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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Totally Useless Presents

You've probably received a gift at least once where you look at it and think WHAT THE HECK AM I GOING TO DO WITH THIS?

Maybe the gift giver's heart was in the right place or maybe they just grabbed the first thing they could find in the store or in their closet.

My most recent totally useless present came from my boys: MIL likes to take them shopping at Christmastime and let them pick out presents for me and Hubs. It's a cute idea.

And really, the present could have been a good one.

My 6 year-old said that Mommy always loses her keys, so a key finder would be a perfect present. This is true. Whenever we have to go somewhere, I'm always asking where my keys are.

So why am I calling this a totally useless present?

Do you know how this key finder works?

You whistle and it beeps.

I have never been able to whistle. Not even a little bit.

Whistle key finder + person who can't whistle = totally useless present.

I can't be the only one something like this has happened to- share your totally useless (or just plain BAD) present story in the comments!


Blogger The Blonde Duck said...

Someone cookbook about chocolate. I'm allergic and Ben's on a diet.

April 14, 2011 at 7:19 AM  
Blogger myevil3yearold said...

Really, no whistle at all?

My husband bought me a set of pretty pearls. I never had the heart to tell him the set was for a little girl with a little girl neck size.

April 14, 2011 at 7:20 AM  
Blogger katsidhe said...

I'd suggest using a whistle to find your keys, but if you lose your keys, then you'd likely lose the whistle, too. ;-)

April 14, 2011 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

My husband once got me a chia pet. Yeah.

April 14, 2011 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Haha, that's too funny! I can't think of any useless gifts right now - maybe all of those teacher mugs :)

April 14, 2011 at 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do your kids know how to whistle?

Hmmm... totally useless gifts? Probably have gotten some none coming to mind right now though.

April 14, 2011 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger Kmama said...

That is too funny!! I'm lucky in that I haven't gotten a lot of useless presents. For our wedding, we did get this angel thing that you're supposed to put in your door jam, however, even if we were to put that up (we weren't), it didn't fit. Like not even close.

I gave it to hubby to regift at his work's white elephant exchange the following here.

April 14, 2011 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Di said...

3/4 of the things my MIL had brought for Jellybean. A bottle warmer you plug in the car...I'm breastfeeding. Also while the bottle cooler for trips is unnecessary. One of those wipe warmer things. Oh then there is this contraption I will never use - http://www.amazon.com/Safety-1st-Tubside-Bath-Seat/dp/B0000D9SR8

I just smile nicely say thank you and stash it to give away to preggo friends.

April 14, 2011 at 8:35 AM  
Blogger A Mommy in the City said...

I can't whistle either so I feel your pain. I once received a toy for the car for Harlan. Only problem...we don't own a car living in the city. Completely useless!

April 14, 2011 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

Him... My mother in law got us and old cross over toaster oven, you know the kind that opens up and can cook like an oven and toaster. Ya I never ever used that lol.

April 14, 2011 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

LOL! We've gotten a ton of useless gifts! They end up going into a big box and being regifted as gag gifts! Hey at least they are gag gifts and not real ones!!

April 14, 2011 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Oka said...

See I loved that tub seat Di mentions. It absolutely helped when I was trying to give two a bath.

I find useless gifts to be knick knacks. All they do is collect dust and create more cleaning. I don't need knick knacks.

April 14, 2011 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I seriously don't think this comment section is big enough for all the useless presents I have received throughout the years.

Maybe you could teach your son to whistle in order to find your keys? I can't whistle either so that would be useless for me too!

April 14, 2011 at 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

My mom sends me stuff all the time that she says I will LOVE! Then it comes...it is always hand me downs. Something she no longer wants in her house and is passing along to me. This would be fine except that even if I had a ton of space to display stuff (which I don't) her taste and mine are not even in the same atmosphere! That is how different it is. I just say thank you and put it in the garage sale bin.

April 14, 2011 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

My Grandparents were good with gifts that made you say hmmm. With me, I would get cheap knick knacks or clothes that were huge. The best was one they got my brother. A laminator. Because every 11 year old needs one that won't laminate anything bigger than a baseball card, which he didn't collect.

