Definitely My Worst Christmas Presents - A Set of Christmas Gifts that Made Me Cry

by Maven
(Dracut, Massachusetts)

I have a very bad sense of direction. Before the invention of personal GPS systems I used to get lost often both on foot and while driving.


I am an engineer, quite successful at what I do, a person who is not used to failures in any other area of my life. But my bad sense of direction constantly got me in trouble. These repeated failures caused me to be very sensitive about my navigation abilities, as well as somewhat embarrassed and frustrated with myself.

One Christmas my boyfriend presented me with 4 beautifully wrapped boxes all of different sizes. His face was like an open book. He beamed with a big smile and looked quite pleased with himself for finding me the perfect presents.

We were very much in love, this was our first Christmas together, and I was anxious to unwrap the presents to see what he came up with.

I started with a medium size box, carefully removing the pretty paper wrap to reveal… a hand-held compass. I cringed inside but was able to maintain a smile and said “A compass… how nice.”

I opened the largest box. Inside of it was… a compass that can be mounted on the car dash. This reminded me of all the times and frustrations getting lost while driving. I was not really good at telling compass directions either. I managed a weak smile. “Oh… A car compass!…”.

With slight apprehension I opened the medium sized box. Inside of it was an orienteering compass for some series compass navigation.

I was no longer smiling.

I silently put the box to the side and picked up the smallest box. I opened it slowly with a bad feeling of anticipation of something unpleasant. It was a thermometer with a little compass built into it. I was trying to think of what to say when emotions took over and I burst into tears.

The compasses were never used…

Only the invention of hand-held and car mounted GPS improved my navigational abilities.

I remember this set of compass gifts as the worst Christmas presents that I ever received because of how inadequate they made me feel.

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