Note: I wrote “The 12 Worst Gifts I’ve Ever Received” as a guest post for awesome LGBT writer Autumn Breeze‘s blog. Autumn is the author of lesbian romance Loving Anna, an Amazon best-selling Kindle book that’s currently the #1 most-read story sample on Wattpad. Helpful, friendly, and fun, Autumn is an author to keep your eye on – and a cool person, too. Stay tuned for my exclusive blog post highlighting Loving Anna on Monday 12/22.


The 12 Worst Gifts I’ve Ever Received

Don’t get me wrong. When it comes to gift-giving, the gesture is what counts the most. Really. I’m not one of those brand-name-loving chicks who eye-f**ks every pair of Jimmy Choo’s from the other side of the department store window. However, a word to the wise: when it comes time to check me off your holiday gift recipient list, it’s best to save your money. Shower me with meaningful words of love and devotion; or better yet, support my efforts at indie author-hood by buying one of my books, rather than wasting your hard-earned dollars on something I passionately loathe receiving.

In no particular order, here are the 12 worst gifts I’ve ever had the displeasure of unwrapping:

1. Tacky (Read: Unintentionally Terrifying) Home Décor


Need I say more? The unspeakable lack of taste speaks for itself.

But just in case I wasn’t clear…

You gave me a face-free miniature dolly riding a soulless black-eyed rocking horse? Thanks for the nightmares, friend.

2. Mainstream Music


As a general rule, I do not enjoy aural slices of pop Americana—though I do appreciate the occasional trip down Nostalgia Lane when that one John Cougar Mellencamp comes on the radio.

This is my jam!


3. Self-help Books


Why don’t you just come out and say it? You think I suck. Thanks for being so freaking obvious about it!

4. Re-Gifts

Isolated giftboxes

Adding insult to injury never sits well with me. Not only did you give me something that’s still dusty from your basement, you didn’t even bother to remove the original gift receipt that’s neatly taped to the unopened box of nonsense you just handed me.

I’m not even important enough to shop for online? Please say hello to my two middle fingers.

5. Cheap Makeup


Sweat-shop-produced cosmetics that no folks other than low-class, high-maintenance chicks have time to utilize seem to be all the rage these days.  If, however, you ever saw me on a normal day at home with my kids, you would probably wonder if I even knew what a mirror was. So yeah, it makes perfect sense that I could use an extra tube of $5 lipstick my 1-year-old daughter wouldn’t even try to eat.

6. Umbrella

Umbrella on hill

Yo, I’m from Florida. Some of us walk in the rain bare-headed there. Maybe that’s the reason why, a decade later, I still can’t find my umbrella. At any rate, Floridians are infamous for being bat-shit crazy, so falling into a dissociative fugue is the more likely explanation for where my useless accessory went.

7. Socks


This is my shame pick. As a child, I dreaded the thought of opening beautifully-wrapped boxes containing rows of socks; as an adult, I’m actually pleased to get them. The childish part of me protests at this betrayal. Deep down, I still want toys…


8. …But Not Sex Toys


Speaking of which, I’m going to let you in on a little inside info – The Rabbit not only did not deliver on its promise to rock my world, but it was just, um, not my thing. At all. No thanks, don’t want a washer and dryer against my sensitive bits. Plus, isn’t it a little creepy when your friend picks out a sex toy for you? Talk about hidden meaning…

Add a little bit of body text  That’s deep.

9. Purse/Satchel/Any Sort of Handbag

Opened bag

Honestly, y’all don’t know my taste in purses. It’s really not what you think it is. The good news—I’ve received so many purses in my lifetime, none will be the wiser as to which ones I’ve tried to pass off on my other gal pals.

I feel like dancing.

Shh! Don’t accuse me of hypocritically re-gifting! It’s the thought that counts.

10. Tools


I have no idea what to do with them.

11. Religious Pamphlets


Although questions like, “What Would Jesus Think of Lap-Dancing?” and the accompanying illustrations are often unintentionally hilarious, literature advertising the pushy sale of religion is so not cool.

12. Journals


There is really no earthly need to get me another journal. I have more than you can count. Handwriting is a dying art. However, after the unfortunate demise of my dear HP laptop, the pen is flying in my hand, and it feels pretty freaking fantastic. Too bad I’m going to need a translator tomorrow morning to sort through the ungodly mess that is comprised of what my quill left in its inky wake.

You know what would make the perfect gift? A new set of pens in fun shades that are impractical. My inner child finds them irresistible.


Don’t forget: if you give a writer a set of colorful writing sticks, she’ll probably need a sturdy new journal to bear witness to her rampant absurdities.

Misery loves company – what are the worst gifts you’ve ever received?

This was my first guest blog – thanks for taking a chance on an unhinged writer, Autumn Breeze. I owe you a stiff one. Take that as you will.

Happy Holidays, all.  Eat your hearts out, gather your loved ones ’round, and never forget that gift receipts are like the nesting dolls of presents – gifts within gifts. Either way, you’re bound to eventually end up with a keeper.


Jane Bled

About the Author

jane bled

Q: What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
A: Unloading my spiritual burdens in naive hopes of attaining artistic perfection. Black Swan all the way, baby.
Read my Smashwords interview if you’re curious to learn more about me and my creative projects.

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