April 14, 2011 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I was given a soap dish and linen hand towel with gold accents that I will never use. I can't get rid of them. My husband gave them to me for Christmas one year.

April 14, 2011 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

My grandfather's wife (not my gma, they divorced) always gets the family gifts from the "As Seen on TV"...we never know what we are going to get! Last time it was one of those hammers to bust out your window if you are stuck underwater in your car!

April 14, 2011 at 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Megan (Best of Fates) said...

I never felt as though I got enough out of that polar bear.

But maybe that's my fault.

April 14, 2011 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger John said...

So, the next present that Shell needs is a "whistle emulator" that will digitally whistle for you?

For a good 6 year span, I don't think I received anything but a regift from my father. Makes you feel special, especially when you get a bottle of wine that you'd given him.

April 14, 2011 at 9:18 AM  
Anonymous Denelle @CaitsConcepts said...

Try a really high-pitched yell. No, really. My kids could always make those things go off simply by yelling. ;)

April 14, 2011 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

I could write an entire blog post on my blog about all the totally useless presents I've received -- mainly for the kids from my FIL. But I don't write an annoymous blog, so I can't ;) But he tends to wander around discount stores (think dollar stores, not good stores like Walmart, that's too expensive for him) and pick up random things for the kids all the time. Clothes that are 4 sizes too big, toys that are for 18+ (given to my 5 year old), random 'decorative' items for me or my husband. I swear, over half the stuff ends up getting donated or into the garbage. He means well, but he does it every time he comes to visit. (There's my rant for the morning)

April 14, 2011 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I can't think of anything specifically useless, but things like a pink candle that won't match anything in my house are pretty useless. I try to be grateful for the sentiment ... then keep a list of who has given me what so I can regift to the appropriate people if necessary. I do try to make regifting thoughtful though ... Like, oh, so and so would really like this. :)

April 14, 2011 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Lift Like A Mom said...

That is too funny! And I was just talking about those the other day bc my grandmother had a whistler thing, too! She whistled a lot! haha :)

I have no idea how i wasn't following your blog anymore. It's the weirdest thing. You were just gone. Okay, I'm back now. I'm sure you missed me. Haha :)

April 14, 2011 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger The Random Blogette said...

I totally can't whistle either so that wouldn't work for me. My in=laws are always trying to find interesting things for me during the holidays. Once time they got me a photo key chain. It was a nice thought and all but it was big and bulky and it never actually worked after I spent hours trying to set it up. My dad also has an obsession with the As Seen on TV stuff so every once in a while we get a gift "just because". It is always some random gadget.

My grandma always gets us these random knick knacks for the holidays. Especially Easter. I have a crap ton of Easter figurines.

April 14, 2011 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger SharleneT said...

Does 3 pet snakes qualify? My husband told my daughter it would be a great Mother's Day Gift because he knew I wouldn't really want to keep pet snakes and so would probably give them to her! If nothing else, it was a most exciting morning!

April 14, 2011 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger Samantha said...

My Brother In Law got me this manicure set once for Christmas. You could tell it was cheap, and it was probably sitting on clearance at the Dollar Store...but that's not the point - the point is, I'm a nail biter. There are no nails to make pretty. He knows this. So there set this manicure set, in my drawer for 2 years before one day I decided to use the filer in it...threw the rest of it out. I've gotten lots of other useless presents too, but this one stuck out in my head.

April 14, 2011 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Josie said...

In my family we draw names for Christmas and I dread it whenever my one brother and sister-in-law get my name. This year was out first year married and we got a leaf blower. A cheap looking leaf blower. Plus we live in my parents basement and we're going to move into an apartment that has no yard. So I'm still trying to figure out what to do with the damn leaf blower.

April 14, 2011 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger BNM said...

haha dont feel bad I can't whistle either

April 14, 2011 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

I don't know if this present is useless, but I hated it, so I think it counts...

