Bad Gift Emporium: in celebration of the tense present

If you’re a friend of Jen,
you should be looking forward to the next gift-giving occasion.

According to TMZ, Aniston spent over a thousand
dollars on three Kaloo stuffed toys to welcome Sheryl
‘s adopted son, Wyatt.

I’m not sure how she managed
to drop $1K on toys that max out at around $150 each, but I guess sales
tax can be a bitch.

Compared to what Victoria
spent for her kids’ Christmas gift, though, a thousand bucks is small
change. The Beckham bunch got a 9-foot Treetent, one of Neiman Marcus’ fantasy gifts
for 2007. The tree house, which hangs from a limb, features a hardwood
floor, a round mattress that can sleep two adults or four kids, and adjustable
"planetary landing steps." Catalog price? A cool $50,000.

This, by the way, is the kids’
second home. Their "playhouse" in England cost $187,000.

For most of us, though, gift
giving is somewhat more modest. And gift receiving can be humbling or
humiliating, depending on the gift. I had an aunt who always knitted
things for me for Christmas. When I was growing up, a crudely knitted
sweater was fine and dandy — I had no fashion sense anyway. However,
"growing up" was not a concept my aunt understood, so my sweater
was the same size, year after year. By the time I got into my teens,
I was quite grateful for that fact, since it meant I never actually
had to wear one.

Gift Emporium
such gifts by asking people to send in pictures of their most unfortunate
gifts. Here are some of my favorites.

The recipient of this beauty
called it a Burger Angel, but, obviously, it’s a burger with sprite.

This one I had to include because
it’s what men expect to see on a lesbian site.

Actually, it’s a jar of hand-pickled
hot dogs. I really don’t want to know more, do you?

The Mooncup takes me back to my baby feminist

It’s a tampon replacement —
and whatever you’re thinking about how to use it is exactly right. The
person who posted it to Bad Gift Emporium said her grandmother gave
the cups to all the females in the family that year. Go, Granny, Go.
Here’s an ad from a site that sells the Mooncup and its, um,
sister product, The Keeper.

I’m not sure why Al Gore

didn’t mention those in An Inconvenient Truth.

The site has a lot more painful
gift memories like a Nixon commemorative plate, a lizard doorbell cover
and an "always and forever" cloth poster, so check it out and let us know your favorites. And
to help you release and let go of your own gloomy gift memories, share
them with us. What was your worst gift ever? Did you keep it, throw
it away or re-gift? We promise not to tell anyone.