Posted On December 26, 2012 by Print This Post

Thank You…But You Shouldn’t Have – Contest

We hope you had a wonderful holiday! Since most of us are dealing with the post-Christmas food coma and clean-up, we thought we’d have a little fun today.  

Christmas is the season of giving. And receiving. I know I’m not alone when it comes to receiving the odd gift, the one which requires me to spout, “Oh, thank you. You shouldn’t have!” Really.

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. Whether your friends and family shop their closet or fight the holiday crowd at the mall in search of your gift, it’s the thought that counts. 

In my world, there are two kinds You-Really-Shouldn’t-Have gifts.

1. The What-Were-You-Thinking gift. I’ve been the recipient of a furry pink Hello Kitty purse, clown salt and pepper shakers, and a box of cake mix. My mother gave me a bayberry candle, the kind that came with the fake berryBad Gift wreath, for five years in a row. They all ended up at the Goodwill. A couple of years ago, she gave me a deviled egg carrier. It’s quite handy if you make a lot of deviled eggs that need to travel. 

2. The Re-Gifted gift. You know what I’m talking about. I had a roommate who gave me a tea set emblazoned with her company’s logo. And then there’s the throw that came in a torn box from a department store box that had been out of business for over ten years. Among the re-gifted gifts I’ve received are a chip and dip set that was chipped and a smiling pig cookie jar nestled in tissue paper along with the card for the original recipient.

I make it a rule not to re-gift. I’ll either give the unwanted gift away or donate it to the Goodwill. Besides, I don’t know anyone who likes deviled eggs enough to warrant a carrier or would want a happy pig cookie jar on their kitchen counter.

Returning gifts is another issue is another peeve of mine. I’ve never been one for Black Friday shopping, and I don’t hit the sales the day after Christmas because the idea of wading through a throng of bargain hunters to return something is akin to standing in the wrong line at the DMV.

Are you asking yourself…Gee, Jen, what’s the point of all of this? In keeping with the holiday spirit, we’d like to give something to you.

Sally stood in line at Freud’s Gift Emporium clutching the bag to her chest. Next to the register, a crowd gathered around two screaming women wrestling over a stuffed woodchuck. She prayed the commotion would distract the other customers long enough for her to return the gift and make a quick escape. Tightening her grip on the bag, she stepped up to the counter. What on earth possessed Elroy to give her this…thing? At least the rest of the family got a good laugh at her expense.

The surly clerk checked his watch and asked, “How can I help you?”

“I—I need to return this.” Sally set the bag on the counter with a shaky hand. A tidal wave of shame washed over her as the clerk opened the bag…

Complete the above paragraph for a chance to win a gift.  (No, it’s not a deviled egg carrier or a re-gifted item. We promise!) 

Rules:  A maximum of 100 words. One entry per person. Open to published, unpublished, and RU lurkers, but you must be a U.S. resident in order to win. Entries will be judged by the RU staff. Deadline: Midnight PST on December 27, 2012.


Join us for Catching the Wave: A Wrap Up on 2012 with Michelle Monkou, December 28th. 


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21 Responses to “Thank You…But You Shouldn’t Have – Contest”

  1. Heh. I’ve got a great re-gifted story. One year, I gave my mother-in-law a calendar for her birthday in August. It wasn’t the main gift, but since I’d been received two of the calendar for various promotional reasons, we added it to the other, larger,present as an extra.

    You can guess where this is going, can’t you? Yup, on Christmas, her one and only gift to me was…the calendar I’d given her a few months earlier. The expression on my husband’s face when I held it up so he could see was almost worth it. Almost.

    Posted by Caro | December 26, 2012, 1:03 am
  2. “I—I need to return this.” Sally set the bag on the counter with a shaky hand. A tidal wave of shame washed over her as the clerk opened the bag…

    And there it lay, in all it’s pink furriness. Sally gulped and shoved the bag to the clerk. “Please.”

    The clerk, who must be a descendent of the devil himself, slowly unrolled the pink bunny outfit to it’s full length with a smirk. Over five feet of Pepto Pink fur (not including the ears). What had Elroy been thinking?

    “Oh, it’s . . . sexy,” he’d whispered, his eyes shining. “And you know how I like The Christmas Story.”

    He’d urged her to put it on, but she’d refused.

    Elroy would be finding himself a new girlfriend for Christmas.



    Posted by Carrie Spencer | December 26, 2012, 8:52 am
  3. Hi Jennifer,

    My favorite what was she thinking gift was my aunt giving my sister-in-law a ceramic chicken as a bridal shower gift. We had theories that it represented fertility or prosperity. My mom wanted to break it and see if there was money inside.

    The clerk emptied the contents on the counter. Sally’s blush extended to her silver toenails.
    “What’s the reason for the return?” he said, holding up the bronze multi-breasted statue.
    “It’s not my style.”
    “It represents fertility.”
    The victorious woodchuck wrestler stood behind Sally and peered over her shoulder.
    “If she fainted on the sidewalk and a cute paramedic ran over to see if she was okay, would she wave it over him like a wand?” she asked the clerk.
    Sally bit her lip.
    “On second thought, I’ll keep it and use it as a hat rack. “

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | December 26, 2012, 11:22 am
  4. My mother-in-law gave me an ugly polka-dotted glass fish at my bridal shower. When I opened it, the whole room went silent. I thanked her – she was going to be my mother-in-law, after all – but I admit I wasn’t really sad when it was broken in an overseas move.

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | December 26, 2012, 11:34 am
  5. LOL – is that a subtle reminder? I swore I’d spend the two weeks my grandbaby was out of town writing, but instead I’ve been enjoying a rare luxury – a reading binge! Eloisa James’ new book just arrived, plus I’m whittling down my to-be-read pile of mysteries, little by little.

    Thanks for the nudge – I need to get back in the writing routine!

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | December 26, 2012, 6:16 pm
  6. I’m posting this contest entry on behalf of DRAGON:

    The extremely sheer pale pink nighty and matching … she wasn’t certain you could actually call them underwear considering how little there was of them, weren’t actually that embarrassing. However, the bright purple, anatomically correct, “generous” sized vibrator that came with the set … well, the clerk’s laughter said it all. At least he wasn’t surly any more. She fanned herself as her entire face felt inflamed.

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | December 27, 2012, 7:39 pm
  7. Thanks to the handful of folks who entered our contest. The winner is…Mary Jo!

    (No worries, Mary Jo, the prize isn’t a ceramic chicken!)

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | December 29, 2012, 11:56 pm
  8. Thanks Jennifer and Carrie!!

    Since the chicken, we now honor it by giving brides-to-be a cheesy gift. I found a dragon and princess set of salt and pepper shakers for my niece. They sat in a box for years until her five-year old son decided he wanted to be a knight. Now they are his and help guard the ‘castle.’

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | December 30, 2012, 9:31 am
  9. Congratulations, Mary Jo! Happy New Year!

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | December 30, 2012, 10:41 am

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