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  • The New Fruitcake

    December 11, 2007

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    Sean and I were shopping in Sam’s the other day when we spotted this. 

    As I looked at the wall of Yard-O-Beef, I imagined the Hillshire marketing folks sitting around a conference table at 4am, bleary eyed, shirts untucked, everyone needing a shave and shower when someone said, “Why not call it Yard-O-Beef?” And then everyone said, “Great! That’s a wrap. Let’s go home!”

    And really, who wouldn’t want to find a Yard-O-Beef under the tree on Christmas morning?

    Yard-O-Beef! The new fruitcake!

    What’s the most unusual Christmas gift you’ve ever received?

    34 Comments »

    1. TammyM. says:

      Speaking of the Yard-O-Beef at Sam’s. We had quite a bit of family come to town for Thanksgiving. And several of the men, including my husband, went to Sam’s and came home with a Yard-O-Beef, a large tray of sliced cheese, and a 4 pack of crackers. When I asked them about their purchase they all grunted like Tim the Tool Man Taylor and said something about watching the football games and needing some snack’s. Needless to say we still have about a Quarter-O-Yard left….

      December 15th, 2007 at 9:49 am

    2. Beck says:

      A yard of beef? Whaaaaaaat?
      The oddest gift I’ve ever given has been a crimping iron. Three years in a row. From my mother-in-law. I think it was a subtle way of saying that my hair isn’t bumpy enough or that she wants me to reenact early 80s Madonna videos at the next family get-together. Maybe.
      And a friend of mine makes homemade cherry-filled chocolates and then GIVES THEM TO ME. Yay!

      December 15th, 2007 at 9:51 am

    3. Julie says:

      My husband would LOVE a yard of beef. Actually, he’d like beef in any measurement.

      The oddest gift I have received was actually something similar to that. I believe I was in high school at the time. My grandmother gave me a 4x4x18 block of American cheese. I opened it and just looked at her. She had this look of anticipated glee on her face and said, “Your dad said you really like cheese.”

      December 15th, 2007 at 10:27 am

    4. boomama says:

      I can’t think of anything strange that I’ve received, but one time my daddy gave my mama hubcaps for Christmas.

      Needless to say, she was visibly underwhelmed.

      December 15th, 2007 at 10:37 am

    5. Heidi says:

      With my in-laws, it’s alwasys “the strangest gift I’ve ever received.” Every year my MIL collects all the FREE calendars she can get from the local banks, newspaper office and Feed-n-Grain, and gives them to all of her kids’ families for Christmas, but not before writing all the family birthdays in them. One year she gave my husband a 1966 phonebook from his hometown, causet that’s the year he was born.
      One year she gave my EIGHT YEAR OLD DAUGHTER two plates that had been hanging on her walls for 30 years. They had pictures of kittens on them so she thought my daughter would love them
      I could go on forever.

      December 15th, 2007 at 11:15 am

    6. Happy Geek says:

      My strangest gifts have all been from my amazing sister-in-law. there was the breast self-examination kit (nothing says loving like it) the dryer balls (instead of fabric softener) and my personal favorite, the can of pepper spray.
      Now I just ask for gift cards.

      December 15th, 2007 at 11:16 am

    7. Antique Mommy says:

      I have a friend whose MIL gave her a deer paw that was affixed to a piece of wood – ??? – which we guessed was supposed to be a coat hook? She screamed when she opened it. And not gleefully.

      Back when the adults exchanged Christmas gifts, I did the buying for my MILs boutique, so she always gave me something from her store that I had picked out the season before at market. Suh-weeeet! No deer paw coat hooks!

      December 15th, 2007 at 11:20 am

    8. zoom says:

      My co-workers and I have an eclectic group of customers. We are in the insurance business.

      Over the years we have received a bottle of Jack Daniels, a piece of wood with a clock in the back and a picture of the insured shellacked on it, an invitation to go to the mud races, and a can full of something called “the mix”.

      “The mix” had a very suspicious odor.

      We are all hoping for the Yard o’ Beef.

      December 15th, 2007 at 11:46 am

    9. Owlhaven says:

      My MIL gave my teenaged son a very large ($38) roast. Sounds strange but he was delighted. I treat meat more as a condiment, slicing and dicing it to within an inch of its life. He loves meat in large slabs, so that very odd gift was spot-on. BTW, he would ADORE a yard of beef.

      Mary, mom to many

      December 15th, 2007 at 11:56 am

    10. Michelle says:

      I once received a black, highly shiny/slippery/and non-flame-retardant, sequined shirt from my grandma. In size 2XX. I was 12. And thought I knew it all. She claims that I paid a compliment on it once and thought I could have more use out of it than her.

      I was 12, mortified, and thought I needed to be on a diet. Nothing says love like questioning your self esteem.

      The next year I found a sewing machine under the tree. The next was luggage. I saw a pattern beginning to emerge.

