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 …Ten lords a leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying…five golden rings…four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

We’ve all received our share of bizarre, really godawful and laughable gifts. But it’s the thought that counts, right?

I remember when one of my sister’s college boyfriends gave her a two-foot clown for Christmas. Its eyes lit up as it spun on a pedestal. I’m not clown phobic, but this thing was downright creepy.

My mother kept giving me bayberry scented pillar candles. And every year, I took them to the Goodwill. A roommate gave me a tea set emblazoned with a company logo, a gift she’d received from one of her corporate clients. Lovely.

When my husband and I decided we were more than friends and entered the realm of exclusivity, he gave me two down pillows for Christmas. Wishful thinking on his part?

This is the same man who bought me a Kohler toilet for my birthday.

The same man who thought a Honey Baked ham was a suitable gift for Valentine’s Day. When Fed Ex refused to ship the ham, he arranged to have a pizza, a tray of sushi and a can of Deviled Ham sandwich spread sent to my office. Try explaining that to your co-workers.

I’m afraid the weirdness is genetic. His sister gave him a stuffed opossum one Christmas. Up on its hind legs, teeth bared, that opossum wasn’t playing possum. It looked ferocious enough to frighten the kids. He really liked it.

The first year we were married, he asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Maybe I was afraid I’d end up with a stuffed gopher, so I registered on the Coach site, placed two different bags on my wish list and told him to pick one.

On Christmas morning, I opened the Coach box and found a gorgeous handbag.

“Do you like it?” he asked.

“Of course.” Kiss. Kiss. It’s a bag. Not a tattoo on my forehead that I can’t change as I please.

He drags me out to the driveway where he pops the trunk of the car. Inside, I see more Coach boxes containing both styles of bags on my wish list but in different colors.

“I wanted to cover all the bases,” he explained. “I want you to be happy.”

I was happy.

For a guy who hates to shop, he went the extra mile. And that was the best gift of all. 

I kept the bag I’d opened first. The rest were returned.

I don’t know what I’m getting this year. But I already have what I want.

What’s the strangest gift you’ve ever received? The strangest gift you’ve ever given?

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