My husband and I never really exchange gifts. I've gotten one anniversary gift in three years, no b-day, and no Christmas presents. Money's been a little tight, but he hates gift giving (I don't and usually buy myself something anyway). So last year for our anniversary, I was all excited b/c I was MAKING him exchange gifts, and I knew he got me something from Dillards and I was psyched.

Red satin sheets. TACKY FAIL.

The worst part is that I have told him several stories about working in that store and the gross people who would come in for those kind of sheets.

He basically gave me the gift of sex, and it wasn't that great...

April 14, 2011 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Macey said...

Ah...one time my husband's (fiance at the time) mom was mad at me and gave me 11 pairs of pajamas.
It was a whole thing...like a total slap in the face basically, but it's too long of a story for a comment. LOL!

April 14, 2011 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger Lindsey said...

This past Christmas my mom game me a manicure set. Problem? I wear acrylics. I have since 1996. I bite my nails if I don't. I have been biting my nails since 1983. You think my mom would know this.

April 14, 2011 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger LA Botchar said...

Someone gave my baby a pinkie ring for a Christening gift. It's really beautiful, but really tiny. It won't even fit by the time she is two. Ah, hello, you know how most toys say "not for under age 3, choking hazard"....ummm, why would I put a ring on the finger of a baby who puts Everthing in her mouth! Honestly, don't people think?

April 14, 2011 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I can't whistle either.

One year my SIL got me a porcelain angel positioned in front of a mirror. It was horrendous.

April 14, 2011 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Perhaps your next present will be something that can whistle for you.

April 14, 2011 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

How about a book on how to whistle. Or maybe..one of your kids will learn soon?

Just trying to help.

Oh. I always lose my keys and I can whistle. My address is.......100

What? Still trying to help.

April 14, 2011 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Kir said...

I'm giggling because I know a girl who can't giggle and it's so hard to watch her try. OUCH.

I can think of a million things that I got that were of no use to me, but the one thing that people keep trying to give me datebooks, to schedule things....LOL like I'm going to use them or open them.

sorry I'm too busy laughing at myself to even laugh at your non whistling ;)

April 14, 2011 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Lourie said...

I can't whistle either. And I totally lose my keys. All. the. time!
A while back, I used to collect cows. It was mostly due to an inside joke. Well my MIL got wind of the cow thing and let's just say I started dreading her presents for a long time. She doesn't give me cows anymore. I am glad.

April 14, 2011 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Not a Perfect Mom said...

for my last birthday the hubs asked what I wanted...hmmm, I said, I really need some nice black shoes..
he got me 3 pairs of brown ones...
nice try..

April 14, 2011 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I can't whistle either, I'm destined to have lost keys forever. So sweet that they thought of a logical gift though.

April 14, 2011 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Courtney K. said...

MY MIL bought the husband a gun cleaning kit last year. A really great idea since my husband has a pistol...but she bought one for a Shotgun. And we don't have one. So the thing sits in the closet collecting dust. And of course she throws away ALL receipts, so we couldn't return it.

April 14, 2011 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger Colleen said...

An 80 dollar ...plant. Seriously, they informed me of what it cost. I wish they just would have handed over the cash instead.:)

April 14, 2011 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Rhiannon said...


April 14, 2011 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

For my 32nd birthday (cuz this year for 33, they didn't give me anything) me in-laws gave me a shovel.

For real.

For Craig's 30th, they gave him a sewing machine.

Again, for real. :)

April 14, 2011 at 3:40 PM  
Blogger Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

We registered for and received a wine bottle cooler..like you plug it in and it is supposed to cool down your wine. We used it once, it took longer to cool it down than it would sticking it in the freezer for a few minutes. Useless!

April 14, 2011 at 4:12 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

I can't whistle either. My hubby got me a salad chopper thing for Christmas one year. (It also had some cash in it, so it wasn't totally worthless!) It was a nice idea, but just to gadgetity (however you spell it!) for me. So much easier to just slice and chop veggies, than to run them through the dicer.

April 14, 2011 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger Steff said...

Oh man, it was so awesome to read everyone's comments! I can't whistle either, so I understand your pain.

The first year my partner and I were together, he got me a onesie with ducks on it. A FREAKING ONESIE. As in, pajamas that have feet on them. And a butt flap, so when we go camping, I don't have to take the whole thing off. It wouldn't have been so bad except for the fact the we were flat broke and the onesie was $55!! Oh, and I'm also rail thin and 6 feet tall, so it gave me a wedgie and was way too big on the rest of my body.

I laughed so hard when I saw it I cried and didn't have the heart to tell him how annoyed I was. Now that we're a few years into our relationship, we can laugh about it and I give him a hard time about it every Christmas saying he better get me a good gift.

April 14, 2011 at 4:19 PM  
Anonymous Paula @ Simply Sandwich said...

Hubby likes to Christmas shop for me in the tool department of Home Depot. I am the proud owner of a mini level that you can put in your shirt pocket. Perfect if I had a shirt with a pocket or the overwhelming need to level something!!

April 14, 2011 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger S Club Mama said...

My MIL bought me a cheap $2 fleece blanket. My SIL bought me freaking hand soap (not useless but totally thoughtless which is the same thing).

April 14, 2011 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

That would be the best useless present for me too. I can't whistle either. I'm trying to think of a useless present I got, but I can't come up with one.

My grandma embroidered a shirt for 15 year old brother's (at the time) birthday....it had 3 mermaids on the front. WTH?!? He still puts it on for us occasionally so we can point and laugh ;)

April 14, 2011 at 5:46 PM  
Anonymous Leighann said...

Omg I so want this!!
Every gift my mother gets me except for this year has been useless. My personal fav? The fiberoptic dolphins who spin.

April 14, 2011 at 5:50 PM  
Blogger Good Company said...

Now that's funny. That's why we do "lists" for every gift giving occasion.
But my in-laws, bless their hearts, don't ask for suggestions. I'm still waiting for the time I can regift some purple rock bookends.

April 14, 2011 at 7:00 PM  
Blogger Hutch said...

I got a Friends hat last year. Um is it 1998? Also, I don't wear hats.

April 14, 2011 at 7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahaha, that's amazing. I'll totally take it and give it to the hubs! He's always losing his keys and it's super annoying.

The last totally useless present I received was a pair of queen sized sock from my MIL ... I wear a size 7 1/2 shoe. Um ... what the heck? *sigh*

April 14, 2011 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Joey Lynn Resciniti said...

Perhaps for mother's day they'll get you a whistle!

April 14, 2011 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Minivan Mama said...

Ha! I can't whistle either. That present would do nothing but frustrate me!

April 14, 2011 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

OMG. These things make me so uncomfortable. I'm such a geek and I can't handle things like feelings and emotions. So when I get a useless gift I try and pretend it's something AMAZING that I have waited my whole life for because I can't stand the thought of the other person being humiliated because their gift sucked. :P Great post and comment feed...love it! (despite my discomfort--I am the queen of awkwardness)

April 14, 2011 at 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Missy said...

I can't whistle either!

My useless present - a microwave baked potato cooker. Covered in a baked potato fabric print. Neat.

April 14, 2011 at 10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that you cant whistle. =)

Hhhmmm, I cant think of any completely useless gifts right at the moment. Although I know Ive been given some super cheap crap. lol

April 14, 2011 at 11:18 PM  
Blogger shortmama said...

I cant think of any useless presents I got. I mean Ive got unwanted things...like people try to buy decorations for my house but its not something I would pick out personally...not really bad or useless, just not my taste!

April 14, 2011 at 11:41 PM  
Blogger Helene said...

OMG, are you serious?? You have to whistle in order to make it go off? I'd have the same problem as I can't whistle either. Guess the makers didn't think of that when they developed it, huh?

My MIL always gets me those things you see on infomercials. It's like a running joke now. Whenever Tim and I see an ad for something and they have a "buy one now and you'll get a 2nd one for free", Tim says, "Look, sweetie, you'll be getting one of those at Christmas". I have to say, though, that some of the gadgets aren't too bad!

April 14, 2011 at 11:59 PM  
Blogger erika said...

Haha! It's the thought that...kind of counts... :) Too funny.

April 15, 2011 at 1:10 AM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

Aww, thought that counts, righ?!?

My MIL gave those chains for your tires to use in the snow (probably a name for them somewhere, but I don't know it). We live in NJ, we don't get much snow!

April 15, 2011 at 1:17 AM  
Blogger Joanna said...

Makes you want to toss it at their heads. My MIL and my grandma give gifts that make you scratch your head while you try to hide the WTF look on your face.

April 15, 2011 at 1:19 AM  
Blogger Jane Bitch said...

My grandmother and my mom always take me shopping to pick out my gifts. They find things and ask "don't you like this?" I answer honestly, and by honestly I mean, NO or HELL NO. They buy it anyway. What the heck? That's pretty useless if you ask me.

April 15, 2011 at 4:24 AM  
Blogger Jane Bitch said...

My grandmother and my mom always take me shopping to pick out my gifts. They find things and ask "don't you like this?" I answer honestly, and by honestly I mean, NO or HELL NO. They buy it anyway. What the heck? That's pretty useless if you ask me.

April 15, 2011 at 4:25 AM  
Blogger Renee said...

I can't whistle either. No matter how hard I try. Nothing. My kids find it hilarious.


April 15, 2011 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger Babes Mami said...

My mom got me fake earrings, we both have the same skin sensitivity so getting me earrings she couldn't put in her ears knowing I couldn't put them in mine either was useless.

Hubs got me a belt that's a good six inches too small. Very sweet that he thought it 'might be too big' but still...can't use it anytime soon.

April 15, 2011 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger Emmy said...

Have you tried sucking in? I couldn't whistle until I tried sucking in to do it. Now I can blow or suck...oh wow this could sound so bad taken out of context.

April 15, 2011 at 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Galit Breen said...

It's wrong to laugh at this right?

But OMG the funny!!

My most useless gifts came from students (Is that mean?!). Our school mascot was a penguin and I used to get penguin themed household decorations by the truckload. Who decorates in penguin?!

Fun post, Shell!

April 15, 2011 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Kristina P. said...

Does it actually work if you have mad skills and can whistle?

I've seen your comments around and thought that the thing on your mouth was some sort of weird flukeworm X-files creature mouth or something. This makes so much more sense!

April 15, 2011 at 6:36 PM  
Blogger Beth Zimmerman said...

I can't think of one at the moment but I remember seeing Dieting for Dummies at Sams one year at Christmas time and thinking that would be the most horrible gift ever! It tells the recipient that you think they're fat ... and stupid!

April 15, 2011 at 10:16 PM  
Blogger CK said...

OH my goodness, this totally cracked me up! I would LOVE this present... I am a crazy whistler... Ok, maybe I would hate this present. Every time I whistled, I would start hearing beeping noises...
Thanks for stoppin by today, girl ;)

April 16, 2011 at 1:41 AM  
Blogger Tina @ Life Without Pink said...

This is hilarious! I seriously have never seen this before...too funny!

April 16, 2011 at 1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This exact thing happened to me. I lost my keys several times. At my parents house, my boyfriends house, my boyfriends grandparents RV, inside HIS car, etc etc. His grandparents got me the same key-finder for Christmas. They didn't know I couldn't whistle. So now, it just sits on the kitchen counter, mocking me, like I'm sure they will again and again until I learn to whistle. So, I feel you.

April 18, 2011 at 1:46 AM  
Blogger Brie said...

Oh snap! I got so excited when you said a "key finder" and was all "Useless?! What? Gimme gimme gimme!!"

But, alas,
I can't whistle either.

April 18, 2011 at 3:49 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

omg...that is freaking hysterical!

totally useless gift: a wine glass...with no wine.

not only was it useless, but it made me cry ;)

April 18, 2011 at 7:17 AM  

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