      Yard-O-beef? That is a first for me!

      December 15th, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    11. Sandi says:

      My most unusual gift was a plunger from my mom. It still sits under my tree each year – in fact I wrote a blog today about it. Hard to top a plunger!

      December 15th, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    12. kittyhox says:

      Okay, I didn’t receive this gift, but it is so funny that I have to share.

      My friend and her MIL have a tense relationship and she has received some odd (and slightly insulting) gifts over the years.

      There are a lot of good ones, but by far the best was the year she received a donkey figurine from a beautiful, large nativity scene. “Wow,” she thought, “she actually got me something nice.” She looked forward to receiving a figurine each holiday/birthday, until the set was completed.

      Except that she never got another piece. And it’s been five years.

      So she has one donkey figurine, clearly part of a nativity set. And that’s it.

      Isn’t that ODD?

      December 15th, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    13. Antique Mommy says:

      Odd indeed and oh so subtle.

      December 15th, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    14. Nancy says:

      In my family, Christmas stockings are a pretty big deal.

      My Feller has had to ease into it and he tries. His family didn’t make much of the tradition.

      The first year we spent together in this house, I was excited to see a nice, fat stocking on Christmas morning.

      I was still trying to remove a huge jar of OLIVES from the toe thirty minutes later! O-L-I-V-E-S!

      Yeah, I love olives but NOT in my Christmas stocking and these were just plain old generic olives, not gourmet or Greek!

      He is such a funny guy.

      December 15th, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    15. Sally says:

      My cousin and I love to exchange “gag” gifts each year and we both try our hardest to find the weirdest, or ugliest stuff we can come up with (Odd Lots is a good place for that!!!) We have done this for so many years that I can’t even think what the weirdest gift was that I received from her, because they are just too numerous to list!!

      December 15th, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    16. Cheryl says:

      It wasn’t my Christmas gift, but that of my oldest son…from my Grandmother. It was a large…probably 18 inches tall…hand-painted (badly), cowboy statue. At this point, it is important to note that at the time my son was 17 and a senior in high school. When he opened it, the look on his face was worth a bazillion dollars…amusement and confusion perfectly combined. The cowboy has become a family mascot that we move around to surprise (read: torture) each other. You never know where the cowboy will turn up…in your bed, in your car, in the shower…his next move is a mystery! He’s a ninja cowboy!

      December 15th, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    17. jayedee says:

      my son….my dear oldest son….gave me a…..ahem……battery operated head scratching wizard a few years ago! it had a maniacal looking wizard perched atop these long thin spidery legs. you put it on your head, pushed the button and viola! it scratched your head for you. very VERY creepy if you ask me LOL

      December 15th, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    18. Confused Foreigner says:

      I got a box of used bras from a relative who had lost a bunch of weight. They were too big for me.
      After getting over the initial disappointment of opening the box, I found it quite funny. For the next few birthdays that came along I would give my friends a big bra as a joke and make them put it on over their clothes and pose. It led to a lot of good laughs.
      Anyway, that relative is one of my favourite people on the planet despite that odd gift. (And I do have to mention the next year she gave me a cell phone- so I have nothing to complain about.)

      December 15th, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    19. Sue says:

      Wow. That’s disgusting.

      Weirdest gift? One time a guy I was dating gave me ten jars of deer jerky. I guess he thought I’d be impressed by his hunter/gatherer skilss or something.

      December 16th, 2007 at 2:06 am

    20. Harp says:

      2 things, both from my parents.

      A branding iorn for steaks. With my initials in it. I don’t own a grill.

      I have a double bachelors in music. One year they got me a plastic violin that played electronic music on its own. It was not a joke.

      Sigh.

      Harp

      December 16th, 2007 at 2:23 am

    21. chickadee says:

      oh how i enjoyed reading people’s oddest gifts. funny stuff. the donkey? love it.

      i thought my oddest gift was a pair of crocs. at the time i did not know what they were but they were already all over the place but i live in the sticks and don’t watch the news or whatever. so when my mil gave me these very ugly shoes i thought, how strange. and that they would go right to the back of my closet. until i put them on and then i never took them off again.
      (well, unless i go out in public because i still think they are very ugly shoes).

      December 16th, 2007 at 2:34 am

    22. Sarcastic Mom says:

      That just sounds dirty to me, but that’s b/c I’m naughty.

      I mean, in my head, I hear a rude male voice, “It’s a Yard-o-Beef, baby.”

      December 16th, 2007 at 3:15 am

    23. Jim says:

      How about some saran wrapped dried cow dung, only spray painted red & green…….yep; thats the way it was several years ago by a “country” friend of mine.

      December 16th, 2007 at 6:15 am

    24. ~*~ Jennifer ~*~ says:

      When we moved to this house — I burned all the “plastic” Christmas stuff my MIL had given me for the past 10 years. (shhh… don’t tell her.)

      But I don’t normally get weird gifts. Thank the Lord for that!

      December 16th, 2007 at 8:43 am

    25. Brigitte says:

      Hmmm, I think I’d LIKE all those jars of deer jerky!

      Like Sally above, I can’t keep track, as my sister delights in spending the year scouring the tag sales and thrift shops for both good stuff AND the weirdest things she can find! Though once, she gave our dad (who does have a naughty sense of humor) a Yard-O-Beef wrapped with a couple navel oranges at one end so it looked like . . . ya know!

      December 16th, 2007 at 9:36 am

    26. Twisted Cinderella says:

      that is definitely an unusual name for a product LOL

      December 16th, 2007 at 10:33 am

    27. Becci~PowersTwinB says:

      I come from a huge family (6 siblings and 17 neices and nephews). The weirdest things I have gotten are things that once upon a time belonged to me. We give “back” something we borrowed and never returned. One year I got a pair of embroidered blue jeans I loved while I was in high school, and it was about 25 yrs later…a sister had them and “remembered she borrowed them” Of course, they were like 17 sizes too small! lol..One year mom got the right foot of a pair of slppers she had. Never finding the other slipper, she threw the one she had away, months before Christmas…she wasnt happy to “find” the one slipper under the tree! Its been fun, as you can almost trust if your Easter salt shaker is missing, it will turn up at Christmas…its a game now when we visit each other throughout the year! lol Lots of fun and very cheap way to celebrate “giving back”!

      December 16th, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    28. Quirky says:

      My mother always seems to find something odd for my husband…in her defense, he is very difficult to shop for.

      Last year it was an inflatable Scooby Doo yard ornament that said Happy Birthday on it. (His birthday is in June).
      The year before that, it was a game that sends electric shocks up your arm. (The warning on the box was like, “May cause death in people with heart conditions”). He was like “Okaaaaay”.

      Bless her heart. She means well.

      December 16th, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    29. Margaret says:

      The strangest gift wasn’t given to me but to my sister by her husband. They had probably only been married a couple of years at the time. On the way home, to spend the holidays at my mother’s house, on Christmas Eve my BIL stops at a Canadian Tire, (for the Americans who are unfamiliar with Canadian Tire it’s obviously a place to by tires, but you can also get your oil changed, or get a new lawn mower or furnce filters, or a new table saw,… etc. I think you get the picture.) He leaves my sister in the car and comes back about 1/2 hr later, and that was the extent of his Christmas shopping. So she wasn’t too surprised Christmas morning when she unwrapped a brand new garden hose.

      December 17th, 2007 at 12:13 am

    30. Fraulein says:

      A couple of years ago my sister and brother-in-law gave us a really ugly floor lamp. It was such a random gift — we never said we needed lighting items! — and it was ugly to boot.

      December 17th, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    31. sheilah says:

      I have never received anything really weird but one Christmas my oldest brother would not tell me what he wanted. I asked and asked and asked and the twit would not give me anything.

      I bought a beautiful box, wrapped it in beautiful paper, put on a beautiful bow. Inside was…a bag of coal.

      Served him right.

      December 17th, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    32. Alissa says:

      One year, a friend of mine gave all of us gals the same gift. She did this as a joke, but its still a strange gift. We were all still in college, and single, so I guess it was appropriate. She gave us all a copy of “The Rules – Time Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right”. And a bar of First Date Soap. We all died laughing.

      The other odd gift I received was about the same time. I must have been about 18 or 19, maybe 20. Some friends of my parents have been giving us gifts since we were little kids. Much of what they give us all were purchased from QVC (the woman has an entire room of vases from QVC…they have their own room..). So the gifts were usually a little odd. But that year they sent me a flannel night gown, shin length. It gets better. It was purple and pink and yellow and covered with sheep. And it had matching pink purple and yellow striped knee-high socks. A copy of the Lindsay Lohan “Parent Trap” also came that year. I think they forgot I was no longer 10 or something. Oh well, its the thought that counts, right?

      December 17th, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    33. Deanna says:

      Weirdest gift from my first husband’s grandmother. I was 18, first Christmas after we married. I unwrapped a little plastic box with spindly things sticking up in it. I didn’t know what it was, but smiled and said thank you. Years later I found out it was a bobbin holder. For someone who sews; perfect! I don’t. Never have. I crochet. The gift I made her? She told me she took it apart to see how it was made. Ummm…I could have given her the pattern. Ahhh…the memories….

      December 17th, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    34. edj says:

      Weirdest gift? That would have been given, not to me, but to a colleague of mine, teaching English in Africa. He was 50ish. A young female student bought him a nice satchel, and for his wife, whom she’d never met, a tiny pink bra-and-panties set!

      December 18th, 2007 at 2:28 am

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