Missed the Mark

Sometimes, even Santa goofs. And when he does, sometimes tears ensue, but at either way, it was memorable. So what horrible (or at least not so great) gifts did Santa bring his unsuspecting recipients?

"Rollerblades. I know a lot of people love them and they can be fun, but I was the LEAST athletic kid I knew and had no interest in them at all. Me plus rollerblades was a disaster waiting to happen. I used them once, crashed into a tree, broke my glasses, and never tried them again." ~ Kellie, IL

"I asked Santa for a University of Michigan football jersey (Go Blue!). He gave me a Michigan State football jersey. If you live in Michigan, you know we absolutely cannot wear the colors of that other school and vice versa. At least he didn't give me an Ohio State one. Santa wasn't really all that into college football, I guess." ~Michael, MI

"The worst Christmas gift I ever got from Santa was a makeup kit, you know those play makeup kits for kids with little lipsticks and nail polishes and things like that. I was really excited about it at the time! I don't know what was in that stuff, but I used the eyeshadow and it stained my skin bright blue for several days after. And I used a lot of the eyeshadow. My mom trying to scrub it off of my eyelids wasn't fun for either of us." ~ Anna, OK

"The worst Christmas gift I've ever gotten was from Santa when I was eight. It was this absolutely terrifying clown doll. It had a polka-dotted outfit and a plastic head with crazy red hair. But the worst part is that if you pressed its chest, it laughed, this loud, scary cackle. I hid it in my closet." ~ Doug, MI

Child playing with Makeup

Family and Friends: Worst Gifts Edition

After we grow out of the Santa years, anything can happen. Spouses, family members, work gift exchanges and Secret Santas... plenty of opportunities for gift giving to run amok.

Just Plain Weird

"My sister once gave my husband an unused but old-looking address book she found in her recently deceased MIL's house and a pair of ice cleats she'd bought for her son's fiancee before they split right before Christmas. And, my sister told my husband exactly where those items came from. We laugh about it now." ~ Kelly, OH

"Glow in the dark plastic ornaments. Several boxes of them." ~ Elizabeth, VA

"I am not the one who received this, but a place I used to work did Dirty Santa at a Christmas party. There was one absolutely beautiful bag that everyone wanted. People kept stealing it, but my coworker Sheila (teacher) ended up with it. It was beer and a bag of microwave popcorn. Seems cool ... but when she got home and looked more closely, one of the beers was gone and three of the 6 packs of popcorn that were supposed to be in the box were gone. So, someone put used food in a pretty package and gave it away at the party. To top things off... the gifts weren't anonymous. Everyone knew who gave it ...." ~ Mary, TN

Missing the Mark, Style-Wise

"My grandparents ran a stall at the Flea Market selling antiques in the 1970s. For Christmas I would always get from them a box of assorted 'old lady' costume jewelry. It wasn't my style at all being 10 years old. But I sure wish I had those necklaces, bracelets, earrings and brooches now!" ~ Beth, FL

"A pair of boots that were not my style at all and they were the wrong size." ~ Amber, IA

They Tried!

"An iron. My family drew names for Christmas - or at least the adults did. So that meant we got one gift for Christmas, which I was cool with. But my ex-husband really wanted an iron so he could iron his clothes, but he didn't want to 'waste' his gift. So, he told the person who had drawn my name it was what I really wanted (I hate ironing - I'm more of a steamer, myself. Terrible at ironing.) So, that's what I got, because the giver thought it was something I really wanted." ~ Karen, WA

"My husband got me a battery organizer from Costco... major misstep, Sam. He had serious making up to do when my birthday rolled around a few weeks later. P.S. - It wasn't even the deluxe version...which apparently my mother has because there is literally nothing she doesn't have from Costco." ~ Kristin, MI

Young woman shows disappointment in Christmas gift

It's the Thought That Counts!

Most of the time, Christmas gifts that missed the mark will be remembered with amusement years later, and childhood disappointment when Santa doesn't get it quite right can be a reminder that nobody's perfect and that "Santa" tried their best. If nothing else, it gives the person who received the gift a good story to share years later.

The Absolute Worst Christmas Gifts from Santa