Confess! What Are the Best and WORST Gifts You've Ever Given?

Brag about your gifting ingenuity! Absolve yourself of your blunders! TELL US YOUR BLUNDERS!
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Louise Hung
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Brag about your gifting ingenuity! Absolve yourself of your blunders! TELL US YOUR BLUNDERS!

I swear this isn't a "get ready for the holidays!" post. It's more selfish than that. 

It's seems like everyone I know and their ferret has a birthday between now and January. I really do like to give gifts but lately, due to a lack of funds and frankly, the need to go to the (often non-English-speaking) post office to mail those gifts, I've been falling short. Basically, I need ideas. 

Gift shopping Lou pic

Gift shopping at a bazaar. Smiling while overwhelmed. 

The best gifts I ever gave came about several Christmases ago. Being a broke educator/theatre artist who played with puppets, I wanted to give my dearest friends heartfelt gifts, but had no idea how. 

So I bought a bunch of cheap notebooks from Big Lots, "classed" them up with black and brown paper, and wrote "Our Story" for each of my closest friends. Now it helps that I've known my closest friends since high school or college, so amidst the schmaltz I was able to throw in "insidery" gems like, "On the first day of school you intimidated me because you looked like Gwyneth Paltrow [it was the mid 90s!], but were unafraid to talk about period 'gushage'". 

Those scrappy little books gave me a chance to tell my people how much I loved them, while reminding ourselves how RIDICULOUS we were back in the day. Across the board my posse of wonderful weirdos squealed with delight upon receiving them. 

Worst gift? I bought dusty, clearance shelf, "fancy lotion" for my boss. Never buy dusty lotion. 

When she eagerly opened it and squirted a dollop on her hands, our office filled with the stench of a thousand festering diapers. "ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME?" she blurted out. 

The smell lingered for days. WHAT TRAPPED, SUFFERING DEMON WAS IN THAT LOTION???

What is the best gift you've ever given? What is the worst gift you've (accidentally) given? Ever gotten anything that made you go, "Hmmmmm..."? Any tips for gift giving on a budget?

Brag about your gifting ingenuity! Absolve yourself of your blunders! (Okay, I admit it, I really want to hear about the blunders.)