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The Search Agency’s Best & Worst Holiday Gifts

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Season’s greetings from The Search Agency! This time of year generally includes gift giving and we aren’t the type to hold back from season festivities. So, in true holiday fashion, the smart search folk of The Search Agency are spreading holiday cheer (and giggles) by sharing memories of the best, worst, and/or most hilarious gifts they have ever received. It’s our gift to you.

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Without further ado, let’s get to the stories!

Juan Uribe, Project Coordinator

I have an aunt who is a notoriously bad gift giver. On this particular Christmas Eve, I was 18 years old and preparing for college. The gift in question was a pin board in the shape of a giant cellphone. Now, you may be saying to yourself, “Well that is a thoughtful gift. You can put pictures of friends and family on there!” I would probably still be saying the same had she not gifted me an identical phone-shaped pin board the following year.

Michelle Silverstein, Marketing Intern

When I was five I was just getting into baking in a big way, so the best gift I received was a muffin baking kit from my grandparents. I asked my grandma if we could bake the muffins the next morning and she said “maybe,” which I interpreted as an unequivocal yes.  At 6 am the next day, I woke her up shrieking that it was “time to bake the muffins!”

Barbara Palmer, President

As my kids got older, I wondered if they started doubting Santa’s existence.  One year I decided to up the ante and put a huge wrapped gift under the tree.  The kids each dove in – unwrapping gifts, throwing paper around, digging deeper under the tree until they came to this huge package. And lo’ and behold it actually had MOM’s name on it.  There had never been a package with MOM’s name on it!  And when they read that it was for me – and I feigned excitement and surprise that Santa would have left something for me – the magic of the holiday was restored.  That Dyson vacuum was one of the best gifts ‘Santa’ ever brought to our house. And as I say to them every year – I believe in Santa and don’t want to take the chance that if I stop believing, he won’t visit.

Taylor deDiego, Marketing Manager

When I was 6, my sisters and I received a Dell desktop computer that came in 3 separate boxes. I was ecstatic and thought that the gift was just for me, not realizing I had to share with my sisters. There is video footage of us opening the boxes and me repeatedly asking “Is this my own computer?!” Best. Gift. Ever.

Aryn Kennedy, Project Management Manager, SEO

My family gives joke gifts for Christmas. I decided to give an “iPad.” I carefully cut an 8.5×11 notepad into the shape of an ‘I’. I taped a photo to one page and said it could “view photos”. Another page was “play games” so I drew a tic-tac-toe board. Another page was “watch movies” with the note “not available on all models.”

Caragh McKenna, Group Account Director, UK 

Three years ago we did Secret Santa and I received the most horrible huge pink socks that appear to have been bought from a market stall. I couldn’t fathom who would buy me such ugly socks! Naturally I left the horrendous looking things in the office. They are still here to this day and are currently back under the tree for anyone who wants them. Two years ago I found out the pepto-bismol coloured monstrosities were indeed courtesy of Alex Campbell, Deputy Managing Director, UK. To this day Alex does not understand why I don’t think it was not the greatest present ever – “but your feet get really cold”.

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Raquel Delagana, Sales Coordinator, Business Development

This Christmas gift probably fits into all three (best, worst and funniest) categories. Back in 2008 when the Twilight craze was happening around the world, I made my best friend see the premiere of the film with me since I read the entire series in a week and a half. I thought the then unknown actor who played Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) was gorgeous, so she surprised me with the life-size cardboard cut-out of him for my Christmas present. I set it by my bed and used it for protection for a year until I moved. I thought it was the most awesome gift ever at the time! It’s the simple things that make me happy (and laugh), really…

Jennifer Biggerstaff, Senior Director, Strategic Account Management

The best gift I have ever received were tickets to Michael Jackson’s Bad tour when I was in 3rd grade.  My mom and dad surprised me with the tickets.  My dad took me on a school night and to this day, it was one of the best days of my life and I still have the t-shirt from it!  A young girl going to see to Michael Jackson on school night – it was so cool!

Matt McKinley, Creative Editor, SEO

My dad started buying my brother and I Hooters calendars signed by the waitresses for Christmas at an early age. Yes, he would actually go to the restaurant when they had scheduled signings. It became a joke gift every year and my mom tolerated it even though she was probably disgusted by it.

And, my best gift would have to be this year. My fiancé, Jen, bought us tickets to the Fiesta Bowl for UCF vs. Baylor on Jan. 1. We met in college at the University of Central Florida and it’s their first ever BCS bowl game.

Joanna Katz, Director, Paid Media

Don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth but one of the more unappreciated gifts I ever got was from my Aunt Mae. While she was a loving aunt she was also a hoarder and wore polka dots all the time. This was the 70s (not to date myself but it explains the polka dots).  I must have been 6 or 7 years old.  Get ready it’s a big one – Paper Underwear.  Lovely.

David Carrillo, Manager, Earned Media

When I was 3 years old my sister and I got a Nintendo for Christmas, and that shaped my life in ways my parents couldn’t have possibly imagined. Growing up I spent nearly all of my free time playing sports and video games, and although video games often get a bad rap in the press, I am positive that they encouraged and developed my creativity and problem solving skills, among others.

Holly Miller, Account Manager, SEO

I’m very fortunate over the years to have received many birthday and Christmas gifts in December being a “Christmas baby” born four days before Christmas.  But I have to say, when I was little I remember one year where my brother and I completely bypassed our gifts in favor of a box full of Styrofoam packaging bubbles and yards of bubble wrap.  We seriously couldn’t get enough of the packing bubbles tossing them into the air as pretend snow.  Later, we laughed ourselves to pieces one-upping each other inventing ways of popping and snapping strands of bubble wrap.   My parents were stunned.

MJ DePalma, Sr. Director, Business Development

In 1984 I wanted a Macintosh computer….so badly. I was 13 years old, and on Christmas morning we finished unwrapping presents and to my disappointment, I did not receive the computer.  We started cleaning up the wrapping paper and as the reality started to sink in, my parents nonchalantly slid a large wrapped box towards me on the floor. My heart sunk not knowing if it was what I really wanted or not, after all, all the gifts were given. I sheepishly tore back the wrapping paper and started to cry. I could see the rainbow colored Apple logo. I used that computer from 1984 through 1994 and it now sits in my living room, displayed like a work of art that it is as well as serving as a reminder to all the happy times I’ve had being creative. Thanks Mom and Dad!

What is the best or worst holiday gift you have ever received? Let us know in the comments below.

About Taylor deDiego

Taylor is a graduate of UCSB and holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication. She has professional experience in journalism, marketing and... thrift shopping.