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Ridiculous Christmas Gifts that have Actually been Useful

Updated on December 8, 2016

Christmas when I was growing up, as with most kids my age, meant getting the majority of toys that I wanted. My parents tried their hardest to get what I had asked for, even though now I know there were a lot of years that saving for Christmas must have been difficult and meant that my dad would work extra away from home. I am profoundly grateful for what my parents gave me as I was growing up.

Nowadays, my parents don't have to sacrifice anymore for children's toys for Christmas. As a twenty something, I still celebrate Christmas at my parents' house because it allows me to see the whole family. Gifts have, inevitably taken a different approach now that I'm older. Gone are the days of fun toys and things I wanted. Now come the gifts of the things I "need".

It's always a sobering event the first few years that you're out of the house, and I mean, really out of the house. Once you're graduated, have your own place, job, and possibly even married, the holidays feel much different. You walk away from Christmas gift giving thankful that people got you something, but always wondering who thought a pan would be a good gift.

I'm sure I'm not the only young person to think this thought. Honestly, it always left me feeling a little depressed inside. I would go home with my new pots and pans and vacuum cleaner and think, "Wow, now I can do chores."


However, I've come to appreciate the gifts of necessity. It means I don't have to spend money on a mop or new set of dishes. And my mother finds some sort of strange satisfaction on getting the most ridiculous things for her kids for Christmas.

My mom's humor doesn't just border on ridiculous. It crosses the line and walks around to see what's out there. She finds it absolutely hilarious to give you a jar of peanut butter for Christmas (no lie!).

While mom's sense of humor can be overkill sometimes, I've come to appreciate even the strangest gifts from her in their own ways. Normally, it means I don't have to buy everyday items for a while through the year. I'd like to share some of the strangest things I've gotten for Christmas in the last few years.

  • Condiments (not lying, I've gotten ketchup, mustard, ranch dressing, and peanut butter through the years)
  • Laundry detergent pods (so many that I haven't bought detergent at all this year)
  • Socks (a common gift, but I haven't bought socks in two years thanks to the number of socks I got)
  • Spaghetti (I have no idea why, just a box of spaghetti)
  • Bungee cords (I have no use for them, but my husband finds things to do with them around the shed)
  • Soup mixes (I still haven't used them. I always forget I have them)
  • Flashlights (I have way too many but can't ever seem to find one when I need it)

This is not an exhaustive list of the sort of strange gifts I've received over the years, but just a taste. I am by no means complaining about the gifts, either. I am actually quite used to receiving this type of thing now and look forward to the ridiculous gifts each year. (I'm hoping to get more detergent so I can continue to do free laundry.)

For parents of young adults, I hope this post has helped to inspire you to think outside the box of things your children might need for life. Get creative and give them some ridiculous things!

For young adults, if you're getting crazy gifts, I understand the feeling. Just know that your family loves you, even if they show it through gifting ketchup.

Thanks, mom, for teaching me that it's not how much you spend on a gift, but the love you put into it, even if it's a concern that your child needs more condiments in their life. :)

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