Thursday, December 22, 2011
It’s the thought that counts, but…really?


Have you ever given someone a bunch of bugs for Christmas?


No? We can't blame you. Seems like it's barely above a lump of coal on the present scale. So why, then, is iReporter Penelope Penn giving a good friend just that?


Well, turns out he loves praying mantises -- it's as simple as that. So she decided to get him some for Christmas.


He "just happens to think that praying mantises are beautiful, and loves watching them and letting them crawl on him. He also loves to grow his own vegetables, so it seemed the perfect gift for him," explained Penn.


Penn thought she’d buy about 20 live mantises for her friend from a local garden store.  But when she inquired, she learned that the minimum number available for purchase was 10,000. Yes, 10,000. And she went for it!


"He'll have plenty to choose from, and plenty to give the neighbors for some pesticide-free gardening in 2012. All the neighbors for blocks and blocks," joked Penn.


It just may be the most bizarre gift we've seen on iReport, and it inspired us to ask the whole community: What's the weirdest, strangest, most outlandish present you've ever gotten or given? The responses were hilarious -- and cringe-inducing.


10 years ago, Renee Kammer and her now-husband were moving into their first apartment together around Christmastime. He gifted her the most practical of items: paper towels, toilet paper, and a shower curtain for their new place.


"I thought it was a joke at first. I said something like, 'Are you kidding? Seriously?'" Kammer remembered. "Eventually I just said 'Thank you, how thoughtful.'"


Apparently, her husband wasn't aware that this might be a less-than-ideal present: "My sister-in-law received diamond earrings from his brother," said Kammer. "When I commented on this, he said, very practically, 'But your ears aren't pierced.'"


And speaking of fancy gifts, Laurie Hime's aunt was an interior designer, so as a 14-year-old, she expected something "classy and age-appropriate" from her aunt for Christmas. You can imagine her surprise when she unwrapped seemingly the most random gift in the world: a roll of Life Savers encased in Lucite.


Hime remembers being "less than thrilled" with the odd objet d’art and thinking, "I rather expected some nice jewelry."


She's not sure what she did with it, and only hopes she wasn't the only confused person subjected to the piece:


"I hope she did not use it as an interior design element in any of her clients' homes!" she said.


Hime wasn't the only iReporter to be surprised by décor that didn't match her tastes -- it was a common theme among the responses we received. In Lorena Isla's case, she thought her brother really ought to have known better.


Isla is an artist and painter, so she was a little surprised when her brother gave her a Christmas gift of...a painting.


It’s a cartoonish painting of a soccer player, which he thought she’d like since she’s into soccer.


" being a painter, I don't think I needed a painting," said Isla, who admits to being "a little picky" when it comes to presents. She ended up giving the picture to her 13-year-old nephew, who’s also a big soccer fan.


Think you can top these? Tell us the story of the strangest gift you've ever given or received in the comments below.

December 22, 2011
Click to view larena's profile

Thank rachel

December 23, 2011
Click to view Ryanne3638's profile

Thats lovely

January 18, 2012
Click to view darktoad's profile

if soap censer the interent i will realise my viruse to kill everythin that web site have soap on it new mass effecting virus will be realised



i am legion we don't forget we get even

January 26, 2012
Click to view nl20051405's profile

A gift may not be as it is important as it is necessary to some people. On the internet it is just the thought that matters not the real objects. During Christmas time, there is still no presents to the animals or the Islamists or Budahists. 

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