What’s the Worst Gift You’ve Ever Received?

Well-intentioned, but…

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You may be familiar with the situation: It’s the holidays, and your friend, family member, partner, or acquaintance has given you a gift. With some anticipation, you tear back the wrapping paper—but excitement quickly turns to disappointment. While the best intentions might’ve been at work, you can’t help but wonder: What were they thinking?

This holiday season, Mother Jones wants to hear from you about some of the worst gifts you’ve received. They can be funny, not-so-great, or just plain strange.

We’ve asked some Mother Jones staffers to share some examples: My colleague, Olivia Exstrum, tells me that when she was a kid, her grandmother gifted her Victorian soaps—to put in her underwear drawer. She was horrified. Not without a sense of humor, her grandmother has given Victorian soap every year since as a joke. Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery says that one Christmas, her mother gave her a book titled, as she recalls, Descent Into Hell: Tales from the Chinese Gulag. And Maorr Zadok, our reader support assistant, says his grandfather once got him office supplies as a gift…when he was only nine years old. His reaction? “I cried a lot.”

Now we want to hear your stories! Tell us about some of the not-so-great, pretty awful gifts you’ve received—and why they were such a bad fit for you. Or, if you’re up for it, tell us about the worst gifts you’ve given—and how that person reacted. If you want to remain anonymous, we understand.

You can fill out the form below, send us an email at talk@motherjones.com, or leave us a voicemail at (510) 519-MOJO. We may use some of your responses for a follow-up story.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

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It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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