An Open Letter to Terrible Birthday Gift Givers

by Caleigh Farragher


Dear Terrible Birthday Gift Givers,

Have you ever experienced the excitement of your birthday coming up, and you really want to know what your family got you? I used to.  I used to, that is, until I realized how awful some of the gifts I usually get are.

Ever felt like this on your birthday? I have!

Over the years, I’ve found myself wondering many things about the gifts I’ve received.  Sometimes you find yourself wondering, when will I use this towel you got me? How about the other five I have also received?    Have you ever procured that weird pair of socks with an animal you don’t recognize on it, and just wonder why did the giver would think this was a good idea?  These birthday gifts are awful, but you have to suck it up and smile and say thank you and pretend it was the best gift you have ever received.

Not all these bad gifts can be clumped together.  As a connoisseur of bad gifts, I’ve created a number of categories: “Why would you ever buy this?,” “Thank you I always wanted this when I was five,” “Why would anyone make this?,” and “Have you ever met me before?”  In the category “Why would you ever buy this?” would be nice gifts like, topsy turvy, t-shirts with peace signs all over them, and bed sheets. I am not saying these gifts aren’t nice and often useful, but I just don’t understand why someone would think that your birthday was the right time to give these particular items to you. But, I mean, good try!
Then we have “Thank you I always wanted this when I was five!” Everyone has received that princess t-shirt that you really wanted for your fifth birthday; however, it’s not so great when you’re fifteen.  But it’s the thought that counts, right?  It makes me begin to wonder, when was the last time you saw me?  Do you think that I just don’t age?  I feel bad that you wasted your money on something that doesn’t fit me, and that I will never wear. Also, where do I return this? Babies R Us?

Snuggly? Yes. Creepy? Yes.

After that we have “Why would anyone make this?” category.  This includes gifts like, The Snuggie, The Necky, Bumpits, and many others. If I were to ever receive any of this I would not only question your mental state, but also the stupidity of those who created it and thought that it would sell. I am sure you will get a few laughs, but really why would I ever use this?

Finally there is “Have you ever met me before?” There are many gifts that fall into this category.  For example, bring pink skirts, school supplies, or anything Ed Hardy. I am sure maybe some other crazy person would think those clothes are fashion forward, or classy. Moreover, though, these gifts just make you question the very nature of your relationship with this person.

So, terrible birthday gift givers, when you find yourselves in a bind this year, don’t reach for the juvenile board game, the mood ring, or the Chia Pet.  Instead, try a gift card, or, for that matter, cash!  It may not follow the expression, “It’s the thought that counts,” but trust me; it will still be appreciated!

Disappointed Gift Receiver